"You get what you pay for, but I just had no intention of living this way." -Counting Crows

Why We're Here...

My husband David and I delivered a stillborn Baby Boy that we loved, and wanted. Our first and only son, Logan, had Down Syndrome. Our daughter's smile is a little light in the darkness. She turned one year old three days after our sweet Logan tip-toed away on January 24, 2009. After 2 1/2 years we found out we were having another baby, whom we affectionatly called Rudy. Just shy of 6 weeks we found out Rudy was Ectopic. Rudy was surgically removed on May 26, 2011 delivering another blow to our already broken hearts.

The Baseball Bat

Just when you think you’re moving on…wham! The baseball bat. I think that I’ve been coping well. I spend a lot of time writing in my blog about Logan, and I have a friend that I talk to a lot about Logan. But yesterday snuck up on me from behind and tried to do me in. We went to a Mom2Mom Sale. Sounds scary right? I didn’t think so. For some reason I’ve handled babies and pregnant ladies with ease. It doesn’t bother me to see either. I get wistful, and there isn’t a time that goes by when I don’t see a pregnant woman, a baby, a little boy and anything related that I don’t think about Logan, and admittedly I feel a twinge of sadness, even jealousy…but I don’t have break downs over it. I wanted to go to the sale. I have a one year old daughter, and I wanted to find odds and ends for her. I wanted to go just to get out and do something. I never thought I’d have a melt down…in public. I don’t do things like that. I don’t cry in public. I don’t like to cry in front of David, I certainly don’t like to cry in public! It was all well and good. I even stopped and talked to a new mommy with a 3 week old girl. She had some maternity clothes on her table that I was fingering. There was this navy blue top. A long sleeved t-shirt sort of top that I love to wear, especially while pregnant. I picked it up; I held it up and WHAM!!! Out of left field the baseball bat came flying in and bashed me in the face! I didn’t even see it coming. I couldn’t stop it. I looked at David as I started to panic. He was a few feet away. Oh my GOD!!! What was I doing? I wanted that shirt! And I started to freak out because I don’t need that shirt anymore, I might never need that shirt again! I wanted to need that shirt! I should need that shirt! And I didn’t, and it all came flying at me in the middle of a very crowded marketplace, right by this new mother and her tiny baby, right in front of all of these people! The tears welled up, and I fought and fought to keep them in. I felt that weird pressure in my face, the one you get just before you start to wail, and I looked at the floor trying to hurriedly fold the shirt up and place it neatly back on it’s pile, in front of the new mommy and her tiny baby. I didn’t look at the new mommy. I was afraid I had freaked her out. I didn’t want anyone to notice I was having a private melt down…in public! I didn’t want anyone to ask me questions. I didn’t want to be feeling this way…a g a i n! I just wanted to shop. I wanted to find neat little treasures for my daughter and not think about the horror that is my reality. My dead son. I didn’t want to think about having a dead son. Not today. Not that moment. David and I quickly walked away from that table. I regrouped. I prayed desperately to not have a red face (I am not a pretty, delicate crier!) or red eyes. David asked if we should leave. I was determined to stay. I was gonna win this fight with grief. I was not going to allow the grief to ruin my life. And so, we proceeded. And all was well again…

I thought…

Hours went by. I didn’t think about the incident but once or twice. We had lunch, played Rummy Royal with the in-laws (for 6 ½ very annoying hours!! No game should be played that long!) had dinner, came home and watched TV. And all was well. I thought. And there we were watching House, M.D. and enjoying our Saturday night like married folks do (watching TV) and at the very end of the show a woman says…

“Children are resilient.”

And I thought;

“Not always.”

And that was the end for me. I had a melt down. A c o m p l e t e melt down. The kind I haven’t had in about 5 weeks or so. I still cry here and there, but not like this. David said “It’s alright for you to talk about Logan with me” and all I could think of was “why?” Why bother? It doesn’t fix it, it doesn’t change it, it doesn’t make it go away. What is there to talk about? I miss my son desperately, or as someone in blog land so eloquently said it, I miss the promise of my son. And it’s final. There’s no hope that he’ll ever come back. Final. No hope. No slight chance that things will change and that one day I might not have this gaping hole. And the only one I can really share that with is David. No one else knows Logan. No one knows what his tiny mouth looked like, no one knows what his little ears looked like, no one else knows anything. It’s like a figment of my imagination, and David is the only one who got to be a part of it. When someone lives, and then dies, most of the time you have something. Pictures, memories, other people who witnessed their existence (I’m speaking of take home babies here) there is a tangibility to them. There is something. When there is a miscarriage there is no tangible evidence (usually). There are no pictures, no physical memories (like blankets, what their mouth looked like). There is nothing. So you either have something…or nothing. There isn’t an in between. But with stillbirth…you’re in between. You don’t have something, but you don’t really have nothing either. The something is that you saw that baby. You held that baby. You knew that there was, in fact, a real baby. Seeing is believing, right? The nothing is that chances are you don’t have pictures (at least ones you hang on your wall or keep in your wallet) you don’t remember their voice or cries, the way they opened their eyes. You don’t have real memories. You have a dead baby that you saw, who sort of resembled you or your spouse, but was probably red, had peeling skin and was ultra tiny (assuming the still born child was premature like mine). You have a physical memory of holding a baby. But there was no soul in that baby. The baby never cried. The baby didn’t really have a birthday. But the baby was there. There’s something, and nothing. And I am having such a hard time getting a grip on it. I can’t get my head around how you can have something and nothing at the same time. I’m not saying I wish I would have had a miscarriage, because I know if I would have I would have wanted more time, some physical evidence, a desire to have seen my child. And I’m not saying I wanted my son to be born alive only to get those memories and have him torn from me. And I’m not trying to discount anyone else’s pain and suffering; those who’ve had babies live only to die, and those who’ve had miscarriages, pain is pain and everyone has a loss to contend with, please don’t think that I am discounting anyone’s pain. I just can’t grasp where it is that I am. I can’t grasp what has happened to me; let alone what has happened to anyone else. This all came crashing in on me last night. And I blathered on and on about it. And I know none of it makes sense. The feelings that I have don’t make sense and trying to have them make sense for others is very difficult. It’s just that I have something and I have nothing and I don’t know what to do with it. The same goes for having my daughter. So many people go through this nightmare and never come out with a live baby at the end. I am so lucky, blessed, whatever you wanna call it, to have a living daughter before I endured the horror of having my son die. I should feel blessed. I should feel lucky. Because I am. And when I look at her I see that, and I know that, and I feel that. But then I think about my son, I don’t feel lucky or blessed. And then I don’t feel like I have a right to feel that way because it could have been so much worse. And I was lucky, or blessed, that it wasn’t. But, the joy of my daughter does not negate the intense sorrow of my son. So much of what I feel these days is conflicting. Something and nothing. Blessed and damned. Alive and dead. Happy and sad. Wistful and angry. I don’t recognize myself anymore. This grief is changing me on a daily basis. And all I could say at the end of my melt down is that I just want it to go away. I don’t want the anger or the sadness or the gaping hole in my heart. I don’t want the memory of a son who was never mine. I don’t want the knowledge that I have. I don’t want the sorrow for a little boy who came and went on the same day. We were fine before Logan. Why couldn't we just stay that way? I’m not sure what the purpose of his existence even was. What reason, what lesson can justify the amount of pain I feel? Ok, sure, God saved Logan from a lifetime of suffering. And for that I am grateful. No mother wants their child to suffer and would go through any amount of pain and suffering herself to prevent her child from having to do so. But since I believe that God is the only creator of life, what reason did he choose to create a life in Logan, only to take it away so soon? What reason could there possibly be? I know there is no answer to this. And this is where I am again…denial, anger and questioning.

David made a good point to me last night. I said that Logan would have been 7 weeks old, and he said “No he wouldn’t, because he wouldn’t have even been born yet.” I’ve never thought about that before. Logan was only born because he was already dead. They induced me after he died. So January 24th, the day he was born dead, isn’t even his birthday. And, it’s not the day he died (they think he probably died on the 21st or 22nd). It’s just the day he left my body. How am I supposed to celebrate that day? He wasn’t supposed to be here yet! There was no birthday. This wasn’t supposed to be 7 weeks after he died…it was supposed to be 30 weeks along. And I’m pissed! And I’m tremendously sad. And I’m confused and scared. I hate that my blog exists, I hate that I know there are people, millions of people, who are parents to dead babies. I hate that we know each other because we share the sorrow of baby loss. I hate that I am not ignorant to this horror. And I hate that I go through life with a plastic smile on my face trying to be for others what they think I should be because they can’t cope with my reality. I am full of screaming. I feel like my entire being is one enormous scream. And I hate that. I hate that my entire life is shadowed by thoughts of a dead baby that I almost knew, but not quite. I hate that I can’t show people pictures of my son because they won’t see what I see. They won’t be able to look past the dark, red, peeling skin and see my sweet, sweet tiny baby boy. They’ll see a horror where they should see such joy. And I hate that I can’t show them pictures of my son. I hate that I can’t share memories of my son, because I have none. Nothing tangible and real. I could show the blanket, but why? I didn’t make it, I didn’t buy it and I didn’t pick it out. Some sweet volunteer made that blanket, and the nurses wrapped him in it. It wasn’t his blanket. It was a blanket for a dead baby. I have footprints and handprints…of a dead baby. I have nothing of a baby that was living. Everything I have of Logan has a horrific fact tied to it. Dead baby. Not a live baby who had living pictures and footprints, and then died. He was already dead. He had been dead for a few days. No one can see past that, especially if I can’t. I’m weary, and it’s only been 7 very long weeks...that flew right by. A second and a lifetime. Something and nothing. Life and death. And all I can do is shake my head in disbelief.

I still can’t believe it.


Ter said...

3.5 years later, and I still can't believe it either. ((HUGS)) That baseball bat is painful!

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