"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.

A million thoughts at midnight.

I have too much on my mind. I can't sleep. I don't think I do that much, sleep. I don't remember not sleeping, but in the morning (and through out the day) I feel exhausted and like I got ran over by a truck. Almost like a hangover. A grief hangover maybe. Like how it is after a crazy holiday and you feel wiped out and emotionally and physically exhausted for a time after. Maybe that's what is happening. Maybe I'm to that stage where I am just wiped out.

-Ross says there are 5 stages to grief; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression & Acceptance. A friend of mine said there are 6, the sixth one being Repeat. I've repeated this cycle over and over and over again. Some stages more than others. I seem to like to hang out in stage two; anger, the most. I've done a lot of bargaining too. But, God doesn't accept bribes. Trust me, I tried. I tried a lot. But here I am, shuffling into stage 5. I say shuffling because I'm not sure I want to be here yet. I'm not sure I want to accept that my son is dead. It's been so hard to be told he's dead, then to feel it, then to see it, then to talk about it, then to know it and now to accept it? It doesn't seem appropriate. I don't want to accept it. It feels like I'm just laying down and taking it with out a fight. And though I know that I can fight and scream till I'm blue in the face, he will not be coming back...I guess it makes me feel like I tried and did my best...just in case by some fluke God reverses the rules of the universe and gives him back to me. I mean, his death was a fluke...couldn't I experience more of those? No. I know that it won't happen. But to accept it seems like more than I am capable of. Seems like. But, I guess it's not though, is it? Because, horror of horrors...here I stand on the cusp of stage five; acceptance. With part of me still hanging out in stage two, because YES...I am still very pissed. I just am not sure at who, or for what anymore. I just know that I am so very angry still, and I still can't believe it, and I'd still trade every second of my life for him, and it still makes me want to sleep all day and pretend it didn't happen...even if I am starting to accept it. Which leads me to believe that you never really get past the stages of grief. Won't I always still be just a little in denial that such a horrible thing happened to me? Won't I always be a little angry (or a lot) and still try to barter for his return...or at least to take this breath taking ache away? Won't there always be a corner of my heart (at the very least) that wants to hide from the rest of the world? How is it then that I am to get PAST the stages of grief? No. I think I will forever cycle through each stage, again and again and again. Maybe in varying degrees, maybe in different ways, but none the less.

6 months. Logan has been dead for 6 months. Dead for as long as he was alive. This is me in stage 1. Denial. I still can't believe he was here...and now gone. But I see this milestone in an odd way. No longer do I feel like I am standing on the tracks with a freight train barreling down at me at an incomprehensible speed ready to splatter what's left of my guts out for the world to see. Nowadays I feel more like I am sitting in my car, the first person in line...waiting. Annoyed, impatient, distracted but still dazed as I watch this enormous freight train come barreling down the tracks at a speed that leaves me awe struck. Six months flying up on me so fast, while I'm going on with the rest of my life, seemingly unaware. But I'm aware of it's approach the same as I would be aware of the ground shaking, the sounds, the smells, the vibrations in my body of an approaching freight train. Have you ever stood next to a train that was moving? The power will blow your mind. You are such an insignificant force by comparison. That's how I feel now. An insignificant force standing beside an enormous freight train that is no longer going to run me down, but one that is going to pass me bye...leaving me shaken, awe struck and significantly aware of just how fragile I really am, but one that will leave me standing in the end. Survival. Isn't that what I begged God for? Let me survive this breath taking, gut wrenching, mind blowing, heart shattering event. I guess I survived. I'm still breathing, but...it still hurts, when I allow my thoughts to wander down the path with my little boy.

This past weekends was one of those times I wandered down that path a few times more than my current normal. Independence Day. BBQ's and family get togethers for so many, my family not excluded. This event would have been when I would have introduced Logan to my extended family back home. He would have been about 6 weeks old or so. Instead, I went to the BBQ with my DH and the Muffin and it was just like last year. Well, except for a few conversations here and there about the autopsy papers and other stupid stuff. Although, I did have an ironic encounter. It's encounters like this, seemingly random things that really are just inappropriate face punches from the universe, that still take my breath away. My cousins new beau was wearing one of those rubber bracelets made popular by that Cyclist dude. It was white with green letters. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me because from where I sat I could swear it said LOGAN. I asked the boy and sure enough, it did indeed say Logan's name. When I asked him about it he said that he just liked the color of it and thought it looked nice. My cousin got it from my uncle and gave it to him. No significance whatsoever. He thought it stood for The Logan Center. When I asked what that was he turned to ask my aunt if she knew. The Logan Center is a home for the mentally retarded. Nice. Thank you universe. Even more ironic since my son was retarded, having had Down Syndrome (which I've come to find is a syndrome of mental and physical retardation). What are the odds? What are the odds that I would notice a name on a random bracelet on a kid I didn't know for a home of MR folks on the day that I was consumed with thinking that it should have been my sons coming out party? What are the freakin' odds of that? Well, if you haven't noticed...odds, the ones that no body wants, have managed to find there way to my door step quite a bit lately. I digress. You win universe. I just don't have the mental stamina to keep up anymore. I wish I would have asked him for the bracelet.

Six months also marks the end of our medically demanded infertility. On the 24th we will be cleared, physically, not necessarily emotionally, to start trying to have another baby. We won't be. Not now anyway. I haven't even brought it up in a few weeks. I know. My DH is so not ready. And believe it or not, I find that on days where I am thinking logically and not ovulating or mucking around in the empty arm blues I'm not ready either. Today I even found myself wondering if I would ever be ready again. Wondering if the Muffin was going to be enough for me and my mommy desires. Wondering if I thought it would be worth it or not. Of course it would be. Having a child is worth every ounce of pain you can get, and I'd cut off my own leg if I had to. Maybe wondering more so if I wanted to put my heart out there again with the chance that it might get obliterated again. Maybe convinced that I wouldn't be able to birth a healthy child again. Maybe convinced that Logan was a warning to knock it off. Wondering if I was being punished, rewarded or warned. Wondering if it mattered. Hoping that I wouldn't crust over with a bitterness that could never be penetrated. I think I'd like to have more children. I hate feeling like it isn't a good idea, that there is a time limit, that it might not happen even if I wanted it to.

Anyhow, so being in this acceptance stage...or at least tip-toeing around it, had me laying in bed tonight thinking of all of these things. Which invariably led to my thinking of an urn again. My son needs to be in an urn. Having this open end, just leaves things unfinished, fresh, raw and still bleeding. We need to tie up this loose end. But urn shopping makes me nauseous. And I have been having some relatively grief free days as of late and frankly I enjoy them. And I don't want to cry anymore. And I don't want to think about his dead little body. And I don't want to have to pick out a freakin' urn for my son!!! And every time I think about it I get really, really, really mad all over again. And I keep saying the same thing, I shouldn't be doing this! This isn't natural, it isn't normal, it isn't right! And yet, it still has to get done and prolonging the inevitable just means that I have to continually pick at the scab. Which, as everyone knows...makes for a worse scar. Sigh. I know I have to. And I know I'll have to drag my DH down with me when it's time. And that makes me leery too because he's had a rough time too and I don't want to induce any more tears for either of us and sadly I think that for the most part the white box on top of my armoir has become a fixture that is easy to let blend in with the rest of the clutter in my home...and though I know that is my son, it's easy to pretend otherwise...most of the time.

I've been thinking about God a lot lately. I'm Christian. I think I've mentioned that before. I'm back slidden, or a prodigal daughter or a fence sitter or what ever you want to call it. But the fact remains that though I believe there is a God, he makes me nervous. My mom said once that she pictured me hiding behind a bush hoping God wouldn't notice me and would just leave me alone. I guess I'd have to say that I picture it more like I'm waiting for God to jump out from behind a bush and yell BOO! Because, quite honestly, as I have looked around me over the years at those I thought were good Christians, those are the people who've had their lives yanked out from under them like a rug. I know, I know...there are a million earthly reasons and God isn't out to get us. Sure. I hear ya. I might even believe you on most days. But my faith was shaky before this, and now I find myself more leery of God than ever. Having said that, I know that I need to get back in church regardless. I want to raise my daughter with those beliefs, and sadly I don't know how to teach them to her when I am having such a hard time believing the most fundamental things. I don't doubt there is a God. I can not look at creation, at the human body, at science, at any of it and come up with a better explanation. My logic tells me that there must be a God. But knowing this God. Understanding this God...that's where I fall flat on my face. I can not comprehend this God. It is beyond me. I have no faith, so I can't rely on that anymore. So, I have to trust my gut and my logic. And if there is a God, and there is a Heaven and my sons there...then I want to do everything I can to get there to meet him. Sigh. And I miss the comfort or peace or whatever it is I used to have. And I am hoping that God will reveal to me the why's of my son's death...or more so the illness that made it impossible for him to live. I am hoping for peace, or understanding, or something to go along with the facts and acceptance. Sadly though, one can not be argued into a belief, so don't bother sending me notes trying to convince me or preach to me...thanks for the thought and effort but my family and friends IRL do that already...I really can't take any more of it. I'm just hoping, and on occasion praying, that I find my way back. That my beliefs come back, that my faith comes back. That I can teach my daughter the truths that I know exist, even if my heart rejects them right now. I wonder how many people pray and ask God to help them believe...I do. I want to believe. I miss believing.

Why is it at night when I am exhausted, and seemingly on the days when I am most exhausted do I think about my son? Why is it that I become so overwhelmed with thoughts about him and the terror that my life has become these last 6 months that I feel so compelled to get up out of bed and blog my fingers off until the wee hours of the morning? I do good all day, stuffing those thoughts, ignoring those memories, but at night they sneak up on me and try to suffocate me. Some days I wish they would. Anything to make the ache go away. Admittedly the days and the nights are far better than they were a few months ago. I'm progressing through this grief crap. I guess that's something. This blog does that for me. Some place to let it all out. Everyone needs an outlet I suppose. The thoughts and feelings easily flow from my finger tips even though I choke on them if I try to speak them. I guess it's probably a good thing that I don't blog as often as I used to. Like it's a measure of my progress. Time. It's a force to be reckoned with. I'll take it. These days I take anything that helps move me along. Impatient as always. But life goes on does it not? A thousand years ago some woman's baby died...yesterday, some woman's baby died. And life goes on. More babies will die, and life will still go on.


Jen said...

I know I can't say anything that will help, but I can say thanks, I needed this post to help me too. I am so sorry for your loss. From a mom who just lost her baby Katy 2 weeks ago.

Mia hat eins mehr! said...

Dear Heather, thank you so much for this post. Sometimes it just helps to know to not be alone with all these mixed feelings. Your post helped me to clear my own weird thoughts. Thank you also for posting about having another baby, as I find it a very hard question after all we have been through, we-that we had to burry our children. In 2 days it would be my daughters 2. birthday. Well, it looks like I am still in stage six.

Hugs from a bereaved mother from Germany.

CLC said...

Hugs to you. I hope tomorrow is a little better for you.

I am in stage 6 myself. Pissed and still in disblief.

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