Silver

October 29, 2009

I have moments where I think “it didn’t really happen.  I didn’t really lose my boys.”  I do, really, all these months later – over a year later – I still think, “it didn’t happen.” 

I saw the lady with the silver in her hair at Fosters again.  I’m a little fascinated by her.  I sat there, watching her read her book, eating her sandwich and I thought, “that will be me in a couple of years.”  I’m so far lost in grief and disappointment that I can’t see soccer games, birthday parties and Halloween costumes.  I just see aging – getting older without children to run after.

I don’t know when I starting losing the ability to see a future that has a child in it.  Just last month I was thinking about and actually talking about playing the violin for my baby….now, I just can’t imagine it.  I try really hard to see our baby and all I see are my boys.

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Daydreaming…

October 27, 2009

I posted this over at Glow in the Woods and then thought that many of  you might like to read it as well…

This afternoon, I sat at Fosters having a bowl of soup and daydreaming.  I love Fosters.  It’s bright and airy and reminds me of a coffee place I used to go to when I was in college.  I can smell espresso and pastries and pizzas being made in the oven.  There are large open tables with mis-matched chairs and college students, studying history or math or something.  Probably chemistry.  I hated chemistry.  They have their futures in front of them, I think, bright shiny futures – futures full of promise, hope, good times and hopefully, nothing bad will ever happen to these people.  Just as they are sitting here at these tables with the mis-matched chairs, wallowing in clean, pure, happy youth, I sat at tables with mis-matched chairs many years ago.  Years and years ago it feels like.  So long ago that I feel like that wasn’t even me – I’m not the same person I was back then.  I dreamed of working as an environmental attorney, I struggled with my math homework, I dated someone who didn’t appreciate me for me, and I made bad choices (that ended up having benign consequences looking back).  I dreamed of getting married to a wonderful man and having babies, living in a house, not struggling to pay my bills.

Some of what I dreamed has happened – the amazing husband, the cute house that’s all mine.  Some of what I hoped for hasn’t.  Actually, I guess it did but not in the way I thought it would.  I look in the mirror and I’m not that girl in a coffee house in San Diego wondering what I’m going to wear to our next formal because I can’t really afford a new dress.  I’ve gained weight, gone is my cute little size 6 self that ran the beach in a bikini without thought.  I’ve got gray hairs that refuse to stay hidden under an expensive dye-job.  I’ve got pain in my eyes.  It’s the eyes that are the most different, I think.  I don’t have wrinkles like you might think.  Instead, I have a hollowness – an emptiness – that looks back at me from the other side of the mirror.  It’s all my pain and grief and anger and loss and it’s manifested in my eyes.  I smile at people and that smile doesn’t reach my eyes like it used to.

I look around amongst all of these young, bright faces and see another woman sitting alone.  She’s clearly older than I am as evidenced by the fact that she’s lost her battle with gray hair and surrendered to a lovely silver running through her brown curls.  She’s reading (or maybe, like me, pretending to read).  I catch her eye and smile.  She smiles back but her smile doesn’t reach her eyes either.  I wonder, “what happened to you?  Why do you have pain?  Did your babies die too?”

It all comes back to them.  My boys and the fact that they died.

No amount of daydreaming in a coffee house can change that fact or the pain in my eyes.

Spiraling…

October 26, 2009

Yup, that’s me.  I’m spiraling into sadness once again.   This is just another month where I’m plotting and planning when Hubby and I are supposed to do ‘it.”  Yet again, I think “I shouldn’t have to be worrying about this….I should have two little boys to fuss over for Halloween.”

But I don’t.

The unconfirmed loss of last month has left me reeling…again….but why?  Why shouldn’t I be used to these losses?  Realistically, this is going to be our life – our reality –  until we conceive and carrying again past 23 weeks, why am I not used to that fact yet?  These feelings of grief and loss are exacerbated by the fact that I found out we can’t refinance our home to pay for adoption costs.  Apparently home prices have dropped in the area and we don’t have enough equity to take out a loan to cover the costs of adoption.  What a surprise that something didn’t work out for us….I’m shocked (that’s sarcasm in case you are new to my blog – nothing goes the way it’s supposed to for me – the universe hates me). 

Oh and there may be a third thing contributing to my downward spiral….On Friday, I tried to have a conversation with my mother about adoption and for some fucked up reason, she asked me if I was pregnant.  Sidebar: she makes it sound like an accusation when she asks….”Are you preg-a-nant?”  She sounds out the syllables just like that.  It makes me feel like she’s disapproving of me….this is the woman who said, “I don’t know how I feel about that…” when she bullied me into telling her I was pregnant with the boys.  Anywho, why the fuck would I be talking to her about adoption if I was pregnant and then I remembered, I had been pregnant up until Monday.  Just a little bit anyway so prehaps it was a valid question.  Still, she switched the subject after I said no and wanted to discuss her dog.  I try to have a relationship with her but really, I’m just being polite now…I really feel like she doesn’t want to hear anything of substance.  It’s strange, I used to tell her everything…

I want so badly to be pregnant again.  I have a myriad of friends who are pregnant – some getting ready to deliver any day now.  I feel so angry and hurt and left out and why?  This shouldn’t be new to me…this is where I’ve been since April 8th, 2008.  I should be used to standing in the shadows, used to the fact that I envy people who are pregnant, I should be used to disappointment.

I feel like such a disappointment.

Neverending Grief

September 25, 2009

So last nights’ “Grey’s Anatomy” was all about grief.  One of the main characters, “George,” ended last season by getting hit by a bus and was unrecognizable until minutes before the finale ended.  The premiere showed “McDreamy” unable to repair the damage to George’s brain and the decision is made to call his mother and find out if he is an organ donor.  The hospital is collectively devastated.

The voice over talks about the 5 stages of grief, which I think all of us lost baby parents can agree, doesn’t occur in stages but waves, each one overlapping the other at various times and intervals.  I’ve accepted and bargained, felt guilty and angry, hell, I’ve even denied it happened (then of course, I wake up).  Each character was supposed to represent the various stages of grief.

But the phrase that resonated most with me was something that the character “Meredith” said.  She said:

“The minute you think you’re over it, it starts all over again.”

That’s where I’m at.  I went to the bathroom at work yesterday and sat in the stall and cried.  I hadn’t done that in months – cried at work.  I’m even out of practice.  Used to be, I could cry looking down, with my head in a horizontal position and not ruin my eye makeup…yesterday, mascara was all smeared.  I’m still so mad, still so sad, still so angry.  I want to scream as loud as I can, “what did I do to deserve the death of my little boys?!!??  What?!!?  Why did this happen to me?!!?”  After 18 months, just when I think I’m okay, the grief starts in again.  Nothing new has happened, it’s still the same loss, I’m still the same me I was after the boys died.  Why am I not getting any better?

The difference between me and the characters of “Grey’s Anatomy” is, the accident wasn’t real, their friend didn’t really die, they get to yell “CUT!” and it’s over.  I don’t.  There is no “CUT!” for me.  This is going to be my life forever.  I’m going to always grieve, the boys will always have died, this is my life.

I’m overwhelmed by that fact.

I love this time of year – the beginning of September which leads to Fall and October and Halloween – which is my absolute favorite holiday.  August is over and that’s a relief and it’s too early to worry about Thanksgiving and Christmas and the inevitable depression that will come from missing the boys.  September on the beaches in North Carolina is ridiculously lovely and Hubby and I usually take advantage of the lack of tourists to head out there at least a couple of times before the warm weather is gone.  Here at home, the leaves change to amazing jewel tones that this California girl didn’t think occurred in nature.  I marvel at the fireworks show that the trees put on.  October brings Mullet Festival (the fish, not the hair) and the informal family reunion.  In years passed, I have dreaded going but this year, I’m looking forward to it.  My best friend, M, will be coming for the State Fair in mid-October and I can’t wait.  And then Halloween…my favorite…I’ve already planned costumes for us and priced new yard decorations.  The mums are in bloom already and I need to put some in the yard…Fall and mums to me is like milk and cookies.

But my heart is heavy.  I thought I would be pregnant again.  All the way pregnant – not just the slightly pregnant that my body seems to be fond of but really, truly and totally pregnant.  But not yet, not that I know of anyway….

My birthday was yesterday and I haven’t cried that much on my birthday in I don’t know how long.  I cried for the boys, I cried because of an insensitive comment said to Hubby in my presence that morning (“So Hubby, got anymore offspring?”), I cried for Craig and Mirne and baby Jet, I cried for the baby that would have been had I not miscarried in December.

In the midst of all my tears, I laughed a lot too.  I was reminded how loved I am.  I was reminded that in the midst of all the pain that I feel, people care for me, people think of me, people root for me.  I had over 60 messages on Facebook wishing me a happy birthday, numerous cards came in the mail, and I got a ton of phone calls throughout the day.  For someone feeling all alone with her grief, that’s powerfully healing. 

I think the hardest I laughed yesterday was when I got my gift from Hubby.  Hubby saw my post about wanting to learn the violin or mandolin so he found me a beautiful violin for my birthday and a woman to give me lessons at lunch.  He said that he thought I needed “a little more music in my life.”  He’s right.  I know I don’t deserve him.  He’s amazingly kind, thoughtful and caring.  I’ve never met a man like him. 

Over dinner, I said to him, “I can play the violin for our baby when he won’t stop crying.  You know?  Play him to sleep.”  That’s the first time I let myself hope for a future baby in a long time.  I surprised myself when I said it.  It’s been months since I thought of OUR baby actually happening again.

So, next birthday, I will be playing a concert (using the loose definition of “concert”) at my house.

Hopefully, our baby will be there.

As Popeye Would Say…

August 31, 2009

So I need to put this out there in the universe (who has been so gracious and kind to me these past 18 months…that’s sarcasm, just in case you were wondering…):  I can only do what I can do, you can accept that or not.

This is in response to a teeny, tiny, select group of people who seem to think that after 18 months, I should be fully capable of attending a baby shower, holding an infant or, for that matter, being in the same room with an infant.  I can’t talk about your perfect pregnancy in detail, I can’t look at ultrasound pictures.  I can ask you polite questions, I can watch your tummy get bigger, I can cheer you on when your due date arrives.  I can only do what I can do.

I need you to understand that it’s not jealousy.  I want another baby badly, I think I’ve made that clear on this blog and it’s very aggravating when people stand upwind of their husbands and get pregnant.  But I also still miss my boys.  I know you think that I should be okay after 18 months but I’m n0t.  I will be eventually but I’m not there yet.  Your ultrasound pictures? They bring up that day in the hospital when the Dr. S said, “I’m so sorry but I’m not seeing a heartbeat.”  You can’t imagine that pain and I hope you never find out.  That’s what I see when you email me your ultrasound pictures.  Your baby shower?  I can’t do it.  It’s not that I never got one.  I just can’t go and see all the tiny little outfits that my boys might have worn but now, never will.  If I hide your profile on Facebook because I can’t read any more posts about how sick/cranky/tired/whatever you are because you’re pregnant, it’s only because it would never occur to me to complain about something I loved, miss and desperately want back.  I rubbed my tummy, I sang to them, I gleefully looked forward to morning sickness because that meant I was pregnant.

I am what I am right now and I can only do what I can do. 

You can take or leave it.

For those of you who don’t know, The Secret Garden site is for parents of lost babies to go and write about their children.  Oftentimes, we don’t get to talk about some of the things we want to because we don’t have anyone to talk about them to.  This month’s Meeting topic was something that Hubby and I thought about on Sunday in anticipation of starting the adoption process.

If you created a bedroom for your baby tell us what it was like.

We had planned to have the boys stay in our room until they were older.  Our bedroom at that house was huge so we thought a “co-sleeper” on each side of the bed would be perfect.  Then Baby A died.  We decided that we would turn the corner of our bedroom into a nursery for Baby B.  We got a crib and a changing table that Hubby put together for me to look at while on bedrest.

Did you have it ready for them before they were born?

Yes, eventhough Baby B died at 22 weeks, his changing table and crib were ready, his Winnie the Pooh pictures and decorations were on the walls.  I had folded all of his nightgowns, onsies and diapers into baskets….I thought I had more time to make up his bed and I had a baby shower coming up so I didn’t buy any linens…

If so how did you cope coming home to it without your baby?

Not well.  I came home to look at an empty crib.  I remember laying down on the bed, in front of the empty crib and changing table and sobbing to the point that I leaned over and threw up in the trash can.

Did you pack it all away?

I had to.  We were in the process of buying a house when Baby B died.  We closed on the house a week after we lost him so all of the “nursery” had to be packed up and moved with no baby.  I made Hubby take down and move the furniture and the car seat and all of their baby clothes to the new house.  I didn’t want the movers to touch any of their things.  It wasn’t rational but I didn’t care.  I took one night when Hubby was at karate class and packed all of the onsies and nightgowns people had bought me or given me, the tiny little Tevas that Hubby at gotten me to cheer me up when A died into storage bins.  I cried so hard and so loud that my neighbor heard me and came over and held me for an hour. 

What is your baby’s room now?

In the new house, we put all of the baby stuff into what will be the nursery and shut the door.  We bought the house 18 months ago and I haven’t been in there since.

If you are trying to conceive again, or are pregnant again how do you feel about setting up another room before your baby is born?

Since we have been talking about adoption, I know that we have to have a place for our baby to come home to so I know it will have to be done for the homestudy.  I worry about that.  How am I going to face walking in there and looking at things that should have been the boys?  I’m hoping that I can call on friends and family to make it something fun and joyful.  I think with more people there, I won’t be tempted to look at the sadness but focus on the happiness.  Since, we are also still actively trying, I have also thought about that.  I have it in my head that I won’t put a nursery together until I get passed 22 weeks.  Then the baby will have lived longer then his/her brothers.  I don’t think that’s reasonable because I know I will be excited about another baby and want to make up a nursery since I really didn’t get to that for the boys but I know that I will be terrified too.  I don’t know.  I guess I just want to find out…