Thursday, June 30, 2005

Dirty but free

I finally liberated the ivy I've had rooting in an old milk bottle for the years. They're cuttings from ivy that we had on the tables at our wedding. I don't know how they've managed to survive, but they have. Today I transplanted them into a pot (with actual dirt) and put it on our kitchen windowsill where I hope they will grow and flourish for many more years.

It's nice to be able to nurture something. It's really, really nice.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

And here's the apology I promised

I'm sorry.

I'm not sorry for how I feel (thanks to K for pointing out that doesn't really make sense) I'm just sorry that my anger makes me say things that make other people feel sad and uncomfortable. One of the million and one terrible things about my baby dying is that it has made other people so sad and it's made them feel so uncomfortable around me.

Yesterday I was at my sister's school for the afternoon. Obviously everyone there knows the whole story, and it became obvious when I caught a pregnant teacher staring at me with a mix of horror and morbid curiosity. She quickly looked away when I looked over at her. She practically gave herself whiplash. I wanted to dig a hole in the library floor and bury myself.

I said to my beloved the other day that we're now the people that others look at and say, "Thank God we're not them!"
It's lonely being those people - I never knew until we became them.

But back to my apology. Which isn't such a good one, I guess, but I'm trying.

I really am sorry. And I should also say that I do have a lot of happy days and good times and my life isn't as continually bleak as these blogs may portray. That's mostly because I tend to blog when I'm sad or mad. I keep telling myself I should blog when I'm happy, but I'm too busy being happy to blog. Happiness is a rare and wonderful thing for me these days and I just let myself experience it - I soak it all in. And I forget to write about it.

But the sadness is so overwhelming and the rage so strong that writing is the only thing that helps get it out of me sometimes. Well, that and flipping off slow drivers.

Believe me, I wish this wasn't what I had the urge to write about. I wish I was writing about what wonderful new thing our little Thomas did today or how he kept me up all night or how his little smile makes everything okay or how I'm so excited about seeing him walk.

But I can't. So I rage.

But I also often laugh, smile, sigh contentedly and sleep peacefully. I'm struggling, but I'm okay.

Monday, June 27, 2005


The other night I lay in bed and prayed for God to turn back time. I prayed so hard. I know it was a selfish prayer - I know if he had turned back time millions of good things that have happened to other people would be taken away. But if it had worked the precious thing that was taken from us would be given back. That's all I cared about. I'm not even that ashamed that I was so selfish, to be honest.

I'm tired of not being selfish and I'm tired of trying to see all the good that my baby's death has brought about. It's utterly exhausting. I'm so sick of looking for the silver lining on this massive black shroud I could scream.

I wanted God to take us back to 1:25 pm on March 9th when I started pushing. Instead of it resulting in our son being born via C-section without vital signs four hours later, I wanted it to end with me giving birth to our beautiful, healthy boy. Our live boy. I wanted to hear him cry, I wanted to hold him and know he was fine. I wanted to be able to show him to our families - not in the special care nursery moments before we took him off life support, but in my room, surrounded by flowers and baby things and happy, smiling faces.

I wanted - I WANT - what everyone else seems to get.

I know we're not the only ones who've ever struggled with miscarriages and, now, infant loss. I know that the happy pregnant women on my street and the street behind us may very well have gone through horrific times too. I've been told to think that way and I have - and it helps.

But not always. Not when I keep seeing bulging belly after bulging belly turn into tiny bundles with, it seems, virtually no effort at all.

I know, I know. I'm being horribly unfair and selfish and miserable.

But you know what? Today I don't care. I'll apologize tomorrow - and mean it - but today I'm sad for what I've lost and sick with jealousy at everyone else who has it.

God won't turn back time.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

An unnatural affection for a bear

I just realized it the other night - I have an unnatural affection for a bear. It’s a cheap, not overly good-looking stuffed bear, but I love him. He sits on our bed every day and at night I gently take him over to the chair in the corner where he sits for the night. How do I know I love him? Because, well, other than the fact that I’m pretty sure I’ve kissed him once or twice (have I mentioned I’m 35?) a few nights ago he fell over when I sat him on the chair and I hurried back to sit him back up. The idea of him lying kind of haphazardly on his side all night was too upsetting. I had to fix him.

So that’s how I know.

But why do I love him so? Because he’s the bear who appears in the precious few pictures I have of our sweet little son. 29 pictures. That’s all we have of him – that’s all we’ll ever have of him. But I have the bear.

I didn’t want him at first through. The nurses brought him to me, along with a lock of Thomas’ hair, his hand and footprints, the onesie he was wearing, the blanket they wrapped him in, the knitted bonnet and sweater my Mom made and some pamphlets on infant bereavement. A nurse quietly and gently brought these precious treasures to me just after Thomas died. I’ve been clinging to them ever since.

But not at first. I didn’t want the bear – I’d never seen it before and it was foreign to me. It didn’t belong to Thomas or to me – the nurses had bought it for him, just like the onesie and the blanket. Of course we had clothes for Thomas, but in our sorrow and confusion and shock, they stayed tucked away in the hospital bag I’d so happily packed just days before. All we thought to give them was the bonnet and sweater my Mom knitted. Mint green, lacy and so sweet on my little boy.

I told my beloved to put it all up on the shelf at the end of my hospital bed – away from me. And so there it sat, but only for a while. It wasn’t long before I needed the bear. The horror seemed easier to bear with him tucked under my arm. It was like I was a child – that familiar feeling of snuggling down to sleep with a love-worn stuffed toy tucked in beside me was too hard to resist, even though I didn’t really know this bear. But I knew enough – he’d been with my son.

And so, like everything else that belong to Thomas for the few precious hours he was alive, I’ll cherish that bear – yes, and love him – forever.

I don’t think that’s so wrong. And to be honest, I don’t care if it is.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Well isn't this interesting...

Yesterday my beloved told me that a girl he works with is 3.5 months pregnant with twins. She just told everyone yesterday -- and she burst out into tears when she told him. Her two little ones would have been conceived right about the same time Thomas was born. Or, as my beloved put it, right about the time we were going through our own private hurricane.

The interesting thing is, I'm happy for her. Really happy. They're the nicest couple and have been trying for a long time (unbeknownst to everyone, as is often the case). That's not to say I haven't been happy for the 101 other people who seem to have gotten pregnant since Thomas died, but this time the happiness for them came with hardly any sadness for me. Very, very, interesting.

This feels good.


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Lost and found

The microscopic screw just fell out of one of the nose pads on my glasses. I discovered it had gone AWOL when I picked up my glasses to put them on and the right nose pad fell to the floor. It bounced along the plastic chair mat and came to rest dangerously close to the vent cover. Naturally, the screw was nowhere in sight.

Sighing, I got down on my hands and knees to search for the screw. Fighting with lint, dust, crumbs and enough toe jam to knit a whole new sock (seriously, how long has it been since I vacuumed under this desk??) I started to get discouraged. As a hunk of hair (which needs washing -- my next task) fell across my face and blocked my view of the crap on the floor I started asking no one in particular how many more things I have to lose. And then I started getting mad. Haven't I lost enough? Aren't the gods finished with me YET? It's just a screw, dammit, but come ON. I've just about had it, is what I thought to myself.

So I gave up looking. And that's when I found it, sitting quietly and quite peacefully on a piece of unopened mail on top of the desk. Is this some sort of message from said gods? I have no idea. But I am glad that at least they decided not to screw me today.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Anger Management

My beloved and I have discovered an interesting way to blow off steam and satisfy the urge to kick the crap out of something. We punch toilet paper. Okay, we've only actually done it once, but it was fun and I may very well do it the next time I buy an 8-pack.

He started it. I tossed two packs of Cottonelle on the bed when I came home from shopping one day. I guess he had a little pent-up rage in him and I guess the toilet paper looked really inviting because he slugged it good and hard. Several times, right in the middle of the pack on the Cottonelle lady's face. At first I kind of just looked on in horror (I hate new things -- even toilet paper -- to be damaged in any way). But as I watched him pounding the crap out of the Cottonelle and saw the pleasure it seemed to give him, my horror gave way to curiosity. I started thinking I'd like to take a whack at the other, still pristine pack sitting beside the one he'd just finished pumelling.

He looked at me and smiled. "Go on," he said, "try it."

I did. And it was WONDERFUL. Because I opted for the two fist approach I accidentally whacked my own knuckles together (which ended my session in a blaze of pain) but it was still wonderful. It was exhilarating standing there panting, watching the toilet paper slowly spring back to life. I have to admit it, part of me was still worried about the state of the paper, but it stood up reasonably well and eventually served its intended purpose just perfectly.

Both my beloved and I are peace-loving people. We've never hit each other, nor do we hit other people (and we certainly don't intend to start) but we both have a lot of anger and pain still left inside of us. Talking helps, but punching toilet paper, as we've discovered, helps even more sometimes.

Maybe I'll do it again and maybe I won't, but I'll always remember the day we ambushed the smiling Cottonelle lady and laid her flat. Twice.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Rage and other unpleasant things

I'm a fool. I should have thought more about the people who might be reading my blogs, specifically pregnant people. I can't explain it, but my rage isn't directed at you, even though it might appear to be. I'm just angry that life has dealt me a blow that's very difficult to recover from. I'm angry that instead of changing diapers I'm changing my mindset --
trying to get used to life as a mommy without her child. I'm angry that I'm now forced to make decisions and choices that I never dreamed I'd have to make (like trying again when it terrifies me, or finding just the right wording for my baby's grave marker). I'm angry that on days when I'm feeling a fragile happiness, it's so easy for something to make me sad. I'm angry that I have to be sad at all. But I am. I'm in a little bit of turmoil, and rage is an unpleasant side effect.

But I'm not angry at you. I've learned what a blessing a baby is in a way that I hope no other woman ever has to find out. So I'm happy that you are so blessed. I really, truly am. I wish you and your little ones all the goodness and joy life has to offer and I hope you never, ever have to know even a fraction of the pain I've known. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy and so it goes without saying (I hope) that I'd never, EVER wish it on my friends.

However, I might still need to rant and rave. My cradle is empty and there's a hole in my heart. I hope you understand.