Saturday, April 23, 2005

Missing in action

I miss being pregnant and I miss my little boy so much it's almost unbearable sometimes. I guess I'll ache for him for the rest of my life. And to be honest, I wouldn't have it any other way. The dull ache of my sorrow is all I have left of him.

Oh my God I miss him.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to (or not)

I turned 35 today. Aside from the fact that I can't believe I'm this old (seriously, HOW did this happen??) I can't believe I spent this day without my son. I thought a lot about it towards the end of my pregnancy. I thought about the fact that I would have my baby in my arms on my 35th birthday -- that I would finally be a Mommy. I knew I wouldn't care what presents I got or what festivities anyone did or didn't have planned because my beloved and I would have our son. That's all I wanted. Just my little family around me as I rang in a new year.

Well we all know that didn't happen. And I single-handedly made this one of the most depressing birthdays ever. About two weeks after Thomas died my beloved asked me what I wanted for my birthday while we were out for a drive, trying desperately to distract ourselves from the unending pain of our grief. I told him I didn't want anything because the only thing I wanted I couldn't have. Eventually my Mom and my sister also asked what I'd like for my birthday. I told them the same thing. I wanted to be with them to mark the occasion, but I didn't want gifts.

Somehow this turned into "She doesn't want to have a birthday at all". That's never what I had in mind. In fact, my feelings about this day had changed over the ensuing four weeks and I was starting to feel that it might be nice, maybe even uplifting, to have a present or two. But the damage was done. I'd successfully put a pall over the day. My Mom called to wish me a happy birthday, but prefaced it with "I know you don't want to hear this, but I wanted to wish you a happy birthday." Granted, I knew it wasn't going to be the very happiest birthday ever, but who doesn't want to hear their Mom wish them a happy birthday? I'd have been crushed if she hadn't called today.

I'm an idiot. A depressing and, now, depressed idiot. The sun is setting on my 35th birthday and I made it a miserable one. If it hadn't been for my beloved (who bought me a beautiful necklace and some gardening books, made me breakfast, took me out for lunch and asked me all day long what I wanted to do next in a vain attempt to help me have a good day) I'm sure I'd have spent the day in a pool of my own tears and snot.

By some miracle I haven't cried today. I'm not really sure why. Maybe, at 35, I just don't have the energy or maybe the love of a good man has kept my spirits above the sobbing point. Or maybe, like a very good friend's 3-year old said, Thomas "is in heaven helping God" and they've spent the day working to get me through one of the hardest birthdays ever.

So thank you my beloved, my sweet Thomas and God. What would I do without you?

Monday, April 18, 2005

"Thanks For Trying"

I picked up an orange pop today. I didn't notice the "check under the cap -- you could be a winner" message on the label until I was in the car. It went on to say that I had a 1 in 5 chance of winning a Pepsi and a slim chance of winning a mini iPod. Foolishly believing that after everything we've been through we deserve to win something (anything -- even a friggin' can of Pepsi) I pick, pick, picked away at the plastic cap liner until it finally came loose.

"Thanks for trying". That's what it said in screaming white letters on a happy blue background.

"Thanks for trying". Well isn't that just fan-freakin-tastic. And if that doesn't just sum up my life these days. "Thanks for trying".

Why does it feel like the world is laughing at me today?

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Losing your son isn't funny... why am I laughing?

Okay, obviously I'm not laughing at that, but I AM laughing -- at my beloved, at funny stuff on TV, at the book I'm currently reading -- at all kinds of things. The thing of it is, I'm laughing but all the while I'm wondering how I can possibly find anything funny when my little boy is gone.

Sometimes I'll find myself laughing that gut-busting kind of laugh that makes you feel so incredibly good, only to have it replaced by crushing guilt when I remember that it hasn't even been six weeks. How can I betray my son by laughing -- by moving on?

I asked my beloved if he feels the same guilt. He looked confused, and then said no. He has come to terms with what I'm still stuggling with. He knows that we have no choice BUT to go on -- that Thomas would want us to go on. He knows that to stay mired in the unbearable grief we felt as we held our dying son is a waste of our lives. He knows that we have a lifetime to go, a lifetime that may very well be filled with happiness as incredible as this current sadness is horrible, and to squander the opportunity to be happy just doesn't make sense.

He's right. Of course he's right. So why do I still feel guilty when I laugh?

Friday, April 15, 2005

Still no answer

My beloved suggested that perhaps God was asleep at the wheel. After stepping far, far away from him to avoid being hit by the bolt of lightning, I laughed. It wasn't a jolly belly laugh though. It was more of a knowing chuckle paired with an eye roll. I know God had a reason, I just can't for the life of me figure out what it was.

And he still hasn't answered my question. I still don't know where I go from here. Maybe I'm not listening hard enough (God's whisper is awfully quiet sometimes), or maybe he hasn't gotten around to telling me yet, but I still don't know where I'm headed.

I know I'm not ready to consider getting pregnant again just yet. I've been pregnant on and off since 2003 and I have nothing to show for it except a slightly purple scar, a slight incontinence issue, a very fragile psyche, and some gut-wrenching pictures of the world's most beautiful and perfect baby boy. After two miscarriages and then losing Thomas, I don't know if or when I'll be ready to travel down that road again.

But the thing is, if don't make that journey, I'll never again have the chance to look into the face of my own child and see bits of me and bits of my beloved and know that our love created a life.

Poor, sweet Thomas. It was horrific seeing him hooked up to so much machinery and even more horrific knowing he wasn't really there at all -- but I can still feel the warmth of his little head under my hand as I touched him and stared, with awe, at the tiny person we'd made.

God, if that's you, whisper a little louder, okay?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Um, God?

Where do I go from here?

Sunday, April 10, 2005

How do I make it feel real?

When your son only lives for 20 hours and you spend most of that time in a morphine induced slumber, how do you make it feel real after the fact? It’s been almost 5 weeks since my little man came and went, and when I look at pictures of my beautiful son it’s like I’m looking at a child I don’t know. I mean, he has my nose, plain as day, and he has my beloved’s chin and body shape – he obviously belongs to us – but I don’t know him. I never got to hear him cry or coo, I never rocked him to sleep, I never changed his diaper - the poor little thing never even opened his eyes.

We had no bonding time. I was in recovery for four hours after the birth – slipping in and out of said morphine induced slumber – and when I did see him for a precious few moments before being taken to my room, I feel asleep. I feel asleep while my son struggled for life. He lay in his little incubator hooked up to every piece of machinery imaginable and I lay on a stretcher beside him…and fell asleep.

I slept through the night and didn’t see him again until about 12:30pm the next day, by which time we knew there was no hope. No brain activity. That’s what they told us. The only activity in his brain was producing seizures that were wracking his tiny, perfect body. And so we decided to let him go. And I held him, for the first time, as he died.

But even then I couldn’t stay awake. The loss of blood, shock and morphine once again stole time from me and my son that I’ll never get back. When they told us it could take two hours for him to die I asked if they could take him back and call us when the time was close. I wanted to hold my son while he slipped away but I was too weak to wait it out in the tiny, cluttered office they let us use. I needed to rest. I couldn’t stay awake.

In the end, he went without us there. It happened faster than they thought and our little boy died in the special care nursery without us. It breaks my heart – but what I almost can’t bear is the fact that he never knew we were there at all. He was brain dead. I held him and he never felt my arms. I kissed him and he never felt my lips. I loved him and he never knew it. I love him still – with all my heart.

I know that now, finally, he knows. But now I don’t know him. I remember him inside me, kicking and rolling and poking, and I remember the grainy images on the countless ultrasounds I had. That’s the boy I know.

So how do I make it real? How do I connect the boy I know to the heartbreakingly beautiful boy in the pictures? Will I ever make the connection? Will I go crazy trying? Will it all fall into place and somehow make sense one day? I guess all I can do is hope and pray that it will, one blissful day.