Monday, June 30, 2008

Flowers and Funerals

My uncle passed away last night. He had a stroke last year (even though he was only in his early 50's). He's been in a nursing home ever since. After my loss, while I was still in the hospital, he asked my dad how I was and how the baby was. Even though he couldn't talk well, he still communicated the best he could. It really touched me that even in the shape he was in, he still was thinking about me and my baby. Then he had another stroke and they took him off life support last night because he was brain dead.

His funeral is coming up, and I have to tell you I'm torn about going. On one hand I want to go to be there for my dad, but on the other I fell like telling them to "suck it" (in the words of Christine). After my loss not one person from that side of the family sent a card, not one of them called, not one of them attended the funeral, not one of the sent flowers, they didn't even look at her obituary online! It's as if they didn't care. Now that my uncle is gone, I honestly feel like repaying the favor.

It's not as if I'm keeping score. We received lot of flowers, pictures, statues, cards, even money. It's not that we needed those things. It's the thought. It's the acknowledgement of her existence. No one took the time out to even send us a flipping card! Now that my uncle is gone, it really bothers me.

I feel as if I'm expected to attend his funeral and mourn him, when no one gave my daughter a second thought. Then I feel guilty because he did ask about me (which was all he could do) and I feel like I should go there for him.

It's also the first time I would see any of them since my loss, and I just don't know what to say to them. (thanks for nothing comes to mind).

I've got a few days to decide, but I just don't know what to do...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Video

video

I finally finished this video for Brenna. It was bittersweet because I was glad to do it, but sad because it's less than a minute and a half. I just didn't have enough pictures to make it longer.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I Held A Baby Today

I have avoided babies like the plague these past few months. I kept on thinking I was going to loose it if I had to look or touch one.

I've been helping a friend out with her daycare this summer. Yesterday a new baby started. She told me beforehand. Yesterday I didn't even want to go there, but I knew she needed help. I saw the baby when I first got there, but I am embarassed to say I kind of ignored him. I just didn't want to see him. I didn't have to hold him or anything yesterday, so that was good.

Today she had to get lunch, and I was left alone with the baby. I figured he's sleep while she was gone. Within minutes of her leaving he woke up crying. Of course I had to take care of him. So I picked him up.

I've heard other mother's say that after their loss holding a baby felt good.

It did.

He is adorable. He smelled nice and new. He felt good.

It wasn't as hard or as horrible as I thought it would be. It was good for me. Now I know there was no reason to be afraid.

I cuddled him for awhile, and all I kept thinking is I want one of these. I should be growing one of these right now. This feels so right.

When my friend got back she saw me holding the baby. Later, she asked me if it was hard to hold him. Then she said she tried to make sure that I didn't have to hold him yesterday, and that she didn't think he'd wake up while she was gone. (She is a great friend. I'm so glad she realized how I would be feeling). I told her I was glad because I would have never done it if I didn't have to, and it was good to get it over with. The elephant has left the room

I think it was easier because it was a baby boy and not a girl. A girl would be way too hard.

After I left her house I ran into my other friend who had a baby girl last month. The one who I haven't seen yet. I saw the baby, and she is adorable. I didn't cry. I didn't even feel sad. My friend was just so proud of her baby that I felt nothing but happy for her.

I am really proud of myself today. I am making progress in this roller coaster of grief.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Making Babies

I come from a long line of baby-makers. My grandma gave birth to seven babies. My mother and aunt each had four, my cousin has five. That's just on my mom's side. There are babies-a-plenty on my dad's side too. Then there is me. The lonely infertile with the bum uterus and one fallopian tube. How did I luck out?

When I was 19 I got pregnant while taking precautions. Like everyone else I assumed that sex=babies. I also assumed that I was going to be a Fertile Myrtle like the rest of the women in my family.

When I had my son, my pregnancy was very healthy. I gained exactly 30 pounds, and lost it all within 6 weeks. My son was a healthy 8 pounds 6 ounces. He got a 9.9 on the apgar. He was born after just 7 hours of labor and 4 pushes. I was made for reproducing.

When he was a baby he was also off the growth charts, and hit all the milestones early. He knew all his colors, shapes, numbers, and alphabet when he was 2. I was really good at this baby making this. Oh, did I mention he was adorable. I mean seriously, he was really cute. Came in second in a cutest baby contest. Smart, healthy, adorable... I make good babies.

I am beginning to see how lucky my son was to make it out of me alive. The odd were against him (at least they are now). While I am thankful to have him, I can't help but wonder why everyone else in my family has to struggle to not get pregnant, but I can't carry a baby? What did I do to deserve this?

After 13 years together, it's safe to say my husband and I have had a lot of sex. It's also safe to say that sex does not equal babies. We've managed to make just two, and only one survived.

I having been struggling with the whole trying to conceive thing, and honestly I just don't know. If you ask my husband he'll tell you no way. For one he thinks he's too old (48 this year). He also doesn't think I should risk my life/health. I'm only 31, and I have the unexplainable desire to have a baby. I think part of that is the normal grieving process, but part of it is the mom in me.

I love being a mom. It is the one think in this life that I know I do well. I want to have another child to nurture, love, and raise. I have that need. It's not to replace what I don't have, it's something else.

I think one of the moms on my grief board put it best when she said "I don't have to have another baby. But there will always be a void that can only be filled by one thing." That is exactly how I feel. I don't have to have another baby, but I will have a longing for one my entire life. I will always feel like there is something missing.

Even if we do decide to take the risk and try again, that doesn't mean we will get a baby. I'm pretty confident that I will be able to carry another child. I would definitely have to have a c-section because my uterus couldn't take labor. It would most likely be 4 weeks early as to not stretch my uterus out too much. But I've talked to other women who've suffered a ruptured uterus and conceived again. The thing for me is conceiving.

It was years before Brenna was conceived (granted we weren't trying), and that was when I had both my fallopian tubes. Now I only have one, so my chances are even lower.

Maybe I'm delusional, but for some reason I feel like if we were to try again, I could have another baby. I'm feeling confident with my body. I think I could do it.

Now, I just have to convince my husband...



Monday, June 23, 2008

Life Seriously Sucks

Life seriously is sucking for me right now. I was telling my friend about something today and she said, "Well at least you have your health" and I felt like saying, "Um, no I don't. I would not call a uterus ripping open healthy!" But I didn't. I just didn't say anything.

Every quiet moment in my life is filled with thoughts of my daughter. I spend hours online reading other blogs. I am almost consumed with deadbabies. It can't be healthy, but because I'm not a crying blubbering mess everyone thinks I'm ok. That's not to say I'm not ok, because I think I actually am. But who knows what ok is anymore?

We went to a wedding over the weekend, and it seriously sucked. I was supposed to be 33 weeks pregnant, so I was going to be the designated driver. Instead, I drank and my husband drove me home. I would have rather been the dd. We also went to some boat races that we go to every year. I had planned on being very pregnant this year. Instead it rained the whole time and I didn't enjoy it at all.

Let's not forget that there were a lot of pregnant women at the wedding. Actually, I should say pregnant girls because they were all 20. None of them is married. One isn't even sure who the dad is! Really God? Really?

And of course they all sat together... right in a row... at the same table I was sitting at... 3 chairs away from me. One (the whorish one) even had the nerve to loudly complain that she's too big to dance and looked right at me as she said it. But instead of jumping out of my chair and using my plastic fork to take her baby out of her and run away with it, I choose to believe that she looked at me because she realized what she had just said was really ignorant and incredibly insensitive and she felt bad. That's what I believed anyway. It was the only way I could stop myself from performing a plastic-utensil-c-section on her.

I honestly don't have the desire to do anything anymore. Not right now. I'm hoping this feeling will pass after my due date passes. I am back to a fairly normal life. I visit and go out and even have fun. But literally every quiet second is spent thinking of my baby. I've become great at not crying. I wasn't much of a crier before, and so it really isn't that hard anymore. I have always been someone who cries is private. I hate people to see me cry. Maybe it's because my mother never cried when we were growing up. I don't know. But in our 13 years together, my husband has probably only seen me cry 10 times, and only 2 of those times was for our baby. Even though I always feel like I'm on the verge of tears lately, I never cry. Why can't I let it all out? WHY? (Seriously tell me because I honeslty don't know).

This year has just sucked so bad for us. More then once during these past few months have I said, "OK God I really can't take anymore". I meant it. Everything is going wrong for us right now. Example: My husband was laid off, and I wasn't working, so we had a serious shortage of money. We put a new transmission in my car 3 months ago, and guess what it was bad and we need a new one. How did I find that out? My car died in the middle of no where, and I had to park it in a ditch. So now we need to put another transmission in the car with money we really don't have. (I live in the country and have to have a car).

I feel like yelling at the universe WHEN DO I GET MY BREAK! Because it has to be coming some time soon. I thought I was getting my break when I got pregnant. I was very wrong.

This post is a lot longer then I intended. It's also really whiny. I apologize. I'm just feeling so crappy right now I had to "blog it out" (lol) because I'm a compulsive blogger (in case you haven't noticed).

I didn't even get into my try to concieve woes. I'll save that for tomorrow.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Awwww

So I just had to share this with you because it made me feel all warm and fuzzy.

My sister and I are the oldest, and have 4 younger brothers. My sister and I are married and have kids, all of our brothers are childless bachelors. For that reason, they sometimes don't know how to relate with us (or at least don't "get" what we are going through). This has been especially true with my loss. The very next day my brothers were at the hospital to visit (which was a pretty long drive from where they live), and stayed for awhile just "to make sure you're ok". They all came to the funeral, and offered their support, but really didn't know what else to do because: a) they are dumb boys, b) they don't have kids and c) are (deathly) afraid to see me cry. But we all are very close and I know they love me and would be there if I needed them. We just don't have long conversations about "the baby".

Yesterday they gave me a gift (which NEVER happens). They bought me tickets to see my favorite band in concert, and are taking my son for two days! I was so surprised I started crying (which is SO NOT LIKE ME!- I kept my sunglasses on and no one knew). They said that I've had such a hard year they just wanted to do something nice for me. I was really touched by that. I know it's just a concert, but it shows how much they are thinking of me, and how much they love me. It was such a thoughtful gift that I never expected.

I just thought I'd share this with you, because sometimes people surprise you in the most unexpected ways. It's really nice to know they care.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hello God

I have been thinking about this post for some time. I'm home alone right now with nothing but my dogs, so I thought it would be a good time to post. I'm going to try to choose my words carefully, because I don't want this to sound wrong.

I grew up in a Christian home. I went to a private school, which was faith based. I have always had a relationship with God. I have always held Him close to my heart. I've never been one of those people to shove my religon or beliefs in your face. I am a very private person, and I hold my faith close to my heart. That doesn't mean that I don't talk about God, because I do/will. But I'm not going to knock on your door and tell you about him. That's just not me.

I've always trusted God with my life. Always. I've always believed that if I "put it in his hands" everything will happen as it's supposed to. When I got pregnant at 19 (which is a whole other story!) I did not want the baby. No that's not true, I didn't know I wanted the baby. I remember panicking, and not knowing what I was going to do. I remember considering abortion for a millisecond (I knew I couldn't do it, but I now understand the frame of mind of young girls who feel it is their only option). I felt like it was the worst thing that ever happened to me (boy was I wrong!). Later, when I found out I was infertile my husband said to me, "God has a plan doesn't he? If we wouldn't have had that accident, we wouldn't have Brendan right now". I knew God was leading me.

Even when times were rough, I felt like I could rely on God, and he would take care of us. He always did.

When I was pregnant with Brenna, and I was bleeding, I remember thinking, 'God, I'm just going to put her in your hands.' When my Ob called to tell me that my blood tests came back and he was worried about possible Spina Bifida, I didn't worry. I cried for a minute, but then I said, 'God, I'll take what you give me'. I thought, if she has it she has it and we'll deal with it. I always believed the saying, God never gives you more than you can handle. Whatever he gave me I could handle. I truely believed that.

When I was in the hospital, getting prepped for surgery, I told my husband I wasn't worried at all about the baby. And I wasn't. God was taking care of her. When I woke up, the LAST THING IN THE WORLD I expected to hear was that my baby was gone. It never entered my mind for even a second that she was going to die. Never. It was the first time in my life that God had let me down.

My heart was broken. I was mad. I was furious. Laying by myself in my hosptial bed, I remember asking God to show me the lesson. What was I supposed to learn from this? Why did it happen? I still trusted in him. Still.

Grief has many stages, and I've went through them all. Anger was a big one. I remember one day in particular being so mad at God for letting my little girl die. How could he do this to me? He knew how much I wanted this baby. He knew how much she ment to my family. How could he let this happen? I just couldn't wrap my head around it. I was pissed that no one else got to know her like I did. I was mad that my family was hurting so much. I was pissed that my mom didn't get to have her grand-daughter that she dreamed of, I was mad that my step-daughter lost a sister after God had already taken her mom, I was angry that my son never got to see his sister, and I was mad that God would let us all go through this pain. I was mad. Sometimes I still am.

But, as time goes on and I think about it more I've come to realize some things.

The hardest part in all of this had been the effect it's had on my son. I can handle the hurt, but it breaks my heart to see my child in pain. Then I realized...

God loves him too.

If he's going to have this happen there has to be a reason. God wouldn't take my baby and hurt my son for no reason. He loves us, and there is a reason for it all. I truely believe that. I don't know what the reason is, but I do believe it's there.

I always go back to when I was 19 and getting pregnant was the worst thing in the world.

Now, it's my biggest blessing.

God knew what he was doing.

He knew then, and he knows now.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Wow

I was reading this online, and it just blew my mind:

Every year, roughly 576,000 babies die between 14 weeks gestation and one month of life. There are more deaths due to miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal loss than there are to cancer or heart attacks. And that is not even including the one in four who miscarry in the first trimester of pregnancy.
I seriously had no idea. I wish I never knew...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Memories

Awhile back someone posted about their favorite memory of her baby, and I really loved that post. I've been thinking a lot lately. For a lot of reason's, I guess. Mostly, I've just been feeling sad. (Probably because Aunt Flo is on the way, and my hormones are out of control). Anyway, I've been thinking about my favorite memories while I was pregnant with Brenna. I thought I would share them with you.


  • When the doctor told us everything was OK with the baby (ha-ha!) we finally told my son. He's 11, and he got this look of shock on his face and yelled, "You two have been having sex!" Then he ran into his bedroom. When I followed him in there, he looked at me in disgust and said, "I hope you went to a hotel and didn't do it in this house!" I still laugh when I think about that.
  • Waking up the day after I found out I was pregnant, and remembering I was pregnant! It was an awsome feeling.
  • When I was about 12 weeks I went in for an u/s because I had a sub-crionic bleed. I was so afraid they were going to tell me the baby was dead I didn't want to look at the screen. But I did, and there she was, her little arms and legs kicking like crazy. It melted my heart, and that picture is burned into my memory. I will never forget that moment. That is when she became real to me.
  • When I called my mom to tell her that, after 10 years of infertility, I was pregnant (naturally). The sound of dead silence, and then "Are you serious?" was hysterical. I could tell by her voice she was so excited. Then her and my step-dad met for lunch, and that was all they could talk about. I loved how excited they were.
  • The first time I felt her move. And all the times I felt her move after that.
  • When I called my grandma on Christmas Day to tell her I couldn't finish my shopping. She wouldn't let me finish my sentence. Finally I said, "Well, it's because I'm pregnant". Dead silence. Then happy screaming. It was great.
  • When my grandson kissed my belly, and said, "Hi baby".
  • When we went out and she kicked along with the music all night long.
  • When I would talk to her, when no one was around. Just the two of us.
  • When I was taking a bath, and she was kicking so hard my husband could see my belly moving.

Those are my favorites. I wish there were more...

TAG

I've been tagged. Since my brain is empty and I have no words of wisdom to share with you, here goes...

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?
My son turned one, I turned 21 that year, oh yeah, I also got married! Busy year.

2. What are 5 things on your to do list today?
We are out of town for the weekend, so there I don't have much to do. (Kids are sleeping)
Get a gift for a wedding shower.
Get a father's day gift for my dad and my husband.
Pick up my dog from my mom's (she's babysitting!)
I'm sure swimming is on the list.
So is going to Coldstone.

3. List snacks you enjoy.
Cheese it's. Love them.

4. What would you do with a billion dollars?
Adopt a baby, or pay a surrogate to have one for me, or both.
Pay off my bills.
Build a house.
Buy new cars.
Finish school.
Set up a trust fund for my son, step-daughter, and grandson.
Share some w/ family.
Take a nice long vaca.
Donate, donate, donate.
FYI~ I'd be happy with a million.

5. List places you've lived.
Sorry, only Michigan.

6. List jobs you've had.
Waitress at a restaurant, waitress at a bar, bartender, day care worker, preschool teacher, insurance sales rep, (oh, and telemarketer for one day when I was 16!)

7. List people you want to know more about.
YOU

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Vacation

So we a taking a short vacation for the weekend. My husband has a conference and brought us along so the kids can go swimming and stuff. It's kind of nice to get away. We actually had this planned for a long time, we come every year. Even though it's nice to get away, I STILL can't help but think how I had planned on being big and pregnant for the conference this year, and knew I would be happy to be in the A/C and to swim to cool off. No matter what I do, or how happy I am, Brenna is always on my mind.


Here's a picture of the kids in the hot tub. I don't know if I've ever mentioned on this blog before, but my step-daughter is 22 and married. She has a 2 year old son (yes! I'm a grandma! stop laughing). That's him on the left, and my son on the right. I think they are what have kept me sane during this whole time.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Little Things

It's funny how the little things can be the biggest reminders. When I was pregnant my husband and I went and bought this humongous thing of Tide. I remember thinking, "This is gonna last half my pregnancy!"After I lost Brenna I hated using that Tide. I was so happy the day we bought it, and every time I used it that's all I thought about. It felt like every time I used that, I was loosing a little more of that memory. A little more of that feeling. I still remember when I finally used it all up. I was actually sad that the Tide was gone. Ridiculous, I know.

I've been surprised over the last few months how the little things remind me of my baby, and of being pregnant. Yesterday I came across the bottle of TUMS my husband bought for me when I had continuous heartburn. I couldn't ever use them again, but I couldn't bear to throw them away either. For some reason, that stupid TUMS bottle reminds me of my baby. Reminds me of being pregnant. Reminds me of how happy I was.

That doesn't mean I'm not happy now, because I am. I'm blessed to have the people in my life that I have. But, I'm not as happy as I was back then. It's a different sort of happy. Back then I was "innocent happy". Now I'm "grateful happy". Innocent Happy is when you are blissfully unaware of how cruel life can be. Grateful Happy is when you know how lucky you are to have what you have because it can all be gone in a second.

I'd really like my innocence back.

Friday, June 6, 2008

"After Brenna Died"

I caught myself saying those words for the first time yesterday. I rarely say her name, let alone say that she is dead. It was in a perfectly normal conversation, and the words just flowed out of my mouth. It made me stop in mid-sentence. It really caught me off guard. I couldn't believe what I had just said. MY BABY IS DEAD! She's not gone, or missing, or never existed. SHE IS DEAD. In my mind, I picture her peacefully floating up to heaven, but the fact of the matter is SHE IS DEAD! That is a hard reality to recognize.

Never in my life would I imagine that I would be talking about my dead baby. Never. This is not where I saw myself when I pictured my life. Life has changed so much for us since we found out I was pregnant. We are not the same people we were back in December. My son is not as innocent. He has experienced death at a young age, which is something we went through when my step-daughter lost her mother, and something I hoped my son would never have to experience. I have faced death and my own mortality. My husband had to face telling yet another child that thier mother was gone. It was a very scarry time for my family, and we all are different people now.

I ran across this quote form Liz's blog about her daughter, and I love it. It really touched me, and it's so true:

"Our children change us... whether they live or not."
Lois McMaster Bujold

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Three Months

Dear Brenna,

It seems like just the other day you were born. I still think of you everyday, but the thought of you no longer makes me cry. Although I will miss you for as long as I live, I am at peace that things happened as they were supposed to. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, and one day I hope to know why this happened to our family.

Your brother misses you terribly. He was really looking forward to having a baby in the house. He never got to see you (except for at your funeral) and that is one thing I regret. I wish I would have had someone go and get him. I wish he could have seen how beautiful you were, and how much you looked like him. He wouldn't have held you, he's not big on babies, but he would have liked to just look at you and see you.

Our entire family talks about you all the time. You are so loved. I sometimes get angry at God because it's not fair that you are more loved that some babies who are born here on earth! But then I remind myself that you are up there with Him, you never suffered, and you are happy. For that I am grateful.

I got your name tattooed on my foot. For the rest of my life, you will walk with me. You will be with me forever.

Although things didn't turn out like I thought they would, I would never take it back. I cherish the time we spent together. (I miss your kicks!) You are forever in my heart. I love you always.

Until I See You Again,
Mommy

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Good Point

This is why I love blogging.

My "blog-friend" CLC commented on my last post, and she made a very good point that no one has made to me before. She said, "Someone's miscarriage might be the worse thing they have dealt with." It really made me think. Of course the person I was referring to in my earlier post fell apart when she had a miscarriage. That is because that was the worst lost she experienced. I should not minimize her loss just because I feel that mine is "worse". It's not fair. Just because my baby was older doesn't make her more important than my friend's baby. We both lost babies. I just got to hold mine.

Thanks for that comment. It really made me think, and it made things much clearer for me. I"m embarassed to say, I kind of feel like a bitch now. (The feeling will pass, don't worry!) :)