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Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Big Questions

This experience has caused me to question things. I was raised Catholic, but stopped following that faith fairly early on. I have always considered myself spiritual, but not religious. When asked I would always reply that I did not subscribe to any organized religion. I have made too many mistakes to be religious. Religion is something I find fascinating, of course. I find faith beautiful and I do wish that it fit into my life. It is hard though, the "rules" so many rules. I don't like being told what to do, and I like even less being judged.
A belief I held for quite some time now was that, when we pass away, our soul leaves our body, and if you are a good person, you choose what you move along to. So, if I'm good, when I die, my soul will move along to something of my choosing...say a hawk. If you're bad though, the opposite happens. But good an bad is so subjective, isn't it?
With the loss of my daughter, the thought that her soul left and is just gone...I simply cannot accept that. That means that I will never see her again, she is just gone. And, if my belief was true, what does it mean for her anyway? She didn't have a life. She didn't have the opportunity to live a good life. I just can't see how it could be possible now.
But then, what is possible? Is my baby in limbo? Is she in Heaven? Is my baby in danger of ending up in a terrible place based on my own wrong doings and Steve's?
Some how, these things seem impossible for me to answer and impossible to understand. But I am not able to just accept that there is nothing after death and that my beautiful little girl is just gone forever. That can't be possible, it just can't. Why would I lose her to never, ever see her again?
I simply have to believe that I will see her again or I will become so irreparably broken that there will be no way for me to ever be happy, or even normal, ever again.
And if I will see her again, who's god is holding onto her and caring for her while she waits for me?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

May 29, 2010

It's been a month today, since I delivered my daughter. A month. I can't decide if this is a long time or an incredibly short time. Either way, I don't feel any better than I felt that day. My days and weeks are not getting any easier. My life is not carrying on as usual, it's not getting back into a routine. I'M not getting back into a routine.
I am still hurting. That same amount of pain as the very first day they told me my daughter was gone. The same amount of pain as the day I delivered my daughter, the day I chose her burial clothes, the day I said my last goodbye and watched them lower her casket into the ground. The pain is not better, it's not less, it's the same.
Today I wore a mask of normality while we went for lunch with my family. No one said anything about what day it was and I wondered if they knew. Did they remember what happened exactly a month ago? Probably not. It's not as much on everyone else's mind as it is on mine.
When we came home I sat here. I cleaned a bit, I watched some TV, I did some laundry. Finally, I asked Steve if we could go to the cemetery. I felt like that's where I needed to be. It's cold, it's snowy, and no one in their right mind would want to be out in this. But that's just it, isnt' it? I am not in my right mind. I am trapped in the mind of a mother who is without her child.
Of course Steve agreed. He always agrees to take me there. I went to the basement and found one of my old teddy bears. It has magnets in it's hands. The point is for it to hold onto a card. It wore a hat like a mailman. The bear always looked to me, like it was praying. I ripped the hat off the bear and replaced it with the hat that Alexandra was supposed to wear home from the hospital. I put the matching sleeper that she was supposed to wear home on the bear as well. It fit perfectly.
We went to the cemetery and I left it there for her. It was way too chilly for us to stay for a long time, but I had my few minutes to reflect and leave the bear. When it was time to go, I told my angel that I loved her and I said goodbye. Once we arrived home, I felt a little bit more peace than I had all day. I can't help but think that my little angel is trying to help me feel peace. She knows that her mommy is hurting for her and she is trying to help. This is what I have to believe or that tiny bit of peace will leave me and I will be left in that place that I have become all too familiar with this past month. Pain, hurt, sorrow and desperation.

Friday, May 28, 2010

May 28, 2010

I had a rough night last night. I did a lot of crying and really didn't sleep much. Yesterday we had made the final arrangements for Alexandra's headstone and it stung. We picked the most perfect headstone for her though, and I think she will look down on it and love it. I was hurt to find out that it will still be 6-8 weeks before it will be installed. So, mid July before we can do the balloon release. This makes me sad.
This morning I woke up and knew that today was the day to call about therapy. I was not ready to call about this before. It's too hard to make all these calls, to think about all of this stuff. Today was the day though. I have got to do something to help myself get better.
So, this afternoon I called. I called and the woman I talked to said the same thing pretty much everyone says..."I'm so sorry for your loss" I didn't reply. I don't anymore. What do you say to that? Thank you? Thank you for what? I don't know how well the silence goes over for people, but I am really just done with responding to the apologies. I made an appointment and I'm glad.
I also had to call about my 6 week post partum appointment. When we were in the hospital the doctor came in shortly before we left. She told me that I could go to the prenatal clinic for this appointment or I could go to my family doctor. I chose the prenatal clinic, so that's who I called today.
I want to first say that the day we found out that Alexandra had passed, when I called to cancel my appointment and I told the receptionist that I was headed to labor and delivery because the baby wasn't moving, the receptionist was cold and I was really taken aback by her response. She didn't wish us luck or tell us that she hoped everything was ok. She was just short, impolite and cold.
Today when I called, the same receptionist answered the phone. I explained that I needed to make an appointment, that it was my six week postpartum appointment and I needed to make it for two weeks from today. The receptionist cut me off half way through my explanation and abruptly told me that they don't do these appointments there. I explained that the doctor had told me that I could come in there and the receptionist cut me off again, rudely asking when I was told this. I told her that I was told this, by a doctor from that clinic, at the hospital, the day I delivered. The receptionist, still being rude told me that they don't see the baby...that was where I cut her off. I spit the words "MY baby was stillborn" and she immediately stopped talking. She sat there for a minute, and then told me to hold on. She left me on hold for quite some time and when she came back she basically said that she didn't know what I was talking about and that they would have to ask the doctor on Monday and call me back.
I wanted to scream at her, I wanted to curse her out, to call her a million horrible names. What is wrong with this woman? How can she be so rude and so cold to people? I don't care if I end up having an appointment in six weeks with this clinic, I will be making a complaint to SOMEONE about this woman.
Does she not know or care how hard that phone call was? And now I have to go through it again on Monday, and if they choose not to see me, I have to go through it AGAIN at another clinic. I am pissed off. I am hurt. This clinic was sub par throughout my entire pregnancy. I have gone to this clinic for 2 other pregnancies and they were much better (and they saw me for my postpartum check up both times) This time, they have been terrible. They were not there for me through my loss, I didn't see anyone until after I had delivered. A doctor I knew did not deliver my daughter. They passed me off to another clinic. If I ever have another baby, I will be going to a different clinic and anyone that I meet that is pregnant will be hearing NOT to go to the Calgary low risk maternity clinic. These people certainly don't seem to care about their patients if the worst happens, and that's simply not ok. And that receptionist needs to take a coarse on empathy, because she is apathetic and it's disgusting.
Today, I am hurt and I am angry.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bunny Bunny - Part 2

Bunny Bunny was given another name. His name was to be Po, like the main character from Kung Fu Panda. While he had been given this name, it didn't stick and everyone still called him Bunny Bunny, or just Bunny.
Bunny spent a lot of time outside in the summer. The kids would play in the yard and Bunny Bunny would stay out there with them. He never tried to escape from the yard, he just hopped around eating dandy lions and grass. If you were standing near him, and he liked you, he would hop around you in circles or hop on your feet and love bite your toes. He was a funny little guy and everyone that encountered him loved him.
My sister would pet the bunny every night, when they went camping, she would have me stay at the house to care for the bunny. She trusted that I would spend lots of time with the bunny, take him outside to play and give him as much love as he needed.
Bunny Bunny spent his indoor time in my oldest nephews room. He had his cage in there, with the door always open. He hopped around the room freely and slept in his cage whenever he wanted to.
Bunny Bunny wasn't a lonely pet. He had a big dog to play with. The dog was not a fan of little Bunny Bunny at first, but he grew to accept him quickly. Not long ago Bunny Bunny was joined by two kittens. He slept frequently with one of them. He always had someone to play with, whether it was a human or another pet, he was always close to someone that loved him.
My nephew was as stellar pet owner. He cleaned up after Bunny Bunny, he spent time with him, he pet him and loved him very much.
Because of the love my nephew has for his pet bunny, he was the one that found him on Monday morning. He went to wake up the bunny but he couldn't.
Bunny Bunny passed away peacefully in his sleep sometime in the early morning on Monday, May 24, 2010.
He was the sweetest little bunny that anyone could ever ask for. He was very much part of my sister's family and he will be very sorely missed.
I am so deeply hurt and saddened by what my nephew is going through and how he is hurting. I am also incredibly sad for my sister, who lost one of her babies.
I know that some people don't consider animals part of the family, we are not some of those people. I hope that everyone reading this will say a pray or send some positive energy out for my sister and her family and for Bunny Bunny, who now plays with my angel Alexandra and all the other angel babies.

Bunny Bunny - Part 1

I want to write about something other than Alexandra today. I'm going to write about another innocent soul that was loved and will be missed. This post, and the one to follow are lovingly dedicated to my oldest nephew, who is only 8, but his grief has mimicked mine in so many ways and I hope that people remembering Bunny Bunny, as people remember my angel Alexandra, will one day help him to feel just a little bit better.
About three years ago Steve was out taking our dog for a walk. We lived in an apartment at the time and there was a field along the side of it that we often would walk the dog around. On this day, Steve was out with the dog and I was inside with Dayne. When the phone rang and Steve's cell phone number showed up, I thought the side door had closed and he had gotten locked out. This wasn't the case this time. He told me to throw some shoes on myself and Dayne and come outside because there was a bunny in the field.
I will be honest and say that I was a little annoyed. We lived by a few very large fields, in an area that had a ton of jack rabbits, a bunny was not interesting or exciting to me. Still, Dayne and I headed outside to see this phenomenal rabbit. When we got outside, I saw that the bunny was not a jack rabbit. It was a cute little floppy eared pet rabbit. I went right up to the rabbit and he didn't run away. I fed him a leaf and still he sat there. I knew then that this was someones pet.
As we stood there, wondering what to do, a woman came out of her house and told us that someone had left the bunny there and moved. The cage was over by the dumpster. We decided then that we couldn't leave the bunny there. It would probably not make it through the night and it was getting later. So, with nothing but an empty diaper box, we chased the little bunny around the field trying to catch him. When we finally caught the little guy, who we dubbed Bunny Bunny,  we brought him into the apartment and Steve went to get his cage.
The bunny's cage had a thick, smelly coating of shavings and pee all over the bottom of it. It made me really sad, that's how the bunny lived. I begged Steve to keep the bunny. I was always begging Steve for animals that were in need of homes. It was a switch from a few years earlier when he was the one that would bring home stray animals.
 He said no to the bunny, he didn't think it would be fair to the bunny or to dog. The bunny would have to be kept away from the dog and that meant locked in a room. I sadly agreed. I fed him some snap pees and baby carrots as well as some granola and sat with him for a long, long time. I wanted him so badly. In the morning I emailed everyone I knew and I posted on any website that might have someone that lived close by. I wanted to find the bunny a good home.
I ended up calling my sister to ask her if she could drive the bunny somewhere if we needed to. When she found out about the bunny, she got really excited. She told me that she had always wanted a pet rabbit. So, while her husband slept, she came over to my house and we went and bought food, treats and toys for Bunny Bunny.
My brother in law is a good man. He truly understands my sister's heart. So, while I'm sure he was annoyed that day, when he got up and found that there was a new member to their family, it made my sister happy and that was what mattered. From that day on, the bunny had a life that any other bunny would be jealous of. Spoiled, loved, cared for.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Angel Babies And What Others Call Them

I am very active on a parenting website. I have found it to be extremely helpful and supportive, not only now, but through the past 4 or 5 years. My favorite thing to do on this site is debate. I have always loved to debate, and have had so much fun debating with other moms. We debate and talk about every day things and parenting issues and I have learned so much from this particular site.
Recently a debate came up that was close to my heart because of my recent loss. The debate was about the term "corpse" in regards to our angel babies. Women that have experienced a loss are rightfully upset about this term. The words "corpse" or "cadaver" are not words we want associated with our children, they can sting. They are just words descriptive of reality, but sometimes, when reality stings this much, it is best to use softer words.
This debate has been weighing on my mind. I did comment on my own feelings and I worried after that my feelings may have hurt someone. My feelings are a little bit different than those that other angel mommies had.
I don't think that my daughter is a corpse. She is not. She is an angel, my sweet little angel. Her spirit is not buried there in the ground, her soul is where ever I am, where ever Steve is, where ever Dayne is. She is everywhere that we are, whenever we need her to be. I came to think of this after that first night, when it was so windy and I barely slept. I worried all night. When my grandma read this blog and saw me talking about it, she sent me an email. She told me that when my Grand-dad had passed away she felt the same way. She said she felt better about things when she thought about him as his spirit, rather than his body.
When my Grandma told me that, it made something click. My daughter is buried in the cemetery, but SHE is not, her spirit is not there, the most important part of her is not there. The burial was our way of saying goodbye. The plot a familiar place to visit, to spend time with our daughter. Like when you get together with family at a familiar place. My daughter is not stuck in the cemetery, not living there, she's not even there most of the time. Most of the time, she's with me, she's here with me. That makes me feel better.
But still, I picture her playing with the other angel babies in the cemetery and still it bothers me to think that people may run across her grave. Perhaps it's that, that is her special place, and like any other mom, I don't want her special place ruined for her.
I wonder if I will get to tell her all of this one day. All of my thoughts about her, all of my dreams. For now, I will meet her at the cemetery and tell her everything that comes to my mind. Perhaps that way, when we meet again, she will be all caught up.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

May, 23, 2010

Today when we were at the cemetery I saw some things that really bothered me. First I saw a man walking his dog and smoking, he ashed and flicked the cigarette onto the ground. I was annoyed. I would like to bring my dog to the cemetery, he is a big part of my family and I would love for him to be there with us, but dogs are not allowed. I am a grieving mother, if I can respect the rules of the cemetery, why can't this guy just walking his dog?
Once we were there, I was sitting by Alexandra's grave and I watched as a father, his daughter and their dog ran across an entire row of graves. Why don't people teach their kids how to be respectful in a cemetery? This girl was about 10 years old, she was old enough to know better. Dayne is 4 and he knows not to walk across people's graves, you walk in between. How is that hard?
I was frustrated by the lack of respect. Alexandra's grave is a big mound of dirt still, when the ground there is flat and the grass has grown, will people be running across her grave, without any regard for our little angel buried there?
I tried to forget about the rude people of the world and spend a few quiet minutes there. Alexandra's pinwheel spun away and for a minute I felt peace.
When we left, I was glad to see a group of kids, it looked like a soccer team, they were there cleaning up the graves and headstones of the soldiers. What a kind thing to do. It was nice to see that there are some people that are respectful of the dead and the place where they lay.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Song

On the drive to the hospital on April 28, 2010, I was sad, hadn't slept well and I wasn't really thinking very much. I don't remember anything that we talked about, or anything that they talked about on the radio. I did think at one point, that I should really zone in and remember SOMETHING about this drive. I don't know why I thought of this, but while I tried to really zone in, the only thing I truly recall was the song playing on the radio. Not my favorite song, not one I knew well, but now, forever tainted and forever embedded in my memory.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

May 20, 2010

I did not sleep well. In fact, I barely slept all night. Dayne was up most of the night coughing, though he doesn't have a cold and I was up the rest of the night with an ear problem. I couldn't hear out of my right ear. It had been bothering me so I bought some ear drops and they made the problem, much, much worse. Not only could I not hear, but I could FEEL the drops moving around in my ear and I had a ton of pressure. I made plans to go to the doctor before I went to bed, but it didn't help my sleep any.
When it was time to get up, I half wanted to stay in bed and half wanted to get to the doctor so they could flush my ear out and make it feel better. I was aware that it was three weeks since I delivered my daughter, but I tried to keep it at the back of my mind while I ran around getting ready and getting Dayne ready for school.
Once Dayne was all dressed and eating, I went to feed his fish. Swimmy was a good fish, he was colorful and cute. Dayne was fond of him, but I think I was more fond of the fish. I swear he had a personality, he would come to the front of the tank to greet me whenever I was near. He was a sweet little fish. And he was floating at the bottom of the tank, in his little plant, dead.
I didn't tell Dayne. I left it alone and let him go to school. He didn't need to go to school sad. I left the poor, dead fish in the tank all day while Dayne was at school and a play date. I wanted him to know what happened, rather than just have his fish disappear. So, when he came home, I sat him down and explained what had happened. At first he asked if I forgot to feed the fish and I told him no, then he wanted to know why the fish wanted to be old and die and I told him that the fish didn't want to be old or to die. We settled on the theory that the fish went to swim around for Alexandra. Dayne was sad for a few minutes, but he seemed happy with his reasoning so I told him that I would take care of the fish.
While Dayne played in the living room, I cleaned out the fish tank and dealt with the disposal of the dead fish. I know it's just a fish, but why does Dayne have to have so much death around him lately? It's not fair to him, he's just a little guy.
While Dayne was at his play date this afternoon, I took some time for myself, to just be. I went to the store today and bought 2 pin wheels, one blue one, for Dayne and one purple one, for Dayne to put in the ground by Alexandra. He is excited to share a pin wheel with his sister and glad to have a matching pin wheel for himself. I feel lucky to have such a kind little boy, who seems to truly understand the feelings of others.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Yesterday was a hard day for me. I would like to plan the memorial for my daughter and Steve and I struggle with how open to make it. I felt that it would be most fair to make it an open "event." To allow anyone to come that wanted to. To have all of these people come together and remember my daughter. I got that picture in my mind, of all these different people, so many people, there at the grave, remembering Alexandra.
I'll admit that I was so stuck on that idea, so stuck on the thought that my angel would look down and see all these people gathered together for her, that I dismissed all other thoughts. Steve is grieving in his own way and he felt it would be best to invite only family. He encouraged me to have another balloon release for those not related to our family. Two separate balloon releases didn't work for me, I wanted one. I wanted my vision to come to fruition. It wasn't that I wanted what I wanted, I wasn't trying to be selfish. I can't explain it exactly, but all these people coming together on the same day, to celebrate Alexandra...This is the only celebration that we will ever have like this for our daughter. It feels important to me to have it be really big and really important, so Alexandra knows how many people she has touched. How many lives she's impacted, how many people pray for her and think about her.
The discussion of this day brought me to such a horrible place. Thinking of all that I was missing out on. I found myself sitting, for the first time, in my daughters room, crying. I looked around at all of her stuff and the tears fell. I thought about how I would never get to use these items, never get to put my baby in her swing. The swing looks so comfortable, I thought she would love it. I will never push her in the stroller, never watch her sleep in the bassinet. None of this stuff was going to happen for me and I let the feelings hit me, as hard as they could, really, for the first time. I realized that I had let the feelings come in little waves up until that point. I had allowed them to come out, only when they overflowed and there was not much else I could do to prevent them. But last night, I just let it hit me. And it hurt so much. And I cried so hard, for the loss of my daughter and the loss of all the dreams I had for her. And today I am still really sensitive, but I feel like, maybe there is a little bit of light. I'm not ready for it yet. I am still content to sit with my grief, in the dark, but maybe, down the road, there is some light for me.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

May 16, 2010

Today was my due date. I don't know if I would have had my little Alexandra today. I imagine I would have had her a few days ago. Instead I have an empty place in my heart.
We went to visit our angel today. We first stopped to get her a new toy. A pink bunny rabbit. When we arrived at the cemetery we were saddened to find the little pink pig we left earlier in the week, was gone. Steve searched around the cemetery for it. We  can't bring ourselves to believe that someone would steal it. He didn't find it, and there was no sign that any other toys had blown away from other graves, so we were really unsure about what could have gone on. As I sat there looking at the ground I realized all of the jack rabbit droppings. I thought about my sister's bunny at that time and how he carries around his little stuffed bunny and I realized that it is VERY possible the pig was stolen by a jack rabbit. I have chosen to think that Alexandra was ok with sharing that little piggy with the rabbits because she has her special teddy bear in her casket with her.
I had some time to myself at the cemetery while Steve played with Dayne, so I got to sit alone, quietly with my daughter. I wish that I could tell her everything I expected to tell her as she grew. How great her brother is and all the funny little things he says and does. How fantastic her daddy is and what a good man he is. How we have grown together over the years. I wish I could teach her everything I imagined teaching my daughter. I wish she was here with me right now.
We left the pink bunny with some clumps of dirt on it's legs so hopefully it won't be taken by a mischievous bunny rabbit. Of course, it's bigger, so it's probably safe anyway. Before we left I told Alexandra that I loved, I said goodbye and what seemed like too soon, I left.

A Poem

A friend of mine had someone write a poem for our little angel Alexandra. I wanted to post it here for everyone to read. We are very thankful to the author and my friend for the thoughts.

Our Lord lifted a little flutterby
A little angel near his heart
She had a gentle way about
A life about to start
So sweet, so quiet, so gentle
One would hardly know her near
Except the love that carried her
So close and oh so dear
Those special little angels
Our Lord lends for a moment’s gift
Are there to just allow a thought
Of what our lives would miss
A temp in time to share a gift
Of life’s stir within to share
The loving touch a little angel brings
Loves gentle whisper near
At a tender time in loves embrace
At the beginning of lives to share
This little gift was gently shared
To bring your lives so closer near
This little angel was only loaned
By our Lord to share your love
To share your lives together close
An eternal bond from up above
She was never meant to live on Earth
As flutterbys seldom are
She was sent to give your lives a kiss
That it’s time for serious love
A family you have begun
A family you are now
Finish the job Alexandra says
And lets get on with making love
Let not your tears for flutterbys
Get the better of your heart
For they are only loaned to us
To give our lives a serious start
Tiny angels passing near
At a moment in a life
To shine upon and warm the hearts
As a family begins its life
You’ve had a gift, a flutterby
A tiny angel passing near
Don’t waste this spark of an angel’s dust
On endless falling tears
For flying near a flutterby
Has passed is oh so clear
Your little angel visited
Now flown home to her Lord near

By Roger Borchert
In thoughts of a little flutterby
Thank you Alexandra you have captured those hearts you visited during your journey

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I Want To Know Why

I just want to know why I have to visit my daughter in the cemetery. Why is my quality time with her sitting there by her grave, staring at a mound of dirt. Why don't I get to hold her and look into her eyes? I never got to see her eyes. Why don't I get to watch her grow up, to see her laugh, to take care of skinned knees and broken hearts? Why? Why do I have to miss out on her first word, her first steps, her first birthday...her first everything.
It's not fair that I don't get my daughter. It's not fair and I don't understand why this happened to us. I wake up every day and the thought flutters through my mind that maybe it was all one bad dream...but it's not. This nightmare is my reality and I don't understand why.
I can't help but ask what we did to deserve this. Why has our karma rewarded us in such a horrible way? We are not bad people. We don't deserve this, we just don't.
I had hopes and dreams for my daughter.

Friday, May 14, 2010

May 13, 2010

It was two weeks ago that I had delivered my daughter. I wonder when I will stop counting the weeks...when I start count thing the months? My day was fairly full, to keep myself busy. I got up and got Dayne breakfast, I did some tidying and, of course, checked my email. We went to watch my nephew swim, he loves to swim, so seeing him so happy was nice. We went for dinner with my sister and Dayne had soccer.
He played better. He ran after the ball and stayed involved most of the game. He seems to be getting less intimidated by the kids, but still stops short of getting the ball if there are other kids running towards it at the same time. I imagine he'll do well after a few games. It's really cute to watch him play.
The mother of a little boy on Dayne's team with a newborn baby girl was there and sat right behind me, playing with her baby. The noises the little girl made and when she cried really stung. Steve had to work, so I had no distraction to take my mind off the noise and I found it very hard. I wanted to get up and go somewhere else, but I couldn't just leave Dayne, so I sat there. Next game, I'm sitting on the other side of the field from this woman. I do hope she doesn't think I'm rude, I wonder how other people handle these things.
Right before we left for soccer I got some good news about Alexandra's memorial marker. I had emailed some other places, for more prices and I found a wonderful place. The man was kind and polite when he emailed me back, he asked a few questions and even went to the cemetery where Alexandra is, to see exactly what we wanted. He made us a first draft of his idea for the headstone and it looks really nice. I am extremely impressed with this company and this man that is helping us. He also gave us an estimate that will save us, pretty close to half of what the other place was charging, so we are very happy. Now we just need to find a time when Steve isn't working to go there and talk with them. I am so happy that my angel is going to get her headstone sooner.
I went the whole day thinking that it was the 15th and preparing myself for how I would feel on my due date. I even looked right at the date when I checked Dayne's soccer schedule and still it didn't click. When I mentioned it to Steve he commented that there was no way it was already the 15th, so I looked and realized, I had been preparing all day for the wrong day.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May 11, 2010

I woke up before everyone else in the house, as usual. I decided to stay in bed until Dayne woke up. Once he was awake, I got him up and ready for school. Luckily, Steve didn't have to work, so he took Dayne to school and he was to be picked up by my sister for a play date.
While Steve took Dayne to school I had a nice quiet shower and got dressed and shortly after Steve got back home we headed to the cemetery. We visited with Alexandra and brought her some flowers. It was nice to be able to be there with her. Once we were done visiting with Alexandra, we headed over to my Grand-dad's grave. Steve and I sat with him for a long time, cleaning his headstone and trimming the grass around it. We were both silent throughout and the feeling there was so peaceful. I came back home feeling better than I had on Monday.
At home Steve and I sat with each other and talked. I explained to him this feeling that I have that I am the only one stuck in this horrible place. It feels like everyone else is moving forward without me and I don't understand why. I don't understand why everyone else is moving on and I don't understand why I am stuck...Neither of these things feels right to me, but I don't know how to make myself feel better about this stuff. When we were done talking and I was sufficiently cried out, we just sat together, it was a moment that I wish I had more of.
Quickly though, our day had to continue. While Steve got ready, I emailed a place about a headstone for Alexandra. We have an idea about what we want and I wanted a rough estimate of how much it would cost. When I received an email back I was quite devastated. When a family loses a baby, most funeral homes will waive their fees. This means we didn't have to pay for the director or the room for the viewing, etc. This really does help, I have no idea how much these fees are, but we were very grateful. Our bill from the funeral home, however, was still substantial. The casket, flowers, celebrant and burial plot were within our expectations, the headstone however, was not.
I have to say, I find it deplorable that these places expect grieving families to pay so much money to have a headstone. When I first saw the children's area of the cemetery I was sad for the babies without headstones. Steve told me it was because they are too expensive, that most families can't afford them. I know that's true, but I didn't realize just HOW expensive they were. Surely there is something these places could do for families that have lost a child. We weren't saving money for something like this, we were spending money on baby items. You don't expect something like this to happen. It's terrible and I think that these places could help families that really want a headstone for their child but can't afford these prices that I imagine are quite inflated.
I suppose I will stop ranting about that just makes me really angry.
After the horrible news about the headstone, I was happy to get out of the house and get my mind on something else. Dayne had soccer and I was excited to see how he would like his first game. He didn't do overly well...he was really tired, he was overwhelmed by all the kids, but he still had fun. He said he'd like to go back again, so that's good news, since he has soccer twice a week for 2 months! It's nice to do something fun for Dayne, since he's been surrounded by sadness lately. I did find it a little bit hard, there are a lot of pregnant women there that are probably due any day I would be. My due date was in two days. I could have a new baby right now...I imagine, if things had gone the way they should have, I would have a baby right now. There is also a child on Dayne's team who has a newborn baby sister. I don't mean to be antisocial, but I stayed far away from that woman.
I hope it gets easier for me in time, but right now, everything is still so fresh and I'm still on the edge of tears most of the time. I don't want to look crazy, sitting there crying while my son plays soccer.

Monday, May 10, 2010

May 10, 2010

This day is not working out the way I had planned. I told myself it would be a better day today. Steve woke me up getting ready for work, right as I was having a good sleep. He woke up Dayne as well. So, I got up and got Dayne something to eat.
I don't really know what I was doing all morning, it was a whole lot of nothing, that's for sure. We had plans to go to Dayne's school for a tour at 6:30, but nothing before that. I planned to go to the cemetery after the tour and visit with Alexandra. I would go every day if I could.
I did the laundry and cleaned up a bit, to keep myself busy. It's hard to not call Steve all the time while he's working. I feel very lonely these days. I don't want to visit with people, but I don't want to be here all alone either. I suppose I am not technically alone, Dayne is here and we play, but it's not the kind of company I am missing.
I emailed the RESP guy. I had called and let him know that we wanted to open an RESP for our daughter...he had called and left a message to set up an appointment and I had to tell him that our daughter would not be needing an education fund because she will never get to go to school. She will never get to experience any of that.
Sending that email was easier for me than having to call about my maternity leave. I had to actually talk to someone then, and it was almost impossible to stay composed.
At about 3:30 Steve called. He told me that he would be working later than he thought and wouldn't be home in time to go on the tour. Well, that was that I guess. We didn't need to go to the tour, but we both thought it would be good. I wasn't going to go alone, I didn't want to. Steve told me that he wouldn't make it home in time to go to the cemetery before Dayne's bedtime either. I was looking forward to going and it stung that I wouldn't be able to visit my angel today.
Worse was that Steve told me that it would be another long day nonchalant, as he said it. Doesn't he know that I need him here with me? I know he has to work...It's not fair to be so upset about it, but I can't help it. Why am I getting so clingy?
The thought also occurred to me that tomorrow I would have to get Dayne to school. I don't want to go to his school. I don't want to see parents and kids...I don't want to see anyone. I don't want to be around people...especially people that know what happened...and everyone knows. And the trigger for today...After I drop Dayne off, I will have to take the bus home. I will have to walk from the bus stop to my house. The last time I did this was the Thursday before Alexandra passed away. The thought of taking that walk again...I don't want to do it. I don't want to have that memory running through my head. I don't want to look ridiculous crying from the bus stop all the way home. I don't want to. They hurt too much, the memories.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day...

When Dayne woke up this morning I had no interest in getting up. I commented to him that Mommy shouldn't have to get up today, so he decided to cuddle with me in bed for a while instead. My remark caused Steve to remember what today was and he told me to stay in bed, he would go pick up breakfast from where ever I wanted. I didn't know...I asked Dayne what he wanted and he asked for pancakes and chocolate milk from McDonald' McDonald's it was.
When Steve asked me what I wanted I thought about the burritos...a memory came to the surface of my step-dad and I eating breakfast at McDonald's before Christmas. I was craving the burritos. The memory was so vivid. I recalled where we sat, what we talked about, even what I had read in the paper. The memory quickly became a trigger and I began to cry...over burritos from McDonald's.
I never realize what will trigger me before it happens. It's so quick and it's so off the wall. The things I would expect to cause me pain and upset get more of a numb reaction and random things spark a memory that sends me over the edge. I wonder if I try to numb any reaction I have, will that stop the tears from coming at any odd time? But then...will I look like a robot? It's probably not healthy...but when will these outbursts stop?
Steve's face...when the thought of breakfast burritos sent me right over the edge, it was a face of confusion and hurt for me at the same time. He didn't understand WHY I was so upset about something to silly, but he didn't seem to need to.
The thought that today I am especially sensitive is causing me to think I should not go out and "celebrate" Mother's Day with my family. I would much rather get a nice little toy and stop by the cemetery. I imagine that there will be lots of moms there today though, so the decision about when to go is floating around my mind. Is it best to go later in the evening...I don't know anything about cemetery etiquette...I wish I never had to learn about it.
Picking this up where I started this morning...I decided to go and have coffee with my family. It was a reasonably nice escape, though it was still difficult. We came back home to relax and my head began to throb. My stomach hurts as well, though I know I'm not coming down with anything...I'm not getting sick, I imagine it's just stress...and possibly a lack of sleep.
We've ordered out for dinner. Burgers and fries from Swiss Chalet...and blueberry pie for dessert. Normally I'd be excited, but I don't really feel hungry...Eating for show, I think. After dinner we're going to go see Alexandra. I'm going to leave a little pink pig at her was a gift and I think she will like it there.
I'm hurting today, because on Mother's Day, my belly is empty and so are my arms.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

From Dayne

To A Stillborn Sister

How do you love a person
Who never got to be,
Or try again to see a face
You never got to see?

How do you mourn the death of one
Who never got to live,
When there's nothing to feel good about
And nothing to forgive?

I love you, little sister.
You're a person of the wind,
Free to be the memory
Of all that might have been.

I love you, little sister,
My companion of the night,
Wandering through my lonely hours,
Beautiful and bright.

What does it mean to die before
You ever can be born,
To live the lovely night of life
And never see the dawn?

Ah! My little sister,
You lived like anyone!
Life's a burst of joy and pain,
And then, like yours, it's done.

I love you, little sister,
Just as if you'd lived for years.
No more, no less, I think of you,
The angel of my tears.

My Random Thoughts

I keep having these thoughts that I want to remember, so I'm going to start posting them now.
Alexandra's name - When we found out we were having a girl, the name debate was on. I loved the name Anneliese...I don't know why, I just love it. I have a lot of strange names that I love and Steve normally doesn't. As long as I can remember, Steve has always said, if he had a daughter, he wanted her to be named Alexandra. It's a beautiful name, but I wasn't willing to give up Anneliese!
After a little while of not really talking about it, I had a moment where the thought crossed my mind that, Steve loves this name, he has loved the name and wanted the name for his daughter forever, was I THAT attached to Anneliese? I really wasn't. So, I told Steve that we would use the name Alexandra under one condition. When she was little and couldn't choose her own nickname, if anyone wanted to shorten her name, they would be told to call her Lexi, NOT Alex. He agreed and that was that.
Her middle names are the most important to me. Elizabeth Monique. Elizabeth is Steve's grandmother and Monique is my grandmother. It was important to me to have my Grandma's name in my daughter's name. She has been an important part of my life and not only did I want to honor that, but I also thought this was a great tradition to start.
When I asked my Grandma if we could use her name, she was truly touched. I can't be sure, but I believe she may have cried a little bit. It made me happy to know that it meant so much to her. One thing that has been very difficult for me is knowing that my grandma won't have this living honor. Alexandra still has the name, we made it a priority to make sure that her middle names were on everything, so that people would know, because it's important. But it still hurts.

I also wanted to comment on my disbelief that I would have a daughter. I didn't believe it. I didn't think I could even have baby girls. When we found out, the ultrasound technician was as sure as she could be. She told us that the baby had her legs wide open and it wasn't that she couldn't see boy parts, the baby had girl parts. I was skeptical through my entire pregnancy. I told Steve we should pick a boy name still because I wouldn't be surprised if the baby came out a boy. I felt this way until the last week. At my last appointment I asked what the chances were that the ultrasound was wrong and the doctor said it was very low. At that time, my thoughts about the baby coming out a boy left me...and when I delivered my daughter, I never even thought to ask or double check...I just knew. If I ever have a child again, I believe it will be a boy. I would not have been upset about having a boy, I would not be upset if I had a boy in the future, but as sad as it is, I believe I will never have a living daughter. Perhaps I am not meant to raise a daughter.

I don't know if we will ever have a another child. Steve and I agree that neither of us could live through something like this again. The doctor's say it's almost impossible, but we just aren't sure. We discussed this because I had planned on getting a tubal after having this baby. When we found out she was gone I told Steve that I couldn't do it. I wanted to wait and he agreed that this was the best idea. We're giving ourselves time to make this decision. I don't want to regret anything and neither does Steve. We have a lot to work through before we can decide if we will ever try again, but right now, we have set aside making a decision either way, until we are both done healing.

Friday, May 7, 2010

What Makes A Mother

I thought of you and closed my eyes.
And prayed to God today.
I asked what makes a mother and
I know I heard him say,
A mother has a baby.
This we know is true.
But God, can you be a mother
when your baby's not with you?

Yes, you can, He replied
with confidence in His voice.
I give many women babies.
When they leave is not their choice.
Some I send for a lifetime
and others for a day.
And some I send to feel your womb
but there's no need to stay.

I just don't understand this. God,
I want my baby here.
He took a breath and cleared His throat
and then I saw a tear.

I wish I could show you
what your child is doing today.
If you could see your child smile
with other children and say,

"We go to earth to learn our lessons
of life and love and fear.
My Mommy loved me, Oh so much,
I got to come straight here.

I feel so lucky to have a Mom
who had so much love for me,
I learned my lesson very quickly.
My Mommy set me free.

I miss my Mommy, Oh so much,
but I visit her each day.
When she goes to sleep,
on her pillow's where I lay.

I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek
and whisper in her ear,
'Mommy don't be sad today,
I'm your baby and I'm here.'"

So you see, my dear sweet one,
your children are okay.
Your babies are here in MY home
and this is where they'll stay.

They'll wait for you with ME
until your lesson is through.
And on the day that you come home,
they'll be at the gates for you.

So now you see what makes a Mother—
It's the feeling in your heart.
It's the love you had so much of,
right from the very start.

Though some on earth may not realize you are a Mother,
until their time is done.
They'll be up here with ME one day,
and know you're the best one.

This was posted on a website I frequent. It speaks clearly of how I feel. I don't know who wrote it, but I wanted to post it...I hope it's ok...I think that other people should read this too.

May 7, 2010

Steve went back to work today. I have a bit of separation anxiety, I was sad that he had to go. We can't go out because of Dayne's pink eye, so I am stuck here, all alone with Dayne, the dog...and my thoughts. These last few days have been really hard for me. The things I used to do when I was trying to kill time or take my mind off of things are all related to children and I don't want to see other people's babies or hear about their pregnancies. I feel horrible about not wanting to hear these things. I feel like a horrible friend for not wanting to hear about babies just born or the latest pregnancy stuff. I want to be there for my friends, but it's too hard.
I plan to go visit Alexandra, once Steve is done work. I also plan to make dinner tonight...a real dinner, not the easy to make, just throw in the oven stuff that I've been making since we got home from the hospital. Yesterday I filled my time with household chores, I did the laundry and put it all away, I cleaned the kitchen and living room, I did the dishes, I puttered around, putting things away that needed to be put away. It was mindless and I needed it. I finished a book that my Uncle sent me. I had brought it to the hospital with me but really didn't read too much of it there. It has helped kill some time since then though.
I received something in the mail today. The dog started barking, his mailman bark. He hates the mailman. The neighbors dog hates him too. I have never seen my dog respond to anyone in the way he does to the poor mailman. He goes absolutely crazy, I have to wonder what he would do if he was allowed out around the time the mail came.
When the doorbell rang, the dog's bark became more urgent. I wondered why the mailman was ringing the doorbell...he had a package for me to sign for. I was curious, I wasn't expecting anything. I brought the box inside, with no incident between the dog and the mailman. And opened it up. It was from a friend I had met online. We met on a debate board on a parenting website. She was funny and outspoken and we became quick friends. She had sent me a bracelet with Alexandra's name and birth date, and the words "Always & Forever" engraved on it. I was so touched and immediately began to cry. I have something to wear now, every day, to keep Alexandra closer to me.
I don't know if she's reading this, but if she is...Thank You. You made a difficult day, just slightly better, no easy task.
I should add that I have received flowers, fruit and cards from so many people. Anytime the doorbell rings or I get an envelope in the mail and it's something from a well-wisher, my heart is touched. I am saddened that I am receiving these things, but it brings a ray of sunlight into my sadness. It's nice to know that I'm not alone, that there are people close to me that care and are thinking of us. That my angel is not forgotten, people are praying for her and thinking of her, that is so important to me.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

May 6, 2010

It's been a week since I delivered an angel. At this time last Thursday I was holding my baby, crying.
It will take an emergency to get me out of my house today. I can feel the tears, just waiting to over flow. I don't want to see people or talk to people. I just want to be left alone today. To hold Dayne and be held by Steve. To cuddle with my dog.
I don't want to share my grief today, I don't want to hide it or mask it for anyone, I just want to be.
It isn't even noon yet and I already feel like it's been a long day. I want to sleep.
Today is the Mother's Day Tea at Dayne's school. I had already let them know he wouldn't be coming to school today. I couldn't possibly handle that. The pink eye makes me feel a lot better about the whole thing. I don't have the guilt because Dayne couldn't go to school today anyway. I wonder if the guilt will ever go away. I feel guilty about a lot of things. About not being totally present for Dayne right now, about Alexandra, about inflicting my pain onto other people.
My guilt over my loss is something I try very hard to suppress. Everyone keeps telling me it's not my fault that we lost Alexandra. It's easy for everyone to say that, but my feelings are not the same. I am glad to have a place to go and get these feelings out without hearing someone tell me that it's not my fault...I've already heard that, and it really doesn't help me to work through these feelings, just makes me feel like I can't express them.
Getting my feelings out in this blog has been helpful so far. I feel like I have to go back and add to the posts, I remember things that happened that I didn't add and don't want to forget. I will be adding those memories as I have them.
I plan to continue to write too, as long as I long as I need to. I have had people tell me that they don't know how I could possibly be writing at such a hard time. They couldn't do it...they wouldn't be able to write if they were going through what we are going through. I probably would have thought the same thing a few weeks ago. Nobody knows how they will cope with such a loss...I wish I never had to find out how I would cope with this.

May 5, 2010

Things are getting harder. I hated all the errands and all the running around we had to do, I thought I wanted some time to sit and stare and not be out. Now, I have nothing to do for Alexandra and it hurts...a lot.
I got up and got Dayne breakfast and quickly crawled back into bed. I'd been spending a lot of my time at home in bed, I was neglecting things. My intention was to stay in bed, to shower late, and to wear my sweats all day. Dayne had woken up with a goopy eye though, so my plans for the day didn't pan out. I did shower late and I did stay in bed for several hours, reading to Dayne and cuddling. His eye got worse as the morning went on though, so by early afternoon it was obvious to us that he had to go to the doctor.
Of course, it would be our luck that after everything we've been through, Dayne gets pink eye...really horrible pink eye. We had to fight with him for hours to get the drops in. His eye was swollen and when he would close it tightly we couldn't get it open. It was a long fight and I felt like I was pushed so far by sadness for Dayne and frustration that I had to shut down. When Steve took a break from the fight to step outside with the dog, I sat down and leaned forward, laying very close to Dayne. I asked him about the show on TV and as he looked and began to talk I put the drop in his eye. He was mad that I had tricked him, but seemed relieved. His struggle with the drops was purely fear, he wants the drops in, but he's scared. This fight was exhausting and it hurt my heart.
Throughout the day I felt withdrawn, deeply sad. I wondered when the pain would ease. When it would stop just enough that I could breath...Would that ever happen?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

May 4, 2010

A week had gone by since we found out about our baby. I had not slept well and I got up fairly early, before Dayne and Steve...even before the dog. I took a long shower. It was nice to have the time to myself. It seemed so odd to me that, now that everything was done for Alexandra, we were just supposed to carry on as if life was back to normal. How could anything ever be normal again?
After my alone time I got Dayne up. He had school today and had a play date after school with his cousin. I got him dressed and sat with him while he ate his breakfast. We chatted about what he would be doing and what he would play at his Auntie's house. He was in a good mood and it took my mind off my worry about Alexandra's rosary...if only for a few minutes.
My sister picked Dayne up. Neither Steve, nor I, wanted to take him to school. Everyone at the school knew what had happened and we didn't want to deal with the faces and the apologies and condolences. We are both very grateful for all the thoughts and prayers, and for everyone that has shared their condolences, we truly are, but after a while, you just want people to keep the sad thoughts to themselves. Of course, I doubt people know that, by just trying to say something kind, they trigger the inner sadness that we are working hard to keep out of the every day things that have to get done.
Once Dayne was gone, I sat in bed for a little while. I asked Steve if we could go to Alexandra's grave and check on the rosary and, of course, he said yes. So, once we were both all ready to go, we headed over to the cemetery. When we arrived I was relieved to find the rosary, right on top of the grave, where it should be. Steve used some clumps of hard dirt to hold it down...not the most beautiful fix, but it would keep the thoughts of the wind taking our angels rosary out of our minds.
We stood at the grave for a few moments. Silent. I cried. I'm not sure if Steve cried, though I'm sure he probably did. When we left I wondered if I should say goodbye. I didn't say it out loud, but I thought the word, along with "I love you" and I imagined that Alexandra could hear it, even if it wasn't spoken.
We had to get groceries...Nothing seems appetizing to me. I eat, only because I know I have to eat. I am a person that loved food and I loved to eat, but there was no joy in tasting new things, or eating my old favorites. I wonder if I will ever enjoy eating or the taste of food again.
Once the grocery shopping was finished we headed home and watched the snow fall. Snow in May. My Grandma said Mother Nature was crying.
When Dayne came home we ate supper and Steve played Ninja Turtles on the Wii with Dayne until bed time.
I went to bed early again. I slept for a long time. I woke up at the usual, 1:30, but didn't stay awake for too long. I know I dreamed, but they escaped my memory as I woke up.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May 3, 2010

I set the alarm three hours before we had to leave. I was awake, but waited until it went off to crawl out of bed. The morning went by in a bit of a blur. I showered, put on sweats and got Dayne some breakfast. I woke up Steve and did my hair. I curled my hair. I rarely do anything with my hair and when I do, it's usually just running a flat iron through it, but it was important to me to look nice for my last meeting with Alexandra.
I took an hour to put ringlets, lots and lots of ringlets. I got dressed in the clothes I had bought specifically for this day...I will never wear them again. Dayne told me I looked beautiful, and Steve made me happy to think that perhaps Alexandra was thinking the same thing.
I dressed Dayne, he wore a a white dress shirt with a grey tie and a black sweater over it...and of course, his black dress pants and some black dress boots. He complained that his baby sister wouldn't be able to see his whole tie, and I had to explain that it was important for him to wear black.
We had to go and pick up Steve's suit and get the flowers for the grave. Steve changed in the suit store and walked out...he looked handsome. It was hard for me to think that, considering why he was dressed up.
We had given ourselves way too much time. We had to drive around for a while before we could go to the funeral home. Steve decided we'd drive by the burial site...I was opposed, but said sure. I'm really glad he thought of that. The sight of the burial site, with the equipment to lower the casket and the mound of was a lot to take in and I broke down. I am glad that I knew what I was heading for when the time came to bring Alexandra there, I was more prepared.
What I wasn't prepared for was seeing Alexandra. She had make-up on. I knew it was to make her look more like she was sleeping, but it wasn't what I remembered from the hospital and it was difficult to have such a harsh reality handed to me like that. I held her and she felt different, she was wrapped under her clothes and blanket, in towels. When I touched her face she was so cold and her skin was hard, like she was made of porcelain. It wasn't what I had expected at all. But she was still my angel and she was still beautiful and her little nose was still perfect. Her hair, under her hat was dry and a little if she was sleeping and moving her head around. I touched her hair a lot.
When we found out the news about Alexandra, a lot of people told us about an organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. They are professional photographers that go to the hospital when this sort of thing happens, and take pictures. They touch them up, make them black and white and put them on a CD for you to print out whenever you are ready. They do this all free of charge. It's a very wonderful foundation. The day that Alexandra was born, there was a snow storm and the photographer was not able to make it to the hospital. We had asked if they would be willing to send someone to the funeral home and they were so kind, they sent a photographer to the funeral home and to the burial site.
The photographer's name was Mason and he took a lot of wonderful pictures. He was very kind and I am so happy that we will have some pictures that are appropriate to show family and friends, should they ask.
Once the pictures at the funeral home were finished, we were allowed some more time with Alexandra. Saying goodbye was, once again, very hard. We had to leave the funeral home and head to the cemetery. The celebrant did a wonderful job, her words were heartfelt and touching. We released balloons for Alexandra, this was Dayne's favorite part, he asked questions about where they were going, it didn't look to him like they were going to make it to heaven, so his baby sister could have them.
After the balloons there was a prayer and we put the roses we had on the casket. Steve and I both placed a white rose and Dayne placed a pink rose. They lowered the casket and we were told to take some time to say goodbye. We thanked everyone at that time and our photographer thanked us for allowing him to be present. I had felt so badly for making him witness our grief, but he seemed so grateful. I found it touching.
After we finished our goodbyes to Alexandra, we headed home. I didn't leave the house for the rest of the day. It was a difficult day. Steve had to run some errands, and I felt badly not going, but I just couldn't, I had to take some time. Dayne and I hung out, we played and watched TV. I find myself more grateful for his million questions and stories and for his laughter than I think I have ever been. I don't think he will ever understand the role that he is playing in keeping us strong. He is such a wonderful and sweet little guy.
That night I fell asleep quickly, and slept for a shorter amount of time than usual. I had started dreaming. I remember one dream vividly. A little boy, about 6 years old, was sitting at the head of Alexandra's grave, he was helping her. I don't know who that little boy was but I felt like he was there to help my daughter.
I woke up shortly before 1am to the sound of the wind. It was blowing in really strong gusts. The wind has always scared me, so I first checked the weather network to be sure there wasn't any kind of weather warnings. There was nothing, so I tried to go back to sleep, as I drifted off a thought crossed my mind. The rosary on Alexandra's grave...had it blown away? The rest of the night, the little bit that I slept was haunted by dreams of Alexandra in the cold, windy cemetery, with her rosary blowing away from her grave. I would have felt a lot better if her first night there was calm and warm.

Monday, May 3, 2010

May 2, 2010

I had set the alarm for 7:30, just in case, for some odd reason, I had actually been sleeping. I wanted lots of time to prepare myself for when the celebrant came. For some reason I thought if I prepared myself and cried before she arrived, I would be able to stay composed while she was here.
I got up and got myself ready and got Dayne some breakfast. I woke Steve up and finished getting ready while he was in the shower. We locked the dog up just in time for the celebrant arrived. She asked us a lot of questions about our hopes and dreams for Alexandra, about where her name came from, who her family was, what we liked to do, etc. It was hard, but I kept myself together.
She asked about Alexandra's room and we invited her to take a look. I had closed the door when we arrived home on Tuesday and I had not gone in there since. I hadn't planned to go in there any time soon, but I wanted the celebrant to see how great her room was. How she had pink and brown lady bugs as decorations and a dresser full of cute little dresses. How she wasn't just a baby, she was loved and wanted and we were ready for her.
I stepped into the room and as she was asking me questions I started to look around...That bassinet...That perfect, pink and brown bassinet. The crib, already made with it's little lady bug comforter, the swing, stroller, carseat, boppy and her closet full of little coats. It all became too much and my plan to stay composed failed me. I broke down.
It's so embarrassing to me, to cry in front of other people. They give you that look...that pity look...I hate that look. And with the look comes the tone, that pathetic, pitiful tone, and of course, then comes the apology "I'm so, so sorry" Yeah, me too.
The celebrant was really great, she truly was. She was thoughtful and kind and very relatable. I liked her a lot and I was glad that she was the one that would be speaking at the burial. I knew she would do a great job.
After she left, I just wanted to crawl back in to bed...and I tried to. But too soon we had to run out. Luckily it was a quick errand. We found a sweater for Dayne at the first store we went into. I enjoy dressing Dayne up. I like it when he looks sharp, and he likes to dress up...or maybe he knows it makes me happy when he dresses up.
Steve had found his suit, unfortunately we had to pick it up in the morning before the burial, just another thing to rush around and do.
After we came home we all just spent time together. We talked to Dayne about what would happen the next day and he had a bath and all cuddled. It should have been a nice, happy night, but there was a cloud over it.

May 1, 2010

Our neighbor was having a garage sale. Steve went over pretty early, right when they started. I took my time getting ready, knowing we had a lot to do, but not wanting to. I hadn't slept much again. I was still really sore and still, sleep wasn't coming to me. When I did sleep, it started as a dark sleep, no dreams, and not really restful, the sleep of someone who is purely exhausted. It always ended around 1:30am and from that point on I would doze in and out thinking about things and watching TV to keep my mind numb.
After checking the garage sale and allowing my son to get all the toys he wanted, we had to start our day. We went to the mall to find our clothes for the funeral. I was afraid that it would be too hard. I am fairly certain I looked an absolute mess, but I didn't care. I checked a few stores for Dayne's outfit and came up empty handed. It was the wrong time of year for dress shirts and ties. So, I gave up for the moment and had Steve take Dayne to Tip Top with him while I hunted for my own outift.
I only went to two stores before finding what I would wear. A black peasant style skirt that fell all the way to the floor with a black top that was really flowy. The shirt had no sleeves so I got one of those wraps with the sleeves. It was frumpy, which was perfect.
Steve and Dayne had both come up with nothing, so we headed to wal-mart to buy Dayne's soccer socks. An every day errand, crammed in with the worst errands we had ever run...It was so strange. While we were at wal-mart we lucked across some black dress pants for Dayne.
I was so tired by this point that I welcomed the ride home and my bed when we arrived. We sat in bed and watched Spiderman. Steve and Dayne both fell asleep half way through it, I did not. I still had a lot of stuff to do.
I had to tidy the house. We had the celebrant coming over in the morning to talk about the burial and I didn't want her to arrive at a messy house. I also had to dye my hair. I had gotten my hair done at the beginning of August, it was a birthday present from Steve. I found out in September that I was pregnant, so I hadn't dyed my hair since...I wanted to look pretty...I wanted Alexandra to look down on her Mama and think that she looked beautiful...It might seem dumb to some people, but it was important to me.
When my hair was dyed and my house was clean I was finally able to lay down. Sleep came the way it had been and I knew that Sunday held more of the same errands.
I woke up at my familiar time and got up and sat in the rocking chair that Steve had brought up for the baby, and I cried.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

April 30, 2010

"If I could wish on a shooting star, I would wish that I could fly, so I could fly into the sky and visit my baby sister."

I woke up early. Sleep doesn't come easily these days. I sat in bed, unthinkingly checking my email. I had decided to send my family an email, letting them know what was going on. Most already knew, but it seemed important that I let them know myself. This was the bit of down time we would have for the day. It was going to be a busy day. There would be no time to sit and stare at the wall, no time to drown in self pity.
Before I was ready, it was time to get up and shower. We had to drop Dayne off at my sister's house, once again. We had to pick the clothes our daughter would be buried in, to choose her burial site and meet with the funeral home. These arrangements that couldn't wait...It would be another difficult day.
After dropping off Dayne we headed to the mall. We found the outfit in the first store we went in. It was a beautiful little white dress. It was simple, but elegant with a crinoline. We chose an equally simple and elegant white cardigan to go over the dress. To match, we went with white, frilly socks and a white sunhat. When we found it, we knew that was it and we both cried a little bit. I'm sure it looked strange to those around us, but we were lost in our own moment at that time. The shoes we chose were baptismal shoes. White with ribbon that laced up and little crosses on top. Steve chose them.
Once the outfit was chosen we went and picked out the blanket. When I was pregnant my sister in law had bought the baby a blanket. It matched the nursery, was pink and brown and so soft and warm. We took that blanket to the hospital with us, for pictures and to wrap the baby because I wanted her to use her blanket. I couldn't bare to part with that blanket, but we bought a matching one for her to be buried in, along with a pink and brown teddy bear.
The last thing was the pendant. Steve wanted her to have a pendant and I agreed, it was a sweet idea. When we finally found one, it seemed meant to be. It was identical to a pendant my sister had bought our son, only smaller. It was perfect and we bought it.
We also chose some pictures to put in the casket, so she would have us with her always.
We made it to the cemetery early and were seen right away. We went to the children's area, fittingly called Storybook Garden. Seeing all the graves of babies broke my heart. Why do so many children have to pass away? It just doesn't seem fair.
We chose her burial plot...close to the park. And we stood there for a few minutes, looking at the place our precious little girl would spend eternity. It was horrible. Ridiculous things crossed my mind. Would she be cold? Would she be lonely? How could we carry on every day with our baby all alone there?
It was later that day that I found out that my grandfather is buried in the same cemetery, close to the children's area. She will have her great-grandfather near by, to keep her company.
We left the cemetery and headed to the funeral home. There, we chose Alexandra's casket. It's light pink, with pink bows, that are just a little bit brighter, the inside is white. There are handles on it, but they remind of the handles on a Moses's much like her outfit, simple and elegant. We also chose her flowers. Pink roses in the shape of a rosary. It's also simple and elegant, it's very pretty and adds a touch of me...I love plays on words...I feel inappropriate saying that, but it's true, I felt like she would be able to have that to smile about for a little while.
After we made the arrangements and set the date for her burial we were able to leave.
We got our son and went home. I was sore and tired and glad to be home.
We set up plans for the next day, to get our clothes for the funeral. I hoped that it wouldn't be as hard as choosing Alexandra's outfit.
Sleep came easily that night, but didn't last. 1:30 is the most difficult time, I don't know why...

April 29, 2010

It was early, I didn't know what time exactly, but pain woke me up. It was a contraction. I waited until a few had passed and then called in the nurse. She told me to push the button to give myself some more pain killers through the epidural. I did, and she promised to come back in ten minutes to see how I was. The drugs weren't helping, I was dozing in between contractions when the nurse came back. She had me push the button again...still nothing. She had gone again and I was dozing again when I felt a popping sensation and realized it was my water breaking. I called the nurse back again.
Before I knew it, the pain was almost too much to handle. The nurse told me at that time that sometimes the pills they had given me worked too fast for the epidural to keep up with...I wondered why she hadn't told me before that. It was only minutes and the doctor wasn't even in the room yet, when I felt the need to push. The doctor arrived and I told her I need to push. She asked that I could I wait? The need was so strong. After what seemed like forever, she told me to go ahead and push and within 5 pushes, baby Alexandra was born.
It was such a strange moment for me. It wasn't a happy moment, but to be able to hold my angel gave me a sense of peace that I hadn't had since finding out the news.
We had struggled over the idea of having an autopsy done on our angel. This was one thing they wanted to know...what would we do...we didn't know. In the end we didn't have to make that decision. Unlike 90% of parents that lose a child before birth, we had an answer as to what happened to our little girl. He umbilical cord was not only wrapped around her neck, but it also had a knot in it. They tell me there is nothing that could have been done, but I wonder...if only I had known and gone in sooner, perhaps she could have been saved. And the thing that haunts me the most, she had her air and food supply cut long before she passed? Did she suffer? Was my little girl suffering so close to me and I didn't even know? Was she struggling and needing my help and I was oblivious? Those questions kill me.
Little Alexandra Elizabeth Monique was born, shortly before 6am on Thursday, April 29, 2010. She was nearly 21 inches long, 6lbs 8ozs. She had wavy black hair, the most perfect nose I have ever seen and her daddy's lips. She was absolutely beautiful. We spent the morning with her. We held her, sang to her, talked to her, bathed her and cried over her. We took pictures, got her hand and foot prints and a lock of her hair. It was a time I doubt I will ever find words to properly describe.
Deciding when to say goodbye was the hardest part. Steve asked "When to you want to say goodbye?" and I answered "Never" to which he replied "Me neither"
When we were finally able to let her go they took her away and we cried...It was the hardest goodbye.
We went home shortly after that. Steve dropped me off before picking up our son. I was sore, exhausted and broken. It was the middle of the day and I fell asleep...I never nap, but this day, I was overwhelmed and had to cope by sleeping.
That night, Steve and Dayne and the dog and I all slept in our bed together. It was another night of not too much sleep for me, but the sleep I did get was dark and dreamless, something I welcomed.
I heard a lot in those few days that women and men grieve differently. That I should not get upset with Steve if he responds differently...I have not experienced this. Steve has not only been on the same page as me throughout this entire experience, but he has been there to finish my sentences, hug me and take my hand and just the right time and share my tears. He has been my rock, his strength was the only thing holding me together many times.

April 28, 2010

"Mommy, are you still sad because we can't bring our baby home from the hospital?"

I didn't sleep well. I woke up a lot throughout the night. I cried a lot, by myself. I wanted to wake Steve but felt it would be unfair. When the alarm went off at 6am, I felt like I was just having a quiet sleep. I didn't want to get up. I wrapped my arms around my belly and thought about what would happen if I just didn't get up at all. If I pretended that nothing bad had happened, would everything go back the way it was?
I got up...I knew that nothing could take back what had happened. I showered and made my son his breakfast. I got his clothes ready and took some time to check my email...I don't know why, it's strange how our usual daily routines can become so automatic.
I got my bag finished and Dayne's bag finished and I got dressed. When I woke up my son, he gave me a hug and asked "Mommy, are you still sad because we can't bring our baby home from the hospital?" Kids sometimes say things that hit you right in the gut.
We got him dropped off at my sister's house and were on our way to the hospital. I had forgotten to eat so when we stopped so Steve could get coffee I got a bagel. I don't remember eating that bagel.
We arrived at the hospital at 8am. We were taken to a room that was very was quiet, had a tv, two big comfy chairs, it's own bathroom, and of course the bed...the bed that I would be stuck in for a lot longer than I had expected.
I don't know the proper terms for everything that was done. I know that at 9:20am they inserted something that looked like a string, behind my cervix. This was supposed to get the ball rolling. I expected things to start happening, but instead, we sat there waiting. While we waited several nurses came in, a social worker, 2 doctors and someone representing the church in the hospital. They all looked to me with pity in their eyes, as if I would say something profound, but I had nothing to say. I wondered why everyone said they were sorry...what were THEY sorry for? I was the one that was sorry. Sorry that I had to go through this, sorry that I would never get to hold my kicking, giggling baby girl. Truly, they didn't understand the meaning of the word, sorry.
I had to wait 12 hours before they would do anything else. At 6pm my contractions finally started. They came every 10 minutes. The nurse asked if I wanted anything for the pain. I didn't. Contractions don't bother me...what was to come was what bothered me.
At 9:30pm, Steve commented that someone should be coming to do one came until after 10. They don't come when you want them to, they prefer to come when you want them to stay away.
They removed the weird little string that did nothing and instead inserted a pill. They said it would speed things up. Within 40 minutes my contractions were pretty much on top of each other. I decided at that time that I wanted the epidural. I was exhausted. My request was granted and I was able to get some was not restful, it was not sound, it was the sleep that a person has when they have nothing else.
I slept then, until 4am on Thursday...when everything we'd been waiting all day and night for happened...We got to see our daughter...the most bittersweet moment of our lives.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

April 27th 2010

I was tired. I didn't want to get up. I didn't want to get my son ready for school. I wanted for us all to stay in bed and cuddle. But...the day had begun and I had an appointment, and my son (Dayne) had to go to school because he was going to his Auntie's house to play with his cousin after school, and he was excited. So, grudgingly, I got up.
I made Dayne his breakfast, checked my email, messed around on the computer. We had pizza for supper the night before and I thought about how bad it would be if I just ate that for breakfast...I mean, who would really know? I woke up Steve, still thinking about breakfast. Got them off and went ahead and grabbed some pizza.
I brought it to my bedroom and sat in bed with the computer and my very, very bad breakfast. It was then that I thought..."Have I felt the baby today?" It wasn't a big deal because I had this thought a lot. I was overly paranoid through the entire pregnancy. Usually, shortly after I had that thought I would feel a little foot in my ribs, or a hand at my side, some kind of twitch. On this day though, I felt nothing.
I ate my pizza, thinking about the lack of kicks. I drank a bottle of water, thinking about the lack of kicks. I laid down in bed, on my side, hoping to feel a kick. I asked on a parenting website I frequent, "How can I make the baby move?"
The answers were always the same when someone asked that. Drink something cold...check. Eat something...check. Drink something I grabbed a pepsi...check. Lay on your left side...check.
I called my sister and told her I was starting to get a little freaked out. I was trying to calm myself. Surely I was over reacting. I got off the phone after she helped calm me down some and I told Steve. He had taken me to labor and delivery twice already. He had listened to me complain and fret over a million things already. I thought for sure he would dismiss this as another paranoid moment...He did not. His face became worried, he asked when...when had I last felt her...I couldn't remember. Not since last night at least...He pushed on my belly, shook my belly, tried to move the baby, wake her up.
At this time, I was more calm than he was. It was around noon and he wanted me to call the doctor. My appointment was at 1:15...why not wait, I said. He urged me to call, so I did. They were on lunch, no answer. He told me to call healthlink to ask if we should head in to labor and delivery or stick with the appointment.
The nurse on healthlink commended me for my good instincts...If only she knew, the instincts were not mine, they were Steve's. I had second guessed myself so many times I thought I MUST be over reacting. She told us to head straight in...So we went.
At the hospital they did not bring us in to triage. They brought us in to a private room. I thought it was because of a lack of beds. Steve felt it was in case something was wrong...Steve was right.
A nurse practitioner came in. She checked for the baby's heart beat and couldn't find it. I looked at Steve, terrified and when I saw his face, I knew he was terrified too. When no heart beat could be found, the nurse practitioner wheeled in an ultrasound machine. She looked for the heart beat...again, she couldn't find it. She got two more doctors to look for it. No one could find my baby's heart beat. Where had it gone?
The doctor told us, at that time, that there was nothing more they could do for the baby. She was gone. I can't tell you how my heart broke. It shattered into a million pieces. And when I looked to Steve, I could see that his heart was also broken. We cried there, for a very long time. Steve asked what would happen now, how would the baby be born? And I told him the thing that was terrifying me. I would have to deliver her.
We were allowed to go home for the night. To tell our son what had happened. To tell him that his baby sister would never be coming home. We did a lot of crying and prepared ourselves for the next day.
What would prove to be one of the hardest days of our lives.


In September 2009 I started feeling ill. I told my fiance, either I have the swine flu, or I am pregnant. We were both excited. We felt that this was the perfect time to have another child. Our son had just turned 4, we felt he was ready for a sibling and would make the best big brother.
I had an ultrasound to determine my dates and were told our baby would be born in mid May. At my 18 week ultra sound we were told we were having a little girl. Our first daughter. I cannot really put into words how excited I was. I was expecting another boy and I was ok with that, but I secretly hoped for a little girl, to round off our family. And here I was, getting my wish.
I could barely contain myself, I was slightly skeptical, but still on the hunt for everything pink. And because I love the two colors together, our baby's room quickly became a place filled with everything pink and chocolate brown.
I remember the day I found the bassinet. It was pink and brown and frilly and beautiful. My fiance (Steve) had told me not to look for anything yet. He wanted me to wait...but I couldn't. I looked online every day at baby stuff. I registered at Babies R Us the very same day I found out I was having a girl. When I saw that bassinet, I knew it was the one. I begged Steve for it. I promised to not look at anything else until he felt it was time. He knew I wouldn't keep that promise, but he went and got me that bassinet anyway.
Eventually that happened for a lot of things. The stroller, the swing, the crib...I kept asking and he kept giving in. Secretly, he was just as excited as I was.
My pregnancy wasn't all fun though. I was sick. So sick that I stopped working quite early on. When I started having pains under my belly, before I even had a belly I was told I had round ligament pain. I had to wear a support belt. Later, when my back began to hurt and send shooting pains into my leg, I was told the baby was pushing on my sciatic nerve. And when I went in to labor and delivery for horrible pains, that later turned into an awful crunching and grinding in my pelvis, I was informed I had symphysis pubis dysfunction. I was pretty much in pain non stop, 24 hours a day. I was excruciating to roll over in bed, it hurt to walk, it hurt to sit, stand, lay down. It was never ending. I commented a million times on how this was the worst pregnancy ever...I wish I could take those words back. I would happily have all those pains again, if it meant I would have my daughter here with me right now. I would take all that pain a million times worse, if it meant I could have my daughter back.

To Begin...

I am starting this blog because I want to remember this part of my life. Of course, I want to remember pretty much every part of my life, but I want these memories vivid...Always available...and available without having to talk to anyone else.
You see, my life recently changed. It changed so drastically, that I don't know if I will ever be the same.
On April 27th 2010 I woke up like I do every other day. I got my son ready for school, I woke my fiance up to drive him to school. I decided if I should eat left over pizza for breakfast before my appointment. I had one of my last few appointments before my daughter was to be born. I was excited, but tired and sore.
I never would have guessed that just a few hours later, we would be informed that our beautiful baby had passed away and we would never get to see her smile, or hear her cry, or spend any time with her, alive, out of my womb.
We have been broken. Forever broken.