"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.

Incoherent ramblings about why packing things away makes me cry.

The summer before my daughter was born I bought a bunch of infant clothes from this young mom at her garage sale. I think I bought most of what she had. Everything was so pretty and clean and in such nice shape...and cheap, I just couldn't not buy them. I was pregnant for the first time. I'm sure I showed. Her daughter looked to be about 18 months or so at the time. I remember as she was putting everything in the bag she started to cry. Her mom made mention of how it's hard to watch your babies grow from babies to toddlers. I just remember feeling weird and uncomfortable. I mean seriously...they're were just clothes...nothing to cry over. I thought. Thoughts of a naive mommy-to-be who didn't have a clue of what she'd eventually loose.

We're having a garage sale at our home here on Saturday. So I have found myself going through my daughters things, deciding what to hang onto "just in case" and what to part with. And oddly enough I'm doing it with a lump in my throat. An unexpected lump. My baby isn't a baby anymore, she's a toddler. She's growing up and having her own personality, her own likes and wants. And there it is...that pang. The pang that says that one of my babies is growing up faster than I can comprehend...and one never will. I put the two events together. I put aside so many baby items for Logan knowing that they would be used in just a few short months...and there they sit. Packed up. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Hoping. Just-in-case. Hoping because surely there will be another baby in this house someday. Surely this can not be the end of such a wonderful and short period of time. We live for 80+ years. And I get less than 18 months? 18 months to rock and hold my "baby" before she is no longer a baby. It wasn't long enough. I didn't know I would have such a desire to be a mommy. I didn't know how much I would love it. And now I do. And now I want as many babies as I can get my hands on. But as I look through Aubrey's stuff and I realize that there isn't a second baby here like was planned, and expected, and that there isn't one in my near future...how long do I hang on to this stuff...just-in-case?? Forever. I want all of it forever. I want to keep it because I KNOW that there is another baby in my future. Because I can just not accept that it has all been stolen from me. It was a mistake. There will be another little boy. Otherwise its all just a cruel reminder that we had hopes of a little boy, and those hopes have been smashed into a million slivers that have driven themselves down so deep into my heart I will never get them out!

I know why that young mom cried now. It's such a short window and I didn't know. I didn't savor it maybe as much as I should have. I didn't know. And now I do. I took for granted that I would be doing it all over again sooner than I could comprehend. Sooner than maybe I was ready for. But none the less, I was going to get to do it all over again. Logan should have been turning 3 months right about now. He'd be in a new size. 3-6 months. I'd have been a shopping fool all summer looking for baby clothes. He'd have been wearing those jumpers I bought from Kohl's two days before I found out that my world was crashing in on me. Green and Blue. Little lizards. I can see them clear as day in my minds eye. There, packed up with everything else. Shoved into the top of the closet that was supposed to be his nursery. I hate those memories. I hate what they remind me of. That gleeful innocence. Damn it. We were having a son!! A boy. And now it's just the three of us again and here I am almost 7 months later and I still can't get a grip on this new reality. I still can't believe this happened to us! I can't believe my baby died! My baby boy.

Today I feel the loss of two babies. Different losses, but a loss just the same. I have sadness for my daughter growing so fast while I wallow around in the misery that was thrust upon me three days before she turned a year old. I have tremendous grief for a little boy I never saw enter this world alive. He will forever be a baby, just not one I get to hold and rock and feed. Not one I get to worry over, fret over, get annoyed with. Not one that will ever grow out of his own set of clothes. Not one that I'll have baby memories of and get to complain and cry about how fast it all went. They say it goes by in the blink of an eye. Logan, his went before I could even think about blinking. And what do I do with his stuff? Will I ever be able to place those clothes on another little boy? Will I be able to look past the face that should have been there into the one who really is? Will I even get the chance to make a concerted effort not to worry about having to try to do that?

I don't like the loss of control I feel. Control over my own life and destiny. Shouldn't I be the one who gets to decide how many children I want to raise? Shouldn't I be the one to say weather or not there will be another baby in this house? Shouldn't I get to decide my future? How is it free will if I can will another baby all I want, and have none appear? I don't like being forced into the roll of a grieving mom for a baby that was never even born. I took it for granted. I took for granted how fast I got pregnant. And I did it when I wanted. We said, let's have a baby...and we did. We thought, lets maybe have another, and before we could really decide if it was the right time...BAM, baby! Getting pregnant was easy. I just did it when I wanted. And I took for granted that Aubrey's pregnancy and birth were so perfect. All babies, who are lucky enough to grow in the womb of a mommy who really wants them, are born perfect. Bad stuff happens to idiotic women who don't take care of their bodies and their babies. Bad stuff happens to bad people. Not to us. We're good people. We're good parents. We wanted that baby. We wanted our little boy and were overjoyed by his imminent birth. We missed something. Took it all for granted. Something. We just assumed. Assumed that babies are born healthy and alive and grow up when you love them. So what the hell happened? What did we do wrong? Assume? Take for granted? I just don't understand why our babies die. Why they're are created imperfect, why they get ill, why they aren't compatible with life? Why life isn't compatible for with them? I did everything right, and I failed. FAILED. LOST. STRUCK OUT.

6 months, 2 weeks & 6 days later I am still reeling. Still trying to figure it all out, piece it all together. Accept it. Move on. Forget. Remember. Breathe. Not curl up and give in to the darkness that is so much more inviting than this reality.

Guess I should get back to digging through memories and figuring out which ones I'm going to toss out for random strangers, who don't have a clue, to riffle through and pay pennies for. And I'll probably cry too. I'll probably stand there and remember the day I bought this or that for my daughter, how she looked playing with it, and how fast it all happened and how I thought I'd store it for Logan's use next year...and how it all came smashing down around me. And the day I realized it was ridiculous to hold on to so many things for a baby that IS NO MORE!! Or maybe I'll box it all up and just let it sit in the corner, with all of the other should've been items. Because in the end I'll try to hoard every minuscule memory I have of my babies...even the ones I fabricated. If memories are all I'll have left...


Michele said...

I remember thinking the comments about bad things not happening to good people... Which meant I had to find a reason why they happened to us when we were good people who did everything right, had regular prenatal appts, took vitamins, ate well, etc. How could this happen? And then, when it happened again... OMG. I couldnt even comprehend.

I refused to pack up their things. I just couldnt. I needed to hold onto them, to know that they were there, that they were theirs. It's funny because I wonder what I would have done after 5y passed or 10y... Would I have finally packed up the nursery then? The nursery that they didnt get to sleep in, that they never came home to?

Be gentle to yourself, dear one. If you cant/dont want to/wont sell them, that is okay. If you need/want to/have to sell them, that is okay too. Be gentle... There is always another yard sale, next year...

Mirne said...

When I was pregnant with my son (after I lost my daughter) I bought name tags for his clothes. I was determined to be optimistic. When he was born (alive and healthy) I received so many clothes for him. Gifts from happy family and friends. I wrote his name in all those clothes. On the size/care labels. And then he died. My beautiful son died when he was 7 weeks old. Now I still have those clothes. All those clothes, most still new and unworn, with his name written on them. I'm pregnant with my son's brother. He will (hopefully) be born in 2 weeks and he will wear my son's clothes. He will wear clothes that my son wore, that he was meant to wear, that have his name written in them. It's all wrong. Wrong. It wasn't meant to be like this.

Catherine W said...

Oh Heather. This is so heartbreaking.

I'm with Michele. You don't have to do anything, not if it doesn't feel like the time. Keep every single thing. That's what I've done. I've kept every single thing of J's, as she outgrows her clothes I am transferring them to the attic. Where they sit next to her sister's unused cot. I don't know if any of the things I am storing up there will ever be used. But I want them and I can't bear to part with them so there they will stay. For the time being anyway.

I also feel like I failed. It is so strange, when I read your words I see such a loving mother reflected in them. One who loves both her children deeply. A mother who didn't fail her children, not at all. Who did nothing to deserve this. Who did nothing wrong. I know that people say the same thing to me, I know that it doesn't always help, that it might be hard for you to see yourself that way. I don't think you failed Logan. Not in the slightest.

And we all too it for granted. We all assumed. How could we possibly have known?

Mrs. Spit said...

I'm sorry. I remember when we took apart Gabe's nursery, knowing there wasn't another child, and there likely would never be a baby that would use those things. It broke my heart.

I look at those things in the basement, and I know that the only child we will ever have is dead, and we don't need them, and it still breaks my heart to see them in the basement, and I can't face getting rid of them.

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