Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I Survived

Last year on December 23rd we announced to our then 5 year old daughter that she would no longer be an only child. Unfortunately here we are a year later and she remains, in her words, a "lonely" child.

When I was pregnant with Zach I imagined what the future would be like with two children. I imagined walking my daughter to school with him in his stroller. I imagined picking her up and her little head popping into the stroller to greet him and I imagined him giggling with delight at the sight of her. I imagined that she would be the center of her baby brother's Universe. I imagined our first Christmas as a "real" family. We decided to have everyone to our house so that he wouldn't have to go out in the cold.

I imagined life with two children for many milestones that have passed over the last couple of months. My daughter's birthday, my best friend's wedding, Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas. I looked forward to sharing all of those events with my children. When those events came and went I was proud of myself for having survived each one. Not always with grace and dignity and sometimes with tears and pain but I made it through. With each one I realized my stregth and ability to overcome just about anything. I wondered if Christmas would be the same.

In the end, having survived this first Christmas without our baby boy I can honestly say that the anticipation was worse than the actual event. I survived. We survived. Hopefully this next year will bring happiness and health and a healthy baby brother or sister for our little girl.

I am not sad to say goodbye to 2009. Bring on 2010 and all it has to offer!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

5 months ago today

5 months ago today I held your angel body.
I looked at your angel face and kissed your angel skin.
5 months ago today you came into this world without a sound...
Without a breath...
I unwrapped you and looked at your tiny body, I counted your fingers and toes and kissed your hands...
I held my hand to your chest and longed for your heart to beat...
I touched your soft hair and your tiny ears.
We compared your looks to those of your big sister on the day that she was born.
We talked about what colour your eyes would be, if only they would open.
I sang to you and rocked you and loved you as much as any Mommy could in the short period that I had with you.
No amount of time could have ever been enough.
But your body was growing tired and I knew we had to say goodbye.
I miss you every single day.
Every day I wonder what you would be like today.
I wonder what milestones you would be reaching and what kind of baby you would be.
You are always in my thoughts
You are always in my heart
You will forever be my baby boy.
Mommy loves you, Zach.

Friday, December 4, 2009

I am entering a new phase in my grieving process. I met with a Grief Counselor for lunch yesterday. We talked for about an hour and discussed my personal situation and what I have done to pass the time. We discussed my daughter and S and how they have been coping and other family members. At the end of the meeting she said to me "What do you want from me? I mean, what do you hope to get out of meeting with me?" So I told her that I want to make sure that I am coping as well as I feel that I have been coping... To make sure that I'm not fooling myself into believing that I have delt with my grief, only to have it knock me on my ass a few months down the road. That's when she told me that I have done all the grief work and have taken an extremely healthy approach to healing and that there doesn't seem to be anything more that she can do to help me. She does, however, want to keep in touch and may recruit me to be an ambassador for this cause.
It's funny... I never imagined myself being such a fighter. I never thought that I could overcome something as life-altering as losing a baby. I always pictured myself as more of a curl up and die kind of person... but if I were to do that, then what would that say about my son's life? How could I let that be his legacy? I refuse to let my son's death be in vain. I need to feel like his death was for a purpose, even if the wisdom I have gained from losing him helps to save just one other baby, this pain that I have endured will have been worth it.
I can't imagine allowing this tragedy to define me. I need to emerge from this a better person, a better wife, a better mother. I want to remember my son in a positive way. I want to think of him and smile and know that he made a difference. I can't be sad forever. I can't be angry. I have to believe that I was chosen, that my family was chosen to travel this path for a reason. I have to believe that my baby was taken because I am a person who can make a difference. I am a person who can stand up for a change. I will dig for answers and look for solutions in order for other families to avoid having to go through what we've been through. I need to show my daughter that holding your head up high when all you want to do is fade into the darkness is the right way to overcome adversity. She needs to know that nobody is exempt from pain but how you get through it is what makes you stand apart from the crowd.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


It's funny how sometimes your thought process is so far removed from what other people are thinking. I came to a realisation last night that what I see as a recovery process, others see as an issue. I had a conversation with S last night which made me realise that a lot of my actions or inactions have been taken completely out of context. It seems as though while I take positive steps towards moving forward with my life he thinks I am "not dealing".
When a mother loses her child it is a traumatic event. No matter how or when it happens, the loss of a child chages a person. I believe that this event has probably caused me to develop a degree of post-traumatic stress disorder. There are certain things that I cannot do, places I cannot go, people I cannot see.
Let me begin by saying that I was always a person who has a certain amount of anxiety in social situations. I am not witty or sociable, I tell it as I see it and I can sometimes be misinterpreted. WIthin my group of friends, however I am known to be funny, compassionate and understanding. I am, however, an onion. Sometimes you have to peel back the layers to get to know the person inside. I am not a huge fan of parties or big social get-togethers, I don't like birthday parties, I'm a sucky hostess, I need a few drinks in me in order to feel comfortable.
Anyway, when I lost Zach I did not leave the house for a while. I think that's understandable. I changed my routines to make sure that I could avoid certain places during daylight (that's when the babies are out) and would always make sure I had a distraction with me (in the form of my daughter) so that should I run in to someone I didn't want to see, I could pretend that I was in the middle of a crisis with her and couldn't look up to greet the person. I admit that I avoid babies. I avoid babies because it physically pains me to see them. It makes me ask myself why this world decided that mine should be taken. Mine and not the one in the cart ahead of me in line at the grocery store. Then I feel guilty and angry and frustrated and my day is ruined. I have made a conscious decision to move forward positively with my life. I make choices that make my days good, rather than bad. That is my coping mechanism. I avoid dinner parties which babies will attend, I avert my eyes when I see them in stores, I want nothing to do with them. That is my choice. The one thing baby-related that I do have an interest in is having another one of my own.
S, on the other hand, has taken all my conscious efforts as a sign that I am not ready to have another baby. He thinks that my avoidance will spill over into my ability to parent another baby and fears that I will fall apart.
What S doesn't understand is that I truly believe that the only way that I am going to claw myself out of this pit of darkness is to know that I am going to have a baby of my own. To believe that my next baby is going to be born healthy and screaming and live a long and happy life with me as his or her mother. I need to know that my daughter is going to have the sibling that she so desperately wants. I need to know that life goes on and even though I have been beaten down, I can get back up and I can love again. I know that I can move forward, I know that it takes baby steps and that some days are better than others. I know that my life will go on. Though I will never stop loving my baby and I will never forget him, I need to move forward. I need to stop grieving anf feel happy. I don't like the negative feelings that I have. I consciously push them aside and try to focus on the things in life that make me happy. I don't want my son's life to be a sad topic of conversation. I loved him, the thought of him warms my heart and makes me smile. I don't want to cry anymore. Being around other babies makes the negative feelings come out in me, makes me think of all of the things that I am missing out on! I can not let my son's life be a tragedy. What's the point? I want to make sure that his life was a positive force in mine.
S thinks that I am not dealing with any of my grief, he thinks I am just pushing it aside. He thinks that my need for another child is a desire to replace the one I lost. He couldn't be more wrong. I need to move forward and go on with my life. I don't want to forget him but I don't want to be sad anymore. If anything I have more love to give now. I realize the value of life, the preciousness of the nine months a baby spends in the womb. I want to connect to another baby and love another baby. It won't make me love my other children any less, if anything it makes me appreciate them that much more.

Monday, November 23, 2009



I feel like life has always been a struggle for me. I remember being a little kid and feeling like I had to work in order for my father to love me. We fought constantly. I always felt like he loved my sister more and was disappointed that I was not a boy. I tried so hard to get him to accept me. I tried to get him to do "boy" things with me so that he would enjoy spending time with me... It was always a struggle...Then I got older and I never really had any friends. I was never a bad person or a mean person but I was shy and had low self-esteem. It was a struggle to get people to want to be with me. Maybe I was a little coddled... My sister always let me get my way so I could be a bit of a whiner but what pre-teen girl isn't?
In my teens and early twenties I was never asked out. I had to pursue the guys, they never pursued me. Though my relationships were long term I always felt like I was more invested. Even now with my boy-friend of seven years. We've been through so much together but I feel like I have to constantly beg for his attention and his affection.
When I was 22 I got pregnant with my daughter. I was never upset or scared. I knew that I was going to be a great mom. My boy-friend had a good job and we were moving in together
and starting a family. Two weeks after we moved in together he lost his job. He quickly started a new one but it was hard to make ends meet for a long time. Then our daughter came along. Our beautiful perfect little girl who means the world to us. One month and one day after her birth I fell down the stairs and broke my ankle in three places. I needed surgery to rebuild the ankle and was hospitalised for 5 days. After that I had to move back in with my parents for two months because I was in a wheel chair and our apartment wasn't wheelchair accessible. Our baby's first Christmas couldn't be spent at home. We continued to struggle for another year or so until my boy-friend got a better job. When I say struggle I don't mean we couldn't afford vacations and new cars. I mean we had to live on Kraft dinner and hot dogs for weeks on end. We had to stretch the diaper budget, we suffered.
Things gradually got better and we moved into a bigger place with a backyard and we bought new cars and things were looking up. I decided that my job was not doing it for me anymore so I moved on and got a new job which turned out to be a nightmare. I'm pretty resilient, though so I moved on and found something better where I was able to climb the corporate ladder to where I am now. That's when we decided to buy a house. We finally settled on building a house. We
met with the builder, we signed the contracts, we were looking forward to a new house the following summer, when all of a sudden construction halted. No new house for at least another year.
We waited patiently and decided to have a go at having another baby. The first month of trying we discovered that I was pregnant with our son.
On July 1st we moved in to our beautiful brand new house and were expecting our son just a few weeks later.
On July 7th I went in for a routine exam only to find out that he had no heartbeat. Our precious baby who was supposed to complete our perfect little family had died 3 weeks before he was suuposed to join us. Our dreams were dashed and we were crushed.
I just don't understand how one person can be expected to struggle financially, emotionally and physically all before the age of 30 and not come out of it feeling bitter and angry. How can a person watch her daughter suffer through such a tremendous loss at such a young age and not feel jipped. How is it fair that one person has to endure all of this heartache while others float through life never having to fight for anything. They say it builds character but I think I have enough. I don't want any more character. I want to float for awhile. I've swam long enough, I've been treading water for years, I think it's time for someone to hand me a life boat.



Why do I torture myself like this?
Why do I scour the message boards for other mothers who feel the way that I do and then feel sorry for myself?
Why do I allow myself to think that everyone is looking at me, wondering "where is her baby?" "why isn't she at work?" "why does she look so sad?"?
Why do I let other people's thoughts dictate the way that I react without ever really knowing what they're thinking?
Never knowing what they're thinking because they're afraid to speak to me... afraid to reach out, afraid to broach the subject.
My baby died and I am alone.
I don't want to cry anymore. I don't want to bear this burden anymore. I want to move on and feel normal.
I want to be able to find a receipt in my pocket and look at the date and not think "that's from when I was happily expecting Zachary... Will I ever be happy again?"
I want to be able to look at pictures of my family and not feel that someone is missing.
I want to be able to go to my parent's house and not feel like I should be holding my baby in that rocking chair instead of sitting alone...
3 months have gone by and though the pain is less raw, it's no more real than the day that his heart stopped beating.
I am expected to move on and get back to my normal routine but how can I when my idea of "normal" has been compromised so badly?
I know that one day I will feel happiness again and perhaps one day every smile won't be followed by immediate sadness and emptiness. One day my life will feel normal again but
it will never go back to the normal that it was before I lost my son.


2009-08-31 10:19:30

I've been thinking about starting a blog for awhile now but sometimes I think that my thoughts are better left inside my head. Sometimes letting them out hurts more than thinking them...
It's been 54 days since I delivered my beautiful baby boy. My beatiful baby boy who's cry I never got to hear, who's eyes never opened, who's breath I never felt. My little 5 pound 8 ounce angel who I'll never get to know.
Every day goes by and I'm expected to get a little better. I'm expected to hold it all together and move on but on days like this I just can't...
When I imagined my daughter's first day of school I imagined walking there with my beautiful little girl and her gorgeous baby brother. This morning I dropped her off and walked back home alone. No stroller, no baby... just alone. It felt awful. It felt lonely and painful and empty.
Sometimes I feel like I'm going to implode because the pain is so deep that it cause me to dry heave. I can't breathe, I get dizzy, I feel my legs melting into the floor.
Things are not supposed to happen this way. I wasn't supposed to wait nine months and instead of having that moment of extreme pride and happiness I got the opposite. I got "I can't find the heartbeat, nope, he's gone". And just like that my dreams were crushed. The baby boy that I had been waiting for was gone. Out of my life but forever a part of me.
One day I'll go back and write out the story of that fateful day. Not today though... today I need to focus on my current feelings. I knew this day would come. I knew I couldn't keep coasting... there had to be a breaking point. I've had my daughter to keep me busy and upbeat for the last 7 weeks but now that she's back at school I am left alone with my thoughts.
Don't get me wrong I have good days and bad... I probably always will... but there are certain triggers that determine what kind of day it will be and though a bad day may spill over into several days a good day can come and go with one simple little trigger...
Saturday, for example, was a decent day... but my mother went to a baby shower. A baby shower for a distant cousin who is expecting a baby boy... I can't help myself and though, I know that I don't want to hear the answer but I still asked... "wasn't it hard?". And so began my bad
day... and it spilled over into Sunday morning and then I managed to get through Sunday relatively well but the sadness resurfaced on Sunday night... It was the news that yet another person had delivered, you guessed it, a healthy baby boy.
How is that fair? How is it fair that while about a dozen people that I know have been fortunate enough to deliver healthy babies in the last 8 weeks, I have been left to suffer alone? How can people tell me to stop feeling sorry for myself when I have never felt so empty in all my
life... when I look at pictures of our family and wonder if we will ever be that happy again, if we can ever truly be complete without our son...?
I do feel sorry for myself, I do feel sad, I do feel betrayed! I feel betrayed by the higher power that makes these shitty decisions, I feel betrayed by myself for daring to be happy and most of all I feel betrayed by my body for letting this happen... and sometimes I feel betrayed by my baby for leaving me this way.
And now I can add to that list that I feel betrayed by my family for expecting me to move on. I'm angry at S for making me leave the hospital that night before I was ready. I'm angry that he doesn't want to be sad anymore and therefor doesn't want to know that I'm sad. I'm angry that
I'm the only one who has trouble getting out and doing normal every day things... I'm angry that everyone else cried for a week and then moved on with their lives. I'm angry that people pretend not to know when I know damn well that they do. I'm angry at all the idiots who think that ignoring it or pretending that it didn't happen will make it go away. I'm not ready for it to go away. I want to acknowledge that I have a son who died. For me the pain is still real and raw and right there on the surface, ready to escape at any moment. I am not happy when people have babies. I am angry and bitter and jealous... and I hate myself for it. I hope that one day that will change. I hope that one day I will be able to see baby boys and think that they're cute, but for now I just feel like they're a slap in the face. Nature's cruel joke
against me.
I want to be myself again but I just don't think I'm ready yet. I miss my son too much.