"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.

April's Under the Tree Questions

How long has it been since you lost your child?
Logan died January 24, 2009. 3 months 6 days ago.

Has your grief changed at all?
I don't know. Sometimes it feels like I go through the grief cycle on a constant basis. I think mostly I'm just sad and angry. I'm sad that he died, angry that he had to, and angry that he was sick. I'm angry that people who abuse, murder and neglect their children get to have kids, and yet mine died. I don't get it. I spend a lot of time confused.

Is your life becoming any easier or is it just harder as time passes?
Most days it's easier. I'm trying to accept it. I'm trying to believe that it was for the best. I'm trying to believe that it isn't the end, that I will be able to have more children and that no they won't necessarily have Down Syndrome. I'm starting to struggle with my age. I just turned 32 last week. I know that's not old, but most of the time DS is associated with age and if I can have a child with DS at 31...why not at 33 or 35?? So, my age is really starting to bother me. This next month would have been my due date. I'm starting to dread that a lot, and having two pregnant friends is hard.

How do you feel when you see pregnant women when you are out and about?
Mostly wistful. I'm happy for them, most of them. I'm glad to see that life does go on and that not all babies die. It's tough now, when I see or hear that someone is due when I should have been due. That makes me sad. But a lot of times I contemplate their lives. I mean, maybe she's had a few babies die. Maybe that's her rainbow baby. Maybe her baby is dead already. Maybe her baby is going to die. I certainly don't want to begrudge any woman a child, and I wouldn't wish a dead baby on my greatest enemy. So, I try not to assume that their lives are all sunshine and butterflies, because sadly it could be anything but that.

Whats your therapy in the aftermath of losing your child?
This blog. I find so much comfort reading about other's stories, to see that they feel and say the same things that I do, at least close enough. It makes me feel normal. It makes me feel like I'm grieving the way I should be.

Do you go to counseling?
I've decided that if I don't see a difference by June I'll probably seek out some help.

Do you do artwork or some kind of exercise or do you simply just let yourself be?
I write poetry, I scrapbook, I exercise, I read fantasy books and try to immerse myself in projects.

What helps you?
My greatest help has been this blog. Being able to get the ugliness out, getting encouraging words from others has really helped keep me from drowning. My husband is a great source of strength and comfort for me also. Knowing I am not alone, knowing he understands and knowing that even if he doesn't or can't he is willing to accept my grief the way that it comes. I love him for that.

Twilight, 3 Months, McCracken and other stuff

I'm alone today. This should be a good thing. Thursday snuck up on me with out too much noise. The muffin is with grandma, per the usual routine on Thursdays. I'm glad for the "freedom" to do some cleaning and what not, but I'm not really in the mood. That's the thing. Lately I haven't been in the mood to do much of anything...except read the Twilight series. I've become obsessed with it. Maybe this is my new project now that I'm done with the laundry room and you can only blog about so much, and frankly my diet just sucks and depresses me more everyday. I'm holding onto the knowledge that it seems that the 3 month mark is tough on everyone. Even my husband is bluer than usual. That's heartbreaking for me too. I had hoped he would be able to move on easier than I. I had hoped that his ache wasn't as severe as mine. I had hoped. Seems like it was in vain though. Men ache and love and miss in the same magnitude as we do I suppose. Much to my dismay. It seems unfair that both of us should feel such loss, like one of us isn't bad enough. David does all he can, it seems, to give me joy. To keep me from tipping over the edge. I won't lie, that edge seems mighty inviting, especially as of late. Anyhow, so the Twilight books have given me something to obsesse over, to keep my mind very occupied. I love them, and I love immersing myself in such make believe that it leaves little room for my reality. David's been kind to me. Letting me read and neglect him and the house and my other responsibilites to escape this reality. But, I'm on the waiting list at teh library for the third book. A few minutes ago a freind of mine sent me a link to an online version of the 5th book (Twilight written from Edwards perspective) and it's taking every ounce of strength not to sit down and read all 257 pages this afternoon, instead of cleaning. BUT, I owe David. So, I will clean today. Much to my dismay. My mother is coming on Saturday, so it's probably for the best anyhow.

About Twilight. If you are a huge fan, and are in the process of reading or haven't read the series yet, you may want to skip this paragraph unless you want a warning about a dead baby. But, I thought I would give a little warning to something that was not in the movie, but is in the book. Esme, tell's Bella about her baby dying a few days after birth. Esme flung herself off of a cliff (odd, I could relate!). That's the story behind how she became a Vampire. The paragraph isn't real detailed, but there is most certainly a dead baby and I wasn't warned, so it struck me. So, I didn't want anyone else to have to have that. Also, my girlfriend told me last night that in the 4th book Bella get's pregnant and they think it's a vamp baby. She says is pretty disturbing, and she doesnt' think I should read it. I'm going to anyway. I feel like if I am warned I can handle it, it's the surprises I don't like. So, thought she wrecked what seems like it would be a pretty major point in the book (and now I have too, sorry)...I am glad to be prepared for a pregnancy...and whatever else horrid thing may happen. BUT, aside from all of this, I LOVE the series (but, I dig fantasy books) and I think it tops my list of all time favorites.

I finished reading Elizabeth McCracken's book An Exact Figment of My Imagination. I don't really have an opinion of it. It isn't a self help book. It isn't a comfort book. The book isn't written to comfort anyone. It is simply her story. Kind of like a blog in a book. It's her timeline of how her baby died, what she said, did and felt. That's it. I enjoyed reading it. I related to a lot of it. Anyhow, I thought I'd pass the book along. So, the first person to comment and say they want it, I'll send it to them.

It's been three months. I am having a hard time grasping at that. THREE MONTHS! It doesn't seem possible. It makes me want to vomit when I think about it. I'm tired of that feeling. I can't put my thoughts into words. Most days I feel black. Most days I feel bruised and beaten. Most days I just want to forget these past 9 months. I'm starting to feel it now, that people think I'm over it...or that I should be. I know that I shouldn't be, so I don't really care about the others...but I'm starting to feel it. The city is allowing me to plant a tree in Logan's honor at the park I would have taken him to play in. I've decided on a Weeping Willow, I think. They'll plant it and install a plaque for me. I'm surprised at their eagerness. I didn't tell them my story. Just that it was for my son. I want a Weeping Willow because it seems appropriate. I want a large tree that would signify his presence in my life, and a playful one that would sway in the breeze to signify my child. There's something about Weeping Willows, they seem sad, dominant, whispy, strong...they seem like they should be from a little boy who missed out on life. The city said they can plant it the week of my due date (May 19th). We're not having a service or anything. Just the three of us, going to honor our little boy. Everyone else can visit on their own. But I am delighted that I can have exactly what I wanted, where I wanted it and that for a life to come (provided it doesn't die or get cut down) I will be able to drive by and see that enormous tree, and knwo that THAT tree is my sons tree. No one else's.

I had a whole lot more written, but my blogger died...so, I'm not retyping it. I don't have the energy.

More bad days.

I wasn't thinking about him. I mean, really. Not sitting around "thinking" about him. I was watching TV. But, I've been feeling "off" all day. My DH is very ill. So ill that he passed out this morning. So ill, that for the first time in the 7 years we've been married...he's calling in sick to work. I feel bad when he is sick. I hate it. And I don't think that's what got the ball rolling on my foul mood today. I'm not sure when it happened. Little by little over the day I just got more and more angry. Violent angry. I wanted to punch someone. Everything the dog did enraged me. Even my daughter grated on my nerves after a few hours. All I wanted to do was cram something into my mouth, all day long. I even craved pizza. I'm not a huge fan of pizza. I even took the muffin to go to 7-Eleven and get a Slurpee. I don't do that. The one other time I did that she grabbed the Slurpee cup from me and it went everywhere. No. I don't ever take her to get a Slurpee with me, but today I felt crazed to have one. Anything to make me feel better. Anything. That's how I've been feeling a lot lately. Constantly, and desperately searching for relief. To feel better. I understand the whole emotional eating thing now. That nice sugar buzz...it can be euphoric at times. It really does "make it all better" if only for a few minutes. But at least it's a few minutes I didn't have before. After dinner I took the muffin to a park. I took this picture of her today. Her happiness at the swings was infectious, even though I contemplated making a scene with some unruly teenage boys. I wanted to drown in her laughter, but I still couldn't manage to shake the rage that was starting to boil inside of me. I don't even know what I was mad at. Later I came home and hauled a bunch of debris to the curb. That took a lot of exertion, which I was hoping would help. It did not. Then I road my bike. Ten minutes, because a few blocks from home I realized I didn't pump my tires up all the way and the back one reminded me how fat my butt is by looking totally flat. Thanks. I needed that. I was just going to spend the evening scrapping. I started a new page for Logan's book. I never quite made it though. My husband talked me into watching TV with him, and I was too burnt to argue, or to think, so I agreed. I even spent 12 hours over the past two days reading Twilight. I finished it. There's a paragraph in their talking about one of the Vampire woman having had a baby die a few days after birth. Sigh. It's everywhere I turn. Even when I am doing my utmost to try to hide from it, to avoid it. More dead babies. Even fictional ones. She threw herself off a cliff. I totally got it. I thought to myself, "hmm... well, it is an overcoming desire to be rid of the pain and memories". I'm not suicidal. But, I have found that I am growing more curious of the idea of being pain free. But other than that small paragraph I was transfixed by this book. I was so drawn in that I didn't think about anything outside of the book while I read and read and read. It was a nice relief. But I wasn't "thinking" about Logan tonight while I watched TV. There were no dead babies or injured children. But, the moment my DH asked me to come to bed...I melted again. I don't know why. I don't know what sets me off, or what it is I am even crying about. I just know that I have an intense sadness that seems to always be hanging out just below the surface. Something is missing. Something is just not right. 3 months 2 days. That's how long I've been drowning in this horror. I seem to be finding more and more bad days. Bad days I can't explain, not even to myself. Three months. I did think it was going to be better by now, I truly did. Not all better, but well on my way. I would have been 37 weeks tomorrow. I barely remember being pregnant anymore. It's like a hazy dream. I hate it. I hate the unpredictability that seems to be taking shape in my path of grief. I hate that I feel like I might actually be embarrassed (and I don't have a clue why) to answer if anyone actually did ask me how I was doing (in reference to my dead baby). Maybe I'm embarrassed because deep down I must think by now I should be moving on. I don't know. No one ever really asks anyway. Well, my dad does, but it's more so because he likes to gawk, to be needed, to be the "go to guy", to be in the know. Not because he actually cares about how I am doing. And trust me, he does not. But no one (outside of my MIL, who has three times, and each time breaks down) has genuinely asked me how I am coping. And not that I want to tell anyone IRL, but I'd still like to know that people haven't forgotten, that they give a crap. That people know that this is a huge event that you don't walk away from severely damaged. I am starting to see why grieving people isolate themselves and push people away. Anymore I just have no desire to talk to or be around anyone who doesn't "get it". I'm weary. I'm tired of trying to fake my way through a conversation. I just don't care anymore. I can not have a serious conversation with anyone in my life, everyone is so dramatic about the pettiest and most insignificant things. Odd how a dead baby can alter what is significant in life. Nothing is anymore. I feel myself withdrawing and I really wish people would go away. I want to be left alone. When I hear people talk about their petty issues all I can think of is a group of teenage girls talking about teenage drama. You know, the kind you laugh about when your in your thirties. My newly pregnant friend, she says to me the other day that she thinks something might be wrong whith her baby because she isn't having all of the horrible pregnancy issues (like sever morning sickness). People, she's 7 weeks along and she tells ME, that she thinks something is wrong with HER baby because she isn't sick enough. Seriously. I wanted to slap her. I don't know if she is trying to relate to me or what, but it's really starting to bum me out. I just want an escape. I want to find a nice salve and cake it on. I am still afraid of my bed. Three months now, and every night I dread going to bed. I'm emotionally exhausted and very impatient with my grief. I want this to be done. I feel like I'm missing part of my life. Part of my daughters life. And I am pissed that this "event" has shadowed my memories with my daughter. I can not imagine ever being able to look back on this year and not see the devastation around us. I feel broken and defeated. Drained and dried up. Useless and pathetic. Weary, and too tired to care.

Policy Change at U of M

The letter came today. The one from U of M telling me that they changed their policy about returning the ashes of donated babies (I didn't realize I had donated him). The one asking me if I wanted my child's ashes back. The one with the request for my address so that they could send him home via registered mail. I filled it out. Yes, I want his ashes returned. The letter will be in the mail tomorrow! That will be an interesting surprise in the mail the day my son is "sent" home. I wonder how I'll react to that? My husband found the letter in the mail. He "filtered" it for me. It's probably a good thing I didn't see that earlier today when I was having a melt down. I probably would have thought it was Logan's autopsy report and never opened it and cried even longer and harder than I already was just because it had come. This is so surreal to me. My son is going through the USPS. The postal system. What if they loose him? What if they damage him? You can't "insure" something like that. I guess that's the "registered" part of it. Nothing about any of this dead baby mess is normal or makes any sense. It's all very Sci-fi like. I wonder if that means he's "done". I had to respond before August, so I guess that means I'll have him by then at least. Sigh. I hope I made the "right" decision for us. I'm still not sure. I'm still not sure that I want him here, or in his own place. I just don't know. I'm so afraid I'll regret it if I leave him at U of M with the other babies. I'm so afraid I'll regret it if I bring him home. What will I do with him? What will seem less crazy or weird to me? My instinct is to have him here, to carry him around, to show him to people. Yes. That is so weird and crazy sounding. I know that. I feel like the crazy lady (or ape) who refuses to accept that her baby is dead and instead walks around singing to the dead baby and swaddling him like he is alive. Some days I feel insane. Some days I wish I was. This is such a weird spot to be. I shouldn't be deciding these things. I'm a young mommy with young children... I shouldn't be burying a child. I'm glad to be given the option for his return, but it has opened up an entirely new field of questions, concerns, worries, stress and emotions. But, I'm still glad. I don't know. Maybe I'll hold onto the form for a little bit. Maybe I'll mull it over some more. What if I loose the form? :s

Today is "a bad Logan day"

I am so sad today. I don't know what's wrong with me (more so now than any other day recently). I just feel so depressed and weepy and just down right miserable. For the most part, anymore, I float through my days. Most days I don't cry. Some days, like today, I sit at the kitchen table and bawl, like it's happened all over again. I don't know why it comes in waves. I don't like it. I'm so tired. I'm so blasted tired of crying, I don't even know how I CAN cry anymore. Next week will be three months. Three horrible, wretched, God forsaken months. I want this to just go away. I don't want to know, or remember or feel any of it anymore. Why today though? What is it about today that has me in a heap of tears?
Tomorrow's my birthday. I know everyone will want to celebrate. I don't want to celebrate. I don't even want it to come. I'm so full of confusion and anger and hatred and sorrow and every other emotion one can imagine...still...three months later. Not that I thought there would be a time limit. Not that I thought I'd wake up and poof, it would be over. But I wanted it to be. Seems like everyone else has forgotten. I talk about Logan all the time. "Before my son died..." "When my son died..." "After my son died..." "My son Logan..." Random thoughts that swirl around. Really, what is there to say about my son Logan? He was here for such a short time, and frankly...never really here. I can't talk about what he used to do, how he reminded me of his daddy. I can't talk about how he smelled, or what he looked like (other than he was red, tiny, had his sister's mouth, and her funky toe). I can only talk about the fact, I was pregnant...and my son died before I ever knew who he was. People don't know what to say to that. I don't know what to say to that. But it's all I have to say. I hate that.

Today is "a bad Logan day", that's what I call these days. Days when I don't want to function. Days when I hurt and ache all over through and through and don't know what to do or say about any of it. Days when I think maybe being drunk or high on a permanent basis really isn't such a bad idea. I keep thinking of this passage in the bible I read as a teen once, it's in Proverbs 31 "6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish , and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. 7 Let him drink , and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more." and I think to myself "SEE!! Even God gets it a little!"
On Friday when we were garage saling, moments after my mobile post, we drove past the local church and the sign said "You will get through this" and I laughed and told my husband that it seemed ironic. It must be a sign! LOL! A real live sign. I saw it again today on the way to play group. Some folks would think that God is speaking to me. Be it what it may be, because frankly I'm not so sure what I believe anymore. But today, today it sounded differently to me. Not a promise, as it seemed on Friday. But a fact. "You WILL get through this" what other choice do I have but to get through it? This should be comforting to me. But, it's not. I know I'll get through it, but I don't want to. I don't want to have to. I have to wake up, and eat, and sleep and pee...I have to because my body demands that I do it. And so I feel like my soul demands that I get through "this" just as my body demanded that I go through birthing a dead baby, I had no choice. I'd have chosen differently.
Today is a bad day. Today I am weary. Today I am sad. Today I am so very, very tired.


My birthday

My 32nd birthday is on Wednesday. I don't want a birthday. I don't want to celebrate anything. I don't want the phone calls, the good wishes. I don't want to get older. I don't want my eggs to get older, since they're obviously feeling kind of old as it is. I want to turn time back and not have it march on.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Picking at the festering scab.

I'm out garage saling. It's our towns biannual city wide garage sale. It's a huge event that we look forward to all winter long. Especially this winter. My husband even took the day off of work. We love to garage sale. Love it! Sigh. But I didn't realize how sad it would make me. For months I thought about things I needed for the new baby, things I wanted to get. And there they are, everywhere. Little reminders of what is not. I bought these cute little things this morning, baby girl update cards. I wouldn't have been able to buy them if they were for a boy. But they were so cute. I have 2 friends who are pregnant, or maybe for me. Maybe next time... I went to pay and she asked me if I was having a girl. It took me off guard. I answered that I already had one and pointed at my daughter. Then my husband came to the rescue and mentioned my friends. Nothing big. But it struck me funny. Tiny reminders. Always stupid reminders. He just asked me if I was having fun. Sigh. Yes...no. Crap! I don't need reminders. I didn't forget. And it makes my heart ache so bad! I want to buy the cuddly swing I had my eye on. I want to buy the door plaque I saw this morning. I want to stop and rummage through all of the baby stuff. I wanna talk about him. He should've been here in 4 weeks now. I should be sitting here in this car because i'm exhausted and sore... Not because i'm blue and it's just easier to say my daughter needs a nap so I'll wait in the car with her. Why isn't it enough that my son died? Why does it have to be a daily reminder in every thing I do and try to enjoy? I wonder if my husband is blue today too. He sees this stuff too. He loves to hunt for things, and I know he was super geeked to find stuff for our son. He's good at hiding it. Everything is ruined for me, it seems. Tiny reminders in everything I do and see and hear. It's like picking at a scab. A festering wound that just doesn't want to heal. My sons been dead for 3 months now. Three wretched months. On this beautiful warm sunny day, it just doesn't seem possible.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

And another one bites the dust!

So I went out with friends tonight. My one friend Crystal who is about 3 months pregnant didn't come because she had a migraine. I'm a little suspicious that she didn't come because I was there. I have sent her several emails over the past two months since we found out she was pregnant, this morning was the first one she replied to and it was 2 sentences long. I was trying to be understanding, she's busy, she's pregnant and let's face it...I'm a scary reminder of what could go wrong. But her not showing up to dinner... I can't help it. It might be narcissistic to think it's because of me...but I feel like she is avoiding me, and that hurts.

Then my other friend, Amy, the only one I really hang out with on a regular basis...she announced she was 6 weeks pregnant this evening. My first reaction was sheer joy and excitement...and then sadness (for me). So, I was glad that my first reaction was a scream and she got what she needed. But, crap! I'm not ready. Not that I ever would be, but not yet. I want to be a part of it. But I'm still so raw. She voiced her fear to me this evening. The fear of what happened to my Logan happening to her baby. I wish I could have comforted her. I tried. I kept trying to say "but what are the odds?" but I couldn't ever finish that sentence. She knows. She tries to "get it" the best that she can. I appreciated her honesty and told her that yes, it's possible that her baby might die (she's epileptic and has something else that raises her rates of dead babies) but that being the case she should try to cherish and remember and to savor every blessed moment...just in case. It's the best that I could do. Sigh. That's sad. I then told her that I couldn't give her any of my baby stuff. I'm not ready to let go. What if I decide to have another? I can't let go, not yet. She said she knew that. I hope she really did. Part of me really does want to give her my stuff. But I can't. I know I can't. I know I can't see her wearing my maternity clothes or dressing her baby in things I had for mine. I can't. This is going to be tough for me. I want to be involved. I can't wait to see that baby...I hope I don't run out of the house with him/her... :s Sigh. I miss my son. We would have been pregnant, all three of us, at the same time...just like we wanted. Now, I'm the odd man out. That baby is due in early December...6 weeks before Logan's birth/death. I don't know how I'll deal with that. I want a baby too. I want MY son. He would have been here in five weeks... crap.

Logan's Afghan

On Easter I was finally presentable enough to have my photo taken, even though I still managed to have my hair in a pony tail. Here is a picture of me with the afghan that Chandos over at The T21 Traveling Afghan Project made for me in memory of Logan. The Afghan is just perfect, and even smells good. I know, that's weird that I noticed it, but I did. I love the afghan. At the moment I have it placed with all of the other "memories" of Logan. Thank you again for this precious gift to our family.

The chic at Ikea

I went to Ikea on Friday to pick up the cabinets for the laundry room. The chic who helped me order everything was very pregnant. With a boy. Due two weeks after my Logan was supposed to have been due. Crap.
Oddly enough though, I didn't hate her. I was only mildly jealous, and I really did hope the best for her. Even when she was complaining about being so pregnant. I felt sad. I should have been that pregnant too. I should have been able to stand there and relate with her and share our boo hoo's over being that pregnant. But I couldn't. I only told her to savor each moment, because they are gone so fast. I didn't cry. I didn't even think I was going to. I guess that's progress.
But this weekend it really bothered me. Deep down in the part we hide from everyone else. The place where we put things when we say nothings wrong, because it's just too big to talk about out loud. This weekend I couldn't help but think about how it should have been. How I should be walking around with my daughter, and an enormous stomach that would make bending over to pick up the eggs next to impossible. How I should be laying in bed the night before Easter with eight hundred pillows on the bed, up every few hours to pee, complaining about how tired I am. I wouldn't have been at Ikea, not alone anyhow. I wouldn't have been helping the kid load a laundry room worth of cabinets into my truck. I wouldn't have been painting my laundry room what should have been a sunset orange, but honestly looks more like Hoe Depot orange (I did that on purpose. Men love Home Depot!). I would have been sitting down with my legs up. I would have been eating my weight in fruit or drinking ice cold water (the only thing I've ever "craved" while pregnant!) I would have been complaining that I didn't have anything pretty to wear for Easter because I was as big as a house. Not complaining that the shirt I picked out to wear made me look pregnant and could pass for a maternity shirt.
The Ikea chic made it more real. I saw where I was supposed to be. I saw what I was supposed to look like (only honestly she looked about the size I was when I was 6 months along and Logan died). This weekend I couldn't shake the "should have been's" and it made me sad, when I wanted to be full of joy since it was Easter and Muffin was starting to "get" what she was supposed to be doing.
I wore my tiny tag for Logan yesterday for the first time. I wanted him to be with us on this holiday. It wasn't a very good substitute, but it sure was pretty. I also got out his Afghan to take a picture with to send it over to the folks at the T21 Traveling Afghan Blog. Sadly, it was the first time I've looked half way decent enough to take a photo of. I wanted to take the Afghan with us. No. I wanted to take Logan with us.
I think I'm numb. OR I'm back in shock. I'm not sure which. I haven't felt a whole lot of anything lately. I guess that's good. I'm sad; deep, deep, deep down in that place we don't talk about out loud. I'm sad there. I'll call it Logan's spot. I was so happy this weekend, going about doing all of the Easter like things I waited a year to do with my daughter...and she was catching on, and I loved it, and it was exciting. And all along Logan's spot ached. And all along I kept trying to push the thought that "it isn't supposed to be like this!" out of my blasted head. All along I tried really hard not to feel my big stomach, not to feel my baby rolling and kicking, not to feel the excitement of an imminent birth...just weeks away. I tried not to feel it, I swear I did. But feel it I did. And dang it, I'm tired of feeling a ghost. My soul is tired. My heart is tired. My brain is tired. And I'm not even 3 months in yet. That scares me.

Today I would have been 35 weeks along.


A little light in the darkness

A woman named Jen found Logan's blog yesterday (the post about his remains) while searching for info on stillborn autopsy's at U Of M. Sadly her son Will was stillborn this past Tuesday. Jen was kind enough to leave this comment:

"Our son, Will, was born still yesterday at 22 weeks. We also opted to have the autopsy at U of M. I linked to your site from a google search because I couldn't remember the doctor's name and I wanted to look him up. In any case, you should absolutely talk to someone there because we chose to have his ashes returned, which WAS an option--but it could take more than a year. I'm not sure how far along you were or where you live, (We live in the Detroit area) so maybe that is the difference. My OB thought that remains were not returned and was surprised by the form so maybe things have changed in the few months between our sad days. Given the delay though, perhaps you could find someone there that can help you. I'm not sure if I can help but if you think I could, email me. Good luck! Jen "

I can not begin to describe the emotions I have gone through the last 2 days. As I've stated in previous posts, I've had a hard time with not getting back Logan's remains...not knowing where he is. I know in my head HE is not anywhere here on earth. But I feel this strong instinct to protect him, even his empty shell. It's a weird feeling. So, when the above info came to me, I was beside myself. Jen later sent me some contact info for this Dr. Who, also is doing Logan's autopsy. I contacted them. Yes. They have changed their policies. Yes. We are able to get Logan's remains back. I cried and cried and cried. I can bring my son home. He can be here with me, at home...not some cold lab. Not some cold crypt. Here, in my warm house. Do you see what I mean? Logan is dead. He doesn't feel the cold, or the warmth. He doesn't know he's in a lab or here at home. He's NOT HERE! My brain knows this. My heart won't accept this. We have some time still to decide what we are going to do. It can take up to 6 months for them to finish the Autopsy. And THEN they'll contact us about the remains. Spending thousands on a crypt of our own seems foolish (that money could go to my living daughter). My husband has always reassured me that Logan being with other babies who have died seemed right. It seemed to fit. Having him buried off alone, where the world will forget him, seems cold. I've never been one to want any ones ashes in my home, but now that it's my son...I think I might. There's a lady who makes Teddy Bears to hold the urn...I might like that. I saw that on someone else's blog (a link) and I can't remember who anymore. The urn was sewn into the bears back (not holding it). Anyone know? Anyhow, I'm not sure how I feel about it all just yet. I'm not sure what I'm going to do just yet. I don't want to bum out David, and I don't want to bum out the muffin when she's older. I don't want to not be able to let Logan go because I am attached to his ashes. I don't want to be weighed down later in life, not feeling the freedom to bury him and move on. What if I lost them? What if we had a fire? What if the bear was damaged... What ifs. More and more what ifs. But right now, right now I am delighted with the option. I like having the option.

I am so greatful that Jen took time out of her own grief, the day after her own son was born dead, to help me out. It takes an extraordinary human being to come out of their own darkness to give hope and comfort to someone else. I am forever indebted to her. She gave me a little light in the drakness, and right now, it's the greatest gift I have received in the past two and a half months! Thank you so much Jen, from the deepest deep of my broekn heart.

I'm tired of being blue

Today was play group. I've decided that I am starting to hate the radio. I love country music, I do. I'm into words. I love beautiful words, and I love how people use them to describe their lives, their love, their pain...all of it. The "music" part of it is just fluff for me. I like the words. Which means, I listen to the words of the song. And as you have all noticed, I'm sure, I project them onto myself. So, I heard another song for Logan this morning. I can't remember what it is now, but it made me blue on the way to play group. I'm tired of feeling blue. I used to think I was a relatively happy person, cynical, pessimistic...but generally happy (as long as there wasn't some idiotic drama being thrust upon me by others). But now I just feel blue all the time. Even when I do laugh, I still have a shroud hanging over me. It's exhausting, this grief stuff. And I am starting to see how it affects everything I say, everything I think, and everything I do. I don't like being controlled. And I think this grief crap is controlling me. And I am frustrated in knowing that I will always have this with me. Yea, yea...I know...it gets easier. But it never leaves, and I don't like the thought of that. I am an extremely impatient person, and well...you just can't hurry the grief process along now can you?! Can you? No. I didn't think so. So, that leaves me feeling blue also. I want to be normal again. I want to tell my new friends about the Afghan that Chandos made me for Logan's memory, with out feeling hesitant that I'll bring a heaviness to the air. I want to see U of M clothing (because here in Michigan it's EVERYWHERE!!) with out thinking about my son's dead body. I want to be able to feel and do and express myself how, when and where I like, when the notion strikes, with out the second thoughts of how those around me may be affected. I want to say "Oh hey, I saw this little outfit today that I would have so bought if my little Logan was here" with out knowing that the person would look at me with those eyes. I want to be able to talk about Logan with out everyone getting sad about it, with out seeming pathetic or crazy. And not just about the tragic stuff, but the dreams I had, the things I would have done...even the mundane things like an outfit. I want to wear his tiny tag with out people asking what it says...then the inevitable questions that would surely follow...then the explanation...then those eyes. I want to just be able to listen to the flippin' radio again and not relate everything to my son. I want the old normalcy back. I don't want a new normal. The old one was just fine. I feel conquered, beat down, smothered. Smothered by this heavy cloak known as grief. Today, I feel like I am suffocating.

2 songs and a book

Ok, so riding the elliptical and listening to my tunes I heard this song by Brian Addams called "Please Forgive Me". Once again I cried like a baby. Here are the Lyrics:

It still feels like our first night together. Feels like the first kiss. It's getting better baby.
No one can better this. Still holding on. You're still the one. First time our eyes met,
Same feeling I get. Only feels much stronger. I wanna love you longer.
Do you still turn the fire on?
So if you're feeling lonely, don't. You're the only one I'll ever want. I only want to make it go.
So if I love you a little more than I should. Please forgive me, I know not what I do. Please forgive me, I can't stop loving you. Don't deny me, this pain I'm going through. Please forgive me, if I need you like I do. Please believe me (Oh believe it), every word I say is true. Please forgive me, I can't stop loving you.
Still feels like our best times are together. Feels like the first touch. Still getting closer baby. Can't get close enough. Still holding on. You're still number one.
I remember the smell of your skin. I remember everything. I remember all the moves. I remember you yeah. I remember the nights, you know I still do.
So if you're feeling lonely, don't. You're the only one I'll ever want. I only want to make it go. So if I love you a little more than I should. Please forgive me, I know not what I do. Please forgive me, I can't stop loving you. Don't deny me, this pain I'm going through. Please forgive me, if I need you like I do. Please believe me (Oh believe it), every word I say is true. Please forgive me, I can't stop loving you.
The one thing I'm sure of Is the way we make love. The one thing I depend on Is for us to stay strong. With every word and every breath I'm praying. That's why I'm saying.
Please forgive me, I know not what I do. Please forgive me, I can't stop loving you. Don't deny me, this pain I'm going through. Please forgive me, if I need you like I do. Babe believe it, every word I say is true. Please forgive me, if I can't stop loving you. No, believe, I don't know what I do. Please forgive me, I can't stop loving you. I can't stop loving you.

Obviously you have to ignore some of the more bedroomy type lines. More so I related to the Chorus. Or really I think what got me was the one part "Please forgive me, I know not what I do. Please forgive me, I can't stop loving you. Don't deny me, this pain I'm going through. Please forgive me, if I need you like I do" And not so much to my son, but more so to the rest of the world. As in, please forgive me for grieving, for not moving on, for not getting over it. Because, for me, to get over it means to stop loving my son. So, forgive me "real" world, I can't stop loving my son. And I really DON'T know what I'm doing. This is all so foreign to me. And I'm tired of feeling like I am being denied my right to go through this pain, this grieving. And forgive me for needing those around me for comfort. Forgive my inconvenient, and uncomfortable tragedy.
And then this part hit me deep too, "Still feels like our best times are together. Feels like the first touch. Still getting closer baby. Can't get close enough. Still holding on. You're still number one. I remember the smell of your skin. I remember everything. I remember all the moves. I remember you yeah. I remember the nights, you know I still do. So if you're feeling lonely, don't. You're the only one I'll ever want."

Then, and probably because I was already weepy, Paul Simon's song...Slip Sliding Away decided to punch me in the face..."I know a woman, became a wife. These are the very words she uses to describe her life. She said a good day ain't got no rain. She said a bad days when I lie in bed and think of things that might have been." And all I could think was "YEAH!!" But then this part "God only knows. God makes his plan. The information's unavailable to the mortal man. We work our jobs. Collect our pay. Believe were gliding down the highway, when in fact were slip slidin away" and all I could do was sigh. Because regardless of your beliefs it boils down to that one line "The information's unavailable to the mortal man."

I'm reading Elizabeth McCracken's book "An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination". It's similar to reading a blog. I'm little over half way through the book and it's basically her describing how it went for her, how she felt, how she coped. It's not a feel good book. It's not a how to survive book. It's just her story. But I have read two things that I find profound (to my little pea brain). At one point she says "Closure is bullshit" and it was like an "Ah ha!" moment for me! Because for so long now I keep searching for ways to find closure, and it's deeply concerned me that is doesn't seem that anyone in this club has found any. At least from where I stand. So to hear someone say "Closure is bullshit" was like hearing permission to stop looking, because I'm not going to find it. And suddenly closure didn't seem all that important to me anymore. It's odd how little things can leave such an impact on us.
"You can never guess at the complicated history of strangers" That was the other profound thing. I find myself going through days, seeing woman with babies, pregnant bellies...and I assume it's their first, or that everything is going just fine. In reality though, I don't know. Maybe they've had several dead babies. Maybe the child they're carrying is ill. Maybe they've been told that baby will die. Maybe not. But upon reading that I began to look at these woman differently. Because, after all, if they can't see my sign, than obviously I can't see theirs either. Anyhow, these are the ramblings of an exhausted, and sad woman who should be sleeping but is terrified to go to bed alone. So...at 1:30am, I sit her awaiting my husbands return so that I might find security beside me in my wretched bed.

Under the Tree Questions for March

Do you have a special place in your home for your baby?
No. I have been toying with the idea to do so. At the moment my son is scattered through out the house. His name print from my cousin is in the dining room. His memory box and blanket are sitting in the trunk in my bedroom, but it also spends a lot of time in my scrapbook room. I recently received an Afghan in memory of Logan, I've yet to decide where to keep that. I would like to have a special place for my son, I'm just not sure where to do it, or what I want it to be like.

Do you have any rituals that you perform in memory of your baby?
I used to look at his pictures every night, or touch his blanket on the way to bed. But after a while I began to think it just made me sadder, so I stopped. I guess now I would have to say that my ritual is blogging about my grief.

If you believe in an afterlife, do you receive signs from your baby? Have you ever felt their presence? Do you find them in nature? Do they visit you in your dreams?
I believe in an afterlife. And no. I do not receive signs, feel his presence or see him in nature. I have begged God to give me dreams of my son, but I have yet to receive any.

Do you have a special poem, song, prayer or quote in memory of your baby?
Yes. Several. I wrote my son a poem to go on his cover page of his scrapbook. It reads like this:
"Sweet baby, you tip-toed in and out so quietly, your life but a whisper in this world. Such a tiny hand that left an enormous imprint on this heart. My first son, how quickly we did part. A lifetime of love I have for you, now trapped in this heart that breaks a million times each day. Your eyes; a beauty I’ll never see, your cries; music for no ones ears and your smile is for God alone to enjoy. Sweet baby, you tip-toed in and out so quietly, but your life was no whisper in Mommy’s world."
I also like the verse that my cousin used on his name print from Samuel 12:23 "He shall not return to me...but I shall go to him." And just about every sad love song I hear reminds me of my Logan. Music "speaks" to me. It would be far to hard for me to name them all.

Lack of sleep, nightmares, dieting, and blogging

I'm not sleeping. I fall asleep. I stay asleep. I don't realize that I'm not "sleeping" but every morning, regardless if I've had 10 hours of sleep or 4 hours, I feel like I have a hang over. I feel like I haven't slept at all. It takes me a few hours to rev up and get moving (which isn't cool when you have a very active toddler!). It takes me a good half hour to 45 minutes of hearing my daughter chatter away in her crib (and eventually holler) to wake me up every morning. My husband told me today that I toss and turn all night long. So bad in fact that he is thinking of sleeping in the guest room. That is so NOT something I can cope with right now. I need him in bed with me. I need to feel his warmth and comfort and sureness. I need that security. I can't have him sleeping in another bed because I'm a maniac at night and it keeps him awake (he's a very light sleeper). I'm at a loss as to what to do about this. I need rest. I need to feel refreshed in the morning, not like I was at a rave all night long. It's been two and a half months of this. I'm tired. I'm drained.

I'm having nightmares again. I say again because it seems like every time I am in a stressful time in my life I am plagued with horrific nightmares (I once mutilated my BFF with Freddy Kruger nails). I say horrific because they are straight out of a horror movie. I don't watch horror movies. I don't even like suspense movies. But I am back to dreaming horrific things that terrify me at night. My latest one, I lost my daughter in a store (I already get the symbolism here). I went searching for her and ended up in a valley like park with a pond. It was a beautiful serene place. There were tons of kids. No daughter. But the park was a holding tank of sorts for imprisoned kids for child molesters. Hundreds of kids. And then I see a group of men come walking (or running) in from a pathway through the tree's, menacingly. The kids all scream. One guy makes a comment about being 22 years old (would LOVE to know why 22!) and then I woke up. 7am. Heart racing. And it dawns on me...my daughter wasn't there. Which is good. It didn't bother (the awake) me that I didn't find her, but I was so relieved that I didn't dream she was in this horrible holding tank of molested children. Anyhow, so this is torturing me again too because I can't keep myself from dreaming or having nightmares. For most of my life I used to pray to God that I could sleep and not have nightmares. I have always had such graphic horrifying nightmares. When I was 4 or 5 years old I had a recurring dream about driving over a local bridge and my younger brother who was an infant falling out of the car and over the side of the bridge. The end always ended differently. Sometimes he'd fall into a boat, sometimes my older brother would rescue him, sometimes he'd fall into the water. What 5 year old dreams that sort of horror? I know that I was 4 or 5 because of my brothers age at the time. That dream has stuck with me through the past 27 years. I don't like having such graphic night horrors. It makes me feel "messed up". I don't like that. I have asked my husband in the past if he dreams horrible graphic dreams like that. He does not. That makes me feel weird.

I've mentioned before that I started a diet blog with my girl friend (who, by the way, only needs to get in shape...not diet!). We've been going about it for a month now. I am so frustrated. I am up a half a pound from where I was a month ago. Anyhow, I wrote this about it and I was hoping for some input from some of you ladies (and men) who've been in similar shoes. So much of my emotions have been tied in with this weight loss crap, and I am getting really frustrated. Actually, I'm starting to feel like a failure. Like I'm just not tough enough to hack it. Maybe this isn't the "time" for me to be trying to loose weight, but I want to anyway. I need to feel like I can control something, even if it's as trite as my diet. I read on Jen's blog today that she ran 8 miles in one day while on vacation in Hawaii. My first thought was WOW!! My second was, "Sheesh...while on vacation??" I would love to know how to get into that mind set where I want to run, even while on vacation. To exercise because I want to, not because I should, or because I think I have to. I want to eat healthy so that my body and my mind feel better. I feel like crap about two minutes after I gorge. I feel sluggish when I don't eat healthy food. I want to get into the mind set of being a healthy person in all facets, naturally (by this I mean with out thinking about it). Where I don't give it a second thought. I don't think twice about using olive oil. I used to. I used to hem and haw about cooking in which kind of oil. Now, most of the time, I grab the olive oil with out a thought. That's how I want all of it to be. I've tried off and on for years. Any thoughts on how to just be a healthy person, naturally? That questions seems too simplistic. Obviously I can't wave a magic wand and "Tah dah" poof I'm a healthy thinking person. But I would love to know how to start moving in that direction when I feel like I have so much emotional baggage now.

Weird post tonight I know. My husband is playing cards with some of his buds, and originally I had planned to scrapbook. I never quite made it off of Blogger and down into my scrapbook room (Yes, I am such a devote scrapper that I have a room). I had gotten a little behind on the 20+ blogs that I read (whew, don't miss a few days or it takes hours to catch up). I want to read everything that everyone writes. I'm always afraid I'll miss something important or big. Or an opportunity to holler out a "Me too!!" or a chance to send a (((HUG))). Blogging has become an obsession with me. Reading and writing. I feel comfortable here. Accepted, understood, at home. You all acknowledge my pain and loss. You all "get it" like no one in the "real" world seems to. How can I expect them too? So I come here to find comfort and understanding. Like I said to Mary "We come here to cry in private. We shed our virtual tears with our virtual friends, in our virtual reality...the only reality that seems real anymore" (ooh, and she writes beautiful poetry, you should meander on over and take a peek). But I started to wonder this evening if I am hiding here. And, if I am, is that bad? Am I going to end up some crazy lady who walks around muttering to herself (things I want to blog, I am sure) that people whisper about at the playground (that's a shout out to you Angie)? I don't want to be some weirdo locked away in baby loss blog land...but I like it here.

All you need now is a little brother! (Really?)

"All you need is a little brother now!"

That's what the waitress said to my daughter and husband this evening as he was paying for our dinner. I heard it over at my table. That's the only thing I heard her say. Odd how those words found their way over to my ears, half way across the loud restaurant. My husband just played it off, of course. Like any of us would ever pounce on an innocent waitress with "Yea, well she had one...he died!" That would be cruel. Satisfying, but cruel. She's a nice waitress and obviously didn't and wouldn't have meant a cruel thing by it. Sigh. We take those comments in stride now a days. They still sting. They still hang heavy in the air. We still notice, think about, and even dwell on those comments. Months ago a comment like that would have gone in one ear and out the other. Never a second thought about it. But not now. Just another cruel reminder (on top of the endless TV shows and movies) that we've taken a pretty hefty blow from the universe.

Logan's Name in the Sand

Carly wrote Logan's name in the sand this past week. It's beautiful!

An Afghan for Logan

I was recently contacted by a woman who found my blog through Facebook. She is the president for the International Mosaic Down Syndrome Association. She wrote this:

"In my role as president, I know many people throughout the world who do special things for parents of children with Down syndrome. One parent makes a very special afghan that travels throughout the world to go to families of children with Down syndrome. I told her about your blog and she would like to make you a special afghan for you to keep in honor of Logan."

The woman who made the afghan special for Logan, runs something called The T21 Traveling Afghan Project where they send around a special afghan to children with DS to enjoy for a while before it moves on to someone else. She has a blog that tracks that afghan. She posted about Logan and the very special afghan she made for us. You can read about it and see the afghan here. The afghan should arrive here any day. We are very excited.

I am increasingly amazed on a daily basis the comfort I receive from complete strangers. People who don't know me from Adam (or Eve) write the most profound and heart warming things to me. Words that do help, and do make a difference in some odd way. Complete strangers tap into my darkness better than people who know me in real life. It amazes me. It brings me great comfort. Who could have imagined that something so small (in the grand scheme of things) like an afghan, could bring me such happiness, such comfort. Aside from an early Christmas present from my MIL, this afghan is the first thing meant for Logan that I have received from anyone. Validation that he was real. Validation that my son existed. Validation that I miss him and need him and something to grasp. Something real. It's like Barbs's Tiny Tags, or Carly's Names in the Sand. We all want something tangible, something physical that says "This was for my child! This makes them real!" I am overwhelmed by this seemingly small gesture. I will cherish this afghan with all of my heart, and for all of my days. People will know, that afghan was for my son Logan. Thank you. Thank all of you strangers that have kept me from going under. You've all meant and done more for me than you can possibly imagine.

Avert your eyes men!

This post contains subject matter of a feminine topic. Men, you may want to avert your eyes.

I'm supposed to start my cycle on Saturday. I know, we all feel much closer now. But here's the thing. That knowledge fills me with extreme anxiety. I am anxious that I may be pregnant. Logic tells me this isn't likely since we've done pretty much everything to prevent that from happening...but what if? I'm not ready to be pregnant yet. Then, on the other hand, I'm anxious that I am not pregnant. Which logic tells me is the best thing right now. But, the emotional side of me wants to be pregnant. I shouldn't be having my period because I should be 33 1/2 weeks pregnant. Should be. But, I'm not. It's messing with my head. I want to still be pregnant, and I want to still be huge and waddling around and complaining about being pregnant. I want to be fixing up the guest room to be the new nursery. I want to be busy nesting, and dreaming, and planning, and freaking out about having a new baby. I want all of that. I want my son. He should be here still. He should be kicking my ribs, and hiccuping, and doing somersaults. He should be. And I'm right back to being pissed that he's not. Last month was my first one. I didn't know it would arrive so soon (exactly 6 weeks to the day!) so I didn't have time to dwell on it. And when it arrived, it annoyed me, and made me terribly sad. This month, I'm anxious of what could be, and what probably isn't, and what I don't want, and what I really do. And I'm confused, and anxious, and full of sorrow. I hate what has happened to all of us. It is so permanent, and I can't hope for any change at all. And I see the dark cloak swooping in on me again, and I'm trying like hell to out run it. Now, I know that a lot of this is fueled by hormones, but not all. I don't want to replace Logan. I don't want to necessarily be pregnant with a different baby. I just want a do over. I want to try to get it right this time, and right with Logan. Obviously that's not possible. But I've come to realize that my heart doesn't have a shred of logic in it. Not a shred. I should be 33 1/2 weeks pregnant today. Should be. I should be 6 weeks from having my son.

My mom was here over this past weekend. I finally got the opportunity to show her Logan's memory box. And I realized something as I looked at his pictures. I didn't feel anything. There was a dead baby there. But not mine. My son had big blue eyes and blond hair. My son had his daddy's beautiful smile, and a cute little macho walk. My son, the one I always pictured, was not the one in those photo's. I didn't know that little boy. And it made me so sad, and it made me livid. I wanted to throw my kitchen chair against the cabinets. I didn't, obviously. I just sat there. I stared at a dead little baby with so much anger it blinded me. My baby wasn't supposed to be born yet. He wasn't supposed to be past tense. He wasn't supposed to be a dirty little secret, or an unspeakable horror. He wasn't supposed to be dead. I just don't know why after some ten weeks I still can't wrap my head around what happened. I don't know why I feel so obsessive and angry about something I have no power to change. I don't know why I can't seem to accept that I had a son, and he died. Why can't I accept that? Why can't I move on? Grandparents die, we move on. Aunts and Uncles die, we move on. We don't obsess over it. We don't scream that it wasn't fair. We accept it, and we move on. I can't accept this. I can't move on. I want to. Believe me, I've never wanted to move on so bad in my life. But I'm stuck right here. Stuck in the knowledge that my son is dead, that he's not coming back, and that we may never go on to have more children. And I hate it. I hate every blasted minute of this grief, and loss and knowledge and sorrow. I hate that it is steeped in every aspect of my life from looking at my husbands face and knowing my son would have looked just like him, to watching my daughter play and laugh and knowing I'll never have that with Logan, to my freakin' period! It's everywhere. I can't out run it, I can't hide from it, and I'm obviously having a hard time dealing with it. Where's my baseball bat? Something needs to get smashed!

Sparrow Farm Creations Memorial Prints

Songs for Logan

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