"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.

My friends baby died.

My new friend lost her 2nd pregnancy this past weekend. This one was 9 weeks. It makes me sad. It makes me feel so helpless listening to her cry and ask questions and wonder. There should be four children in her life, there are two. I found it interesting to hear her mimic so many of the same doubts and thoughts and guilt and feelings that I felt after Logan died. 9 weeks, 13 weeks...not much different than my 6 months. And our friendship is so new... I'm at a loss as to what to say and do. I don't want to be all like "yeah well, I so get THAT!" and calling her too much, but I don't want to not call her enough either. Its left me feeling so odd. Makes me wonder about my friends and family...how they must've felt when Logan died. Its so sad. It makes my heart ache. She wanted that baby. Didn't matter to her that it had been 9 weeks. Doesn't matter to me either. I just feel so ugly inside. Dying babies is something I will never be able to come to terms with, regardless as to the gestational age. And I hate that I know of another baby that wasn't compatible with life. I feel "honored" (if that's the right word) that she called me, felt weird that she might have felt obligated, felt sad that she knew I would understand her pain, but "glad" (again with these positive phrases in unfortunate ways) that I was here for her to talk to. I found myself saying "I'm so sorry" a lot, and "if you need company call me..." We all know how that worked for each of us. I never asked for anything. I never wanted anything. I just wanted to be left alone, and yet...not. And here I am on the other side of the fence feeling helpless and stupid, when I feel like I should have all of the right words and answers...because I've been there.

But I'm dumbstruck.

Because everything happens for a reason right??

That's what I've heard countless times over this past year. Everything happens for a reason. God takes all things and uses them for good. I have a very hard time not scoffing at those sort of comments these days, ones I would have used myself in years past. I will not in the future, I can assure you of that. Because I have realized that just because something happens, and though it may happen for a "reason" on occasion, it doesn't always have to have a reason, or at least a good reason, or a good outcome. Sometimes things just happen because that's life, and sometimes it sucks...really fracking bad! And though good things may come out of terrible things, do they always? And is it always God, or is it just the way he designed this universe? Every action has an equal and opposite reaction... For every good there is a bad... Yin and Yang... There is no day with out the night... But I do believe that every thing that occurs in our lives is shaped and comes out of everything we've experienced in the past. Everything. How would my life have been if my parents wouldn't have divorced? Would I have grown up in the same town with the same people with the same influences? I would have been a different person, had different opportunities. The day I suddenly decided to move in with my dad so that I could attend college was the day that changed everything in my life. I hated living with my dad. Every moment of the 18 months or so that I was there. But it brought me here. I gave me David and Aubrey and yes...even Logan. With out that decision I would have nothing that I have now. What if we'd have bought that home a few years ago? There wouldn't be an Aubrey...maybe not a Logan...Maybe Logan would have been our first baby. Everything affects everything else.

Which has had me thinking lately...how has Logan changed my life? Are there any good things that have come from it?

Logan's death gave me the courage to not care about the insignificant things in my life anymore. It gave me the strength to rid my life of the people who brought me down so low it physically affected me. It gave me a greater appreciation for the life of my daughter. On days where I'm not feeling overly raw and sensitive, it gave me more patience for her and her antics. It gave me empathy for other families who've been through a loss more horrible than imaginable, unless you've had one of your own. It gave me an anger towards God I never thought possible. Its made me question every belief I've ever had, every motive, every ounce of grace and love I've had preached at me my whole life. Its made me scoff at the very mention or thought of God. It's given me the ability to understand myself at a deeper level. Its given me a new view of my husband as both a man and a husband and even more so as a father. Its made me realize that nothing that has ever happened to me before this, and probably not likely to happen after this, was ever really that big of a deal. Its made me afraid to hope, dream and plan. It's left me feeling powerless and with out any control. Its given me cyber friends with whom I connect with on a level I don't normally connect to people in real life with. Its changed the way I dream about my future, my family and our lives together. Its made me very irritable and impatient with selfishness and insignificant wants, desires and boo hoo's of the average person. It makes me very opinionated and judgemental about other's pregnancies and choice of infant care. It makes me fear another pregnancy, and yet gives me a greater desire for another child. I have even less empathy for the average person than I did before, and that was not much to begin with. "What? Your life sucks? Well, my baby died..." I know its selfish or self centered, but it is what it is. But the "nicest" change or event to come out of my son's death is that I have made a couple of new friends whom I really like. Local friends from my daughters playgroup. Friends who I wouldn't have ever met because I would've been home exhausted and very pregnant and not out looking for a distraction. Or I would have been home with a baby and a newborn, not at all wanting to go to a playgroup. I started going to this playgroup about a month after Logan died. One of the ladies and I really connected here recently and I think I might have actually made a real (no-crazy) local friend who I have a lot in common with. I've been in this town for almost 15 years and she will be the first friend I made on my own (I have one friend through my dh, an hour away and a tad loony) who actually lives close by. Something I've needed and wanted very badly for a long time. I like her, I like her dh, her 2 kids (and a baby on the way) and my dh likes her dh. That's always a bonus. So, even though a lot has come out of Logan and his death, and not all of it is good, in fact some of it really sucks, there are a few nice things. I'm trying to focus on those nice things.

But, to be honest, I'd rather have my son than a new friend.

A new friend as a consolation prize isn't such a bad thing though. And I still don't want to hear that everything happens for a reason, because I still haven't found one that justifies my son's death. And I don't want to hear that God uses all things for his good, because that doesn't make me feel better. It doesn't offer me comfort, and it makes me wonder about the type of God who chooses to use the bad things for good. Did I really need to experience this horror?? In fact, the more I hear about God and his mercy and how blessed I am or should feel or whatever. Or, the more I hear how God has a plan for me or how much he loves me and wants to comfort me the more pissed off I get. Especially when it comes from the mouth of those who have no clue what I feel or what I have been through, and especially when it comes from the mouths of those who I feel should be supporting (if not understanding) me the most. Nothing makes me more angry than hearing any of that. The harder people push God on me the harder I push back, the more I reject it. I'm not sure why people don't see that. You want me to come back to God, shut up and let God do the talking. Nothing you say to me can convince me of anything. There is no proof in your life that backs up how great God is. Loosing Logan and being a Christian has given me a whole new perspective on how non-Christians must view Christians, how they respond and feel about God when it isn't something that's been ingrained into their heads since their youth. They must sneer at everything. Christianity must be a huge joke to them because I find it so severely hard to feel otherwise myself. God is the answer? What happens when God is the problem?

I'm not sure where that tangent came from.

Anyhow, my point is that in this coming year I'm going to try to focus on what I have and not what was stolen from me. To focus on where I am and am going and not on where I should have been. To focus on what is, and not what isn't. To focus on the good things and how I have been changed for the better, and what benefits I can enjoy now...like my new friends, and my new found intolerance for the insignificance of stupidity that has tried to drag me down my whole life.

And yet, part of me still scoffs. Because deep down, I don't think it was an even trade at all, and I'm not sure I really want to focus on the good.

I surived the one year mark

I survived the coming and going of Logan's angelversary on the 24th, though I guess survive is a relative term these days. The 23rd seemed to affect my dh a lot too since that is the day that we found out Logan had died (at which point they induced labor and I gave "birth" the following morning). Until he mentioned that fact, I'd never given that date much thought. My big days were the 24th and the 21st. The evening of the 21st was the day the uber-doc thought Logan probably died (based on the condition of the placenta and Logan). We didn't do anything special to commemorate the day. Seems terrible in theory, but neither of us felt like it was a day to commemorate. Logan was not supposed to have been born until May, so it wouldn't have even been his first birthday. He didn't die during an early birth, he was forced out after he died. The day was just an ugly day that shouldn't have happened. So, we did what was best for us. We woke up (at 3:45am thank to my dd who decided it was morning) to a warm (for a January in Michigan), rainy, gloomy day. It fit perfectly and was in great contrast to the stark bright and bitterly cold day of last year. We ate breakfast at the IHOP and spent the day lounging around the house, relaxing and watching TV. Thoughts of Logan and the mention of his name laced its way through just about every sentence that took place over those few days. And when they didn't his shadow still remained in a more distinct fashion than it has as of late. The only thing that might have made it obvious that day that something wasn't quite right was the fact that we were both very irritated and moody, snapping at everything and everyone. There was an aura of anger that lingered, until my daughters birthday (yesterday) gave us pause for happiness. Such an odd feeling to be so horribly sad and angry and bitter and to also feel such an enormous sense of joy and wonderment and to feel truly blessed at the same time. Such contradiction that eases through our lives like it belongs there. I guess it does now. I managed to keep myself together (I think we both did) until late the evening of the 24th. The only thing I really wanted to do for Logan that day was to write him a letter in his journal. I do that very rarely. It was too much. Too much honesty bubbling to the surface. On a routine basis I think I manage pretty well at keeping my honesty, and the raw emotions that must still linger, in check and locked away. But man, let me start writing and everything pours out. I couldn't finish the letter. I didn't want to talk to him anymore, it just hurt too much and talking to him like he was still here was too much honesty all at once. David came down stairs where I was hiding in my Scrapbook Room writing just moments after I finally broke down. We stood in the doorway and shared our common sorrow for several minutes, then shook it off and tried to go to bed.

What else is there to do but to shake it off and keep moving?

Here it comes...

So, here it comes. Today, a year ago, our horror began. Today is the day they told us there was something wrong. By the 23rd we knew he had died, the 24th he was stillborn.

Today I coped. Today I thought a lot about him, but it didn't pull me under. I thought a lot about what happened and the way I felt, but the day progressed in a "normal" fashion. I didn't cry, yet.

Last night...well... Here's the thing. I realized last night, after a small rift with my dh, that I feel like I have no control over much in my life. And that really bothered me. It came out wrong, and I took it out on my dh and was in a desperate search to reason that my thoughts were normal "wife" thoughts. But they quickly turned into Logan thoughts. And I realized that's what the issue really was about. Oh, not that I didn't really want what I was asking my dh for, but that the reason I got so angry (and later so sad) was really just because I struggle with control more so this past year than I used to. There have been so many things in the past year that have happened to me, that I had no control over, that it has really left a scar, or more realistically an open wound. Not that there haven't always been elements of fear of loss of control, and the actual inability to control everything around me (I once haunted myself in my sleep because I felt so out of control), and not that there won't always be that. No one can control everything around them all of the time. Other's free will is often involved (divorce, job loss), or circumstances beyond ones immediate control that make it impossible to control a situation. But after Logan died, it became very real, and very obvious to me that there is actually little in this life that one can control. I couldn't control what happened to Logan. I couldn't control the pain I felt from it. I couldn't control my husband and force him to have another baby right away, or move, or so many other things. I couldn't control the reaction of other people. I couldn't control my response to them (ok, this might be debatable). I couldn't control so many things that seemed so life altering, anymore than I could control the weather. Which has left me feeling so very insecure and vulnerable. Two feelings I despise. I miss the illusion of control I thought I once possessed. I miss the prospect of a new life in this home. I miss the dreams I had for Logan, the plans I made, the big sister I saw in Aubrey, the Mommy and Daddy I saw in us. I miss the family I framed in my head, the way it was going to be. And because of things I could not control, those dreams and hopes and plans are gone. I miss being able to relate to other women on a natural level with out them second guessing my words, thoughts or intents. I miss being able to think innocent thoughts about babies and being pregnant and frankly, sex, with out the constant sad reminder of what no longer is.

I miss the innocence and the comfortable naivety that used to be mine.

And I would gladly have given all of those up and so much more if I would have been able to have had a healthy Logan, or even, selfishly, one not so healthy Logan.

I miss him.

I miss you baby boy.

Reminders in the mail

The hospital sent us a card "In Memory" of Logan for the anniversary of "our loss". It was nice. A nice reminder that they gave a crap enough to log it into a computer and let us know that they kept track of it. But I'm tired of getting unexpected reminders in the mail.

Feeling surprisingly OK

I'm feeling surprisingly OK these days. That seems weird to me, given that Logan's angelversary is a mere 2 weeks away. I've been thinking about him and what happened in the days surrounding his death a little more than I usually do. Like today, a bright, sunny and bitterly cold day...just like the day that Logan was born dead. And I remember walking through the parking garage at the hospital just a few short hours after birthing Logan, walking away numb and empty and shocked and confused. I remember thinking how far away the car seemed and how long the walk felt. I remember thinking that I would never forget those few moments there in that garage. Leaving, un-pregnant, whip lashed, disconnected...and with a strange feeling like I was in a dream or like the last several hours hadn't really happened. Today I remember that like I was just there. This morning I had the strange thought that a year ago right around this time my son probably started dying. I was so unaware, so clueless. I was sitting around, tired, happy, fat, and thinking that though I was miserable (I was never a gracious pregnant lady) that my life was pretty darn great. I was planning my daughters first birthday (just three short days after Logan died) and feeling Logan's faint kicks (which even then seemed odd to me, but hey, every pregnancy is different, and the doctor had just taken a peek at him and he was fine). I remember being afraid of how I was going to have a newborn and a 16 month old. I remember wondering if my daughter would notice, if it would affect her not being the "baby" anymore. I remember hating the winter cold and looking forward to May when Logan would be born and the three (or four if my dh came along) of us would be out in the new double stroller we had just bought that week (or were about to go buy in a few days) walkinf in the sunshine. I remember planning days at the park (where his tree is now planted), and wondering how on earth I was going to grocery shop, go out of town to visit my family, go to the bathroom...

But these days life just seems to be going forward. We live our lives around the giant elephant in the room. It's still there, but it isn't the main focus anymore. A very common subject, but not the only one. Time marches on, and I guess I'm marching on with it, instead of standing still and looking around in horror the way I used to. I'm starting to feel in this life how I felt in my life before Logan was conceived...aside from the fact that he was conceived and its now a gaping hole. But I try to focus on my life now, even if he is still in my peripheral vision. I feel like "Ok, there's your year. I let you take a whole year and wallow and excuse and cry and deal and feel and heal and avoid and be lazy, but now its time to start looking forward, planning, doing and living." So, that's where I'm at right now, today. I'm ok. It still makes me horribly sad, but I am positive the worse sadness is now behind me and that perhaps I am coming out of my depression. Of course, I'm keeping in mind that this all comes in waves and lulls. And I'm still going to allow myself to feel the lulls if/when they arrive. But for now, today, I'm feeling like a survivor. And I'm feeling like there might actually be a life for me beyond Logan, with out Logan.

Having said that, I still seem to have baby fever. I look at babies when we are out and about and I miss that stage with every fiber of my body. And I am still having a hard time accepting that Aubrey may be my only child, and that perhaps my child bearing days are over. I'm having a hard time accepting that perhaps its been taken out of my hands, when I wasn't ready for that to happen. I'm trying to be. I know that it isn't set in stone, not yet anyhow. But I am really struggling with being content as we are now. I still want a larger family. Not a huge one, but a few kids have always been where I wanted to be.

Someone asked my mother on Facebook the other day how many grand kids she had. I answered for her. Four granddaughters and a grandson in Heaven. Part of me answered because I was afraid she'd leave Logan out. And I know that technically she has 4 grandchildren. But Logan was here. He counted. And I still want everyone to know. I don't know if it was the appropriate thing to do, the appropriate place to say it, or even the appropriate person to say it to...but its done. Sometimes it still takes my breath away how adamant I feel about his existence. How quickly I am to tell people that he was here. How quick I am to get angry if he isn't acknowledged.

I'm fearing the next couple of weeks. I'm fearing what I'll feel, or what I won't. What I'll do or not, and if I'll regret the decisions I'm making about how to acknowledge this horrible day. I've read so many nice stories about those who have celebrated the "First Birthday" with various styles; releasing balloons, planting tree's, hosting parties, donating their time or money to worthy causes... But the thing is, January 24th wasn't Logan's Birthday. It wasn't even close to what was supposed to have been his birthday (May 19th). I didn't go into natural labor prematurely. Logan just slipped away, and I happen to have gotten "lucky" enough to have had a misdiagnosis of previa that prompted an extra ultrasound appointment that alerted the doctor of Logan's condition and prompted a visit to the pro's at the hospital. I carried Logan around in my belly dead for about two days. The uber-doc determined that Logan had probably died the night of the 21st, the night of my ultrasound. The ultrasound that wouldn't have even happened had it not been for a misdiagnosis. And I often wonder what would have happened if they hadn't induced me. Forced me to give birth to my dead son. The doc said that I would have probably gone into labor on my own within a few days or weeks. Probably. Or they wouldn't have been able to find a heartbeat at the next months appointment... Or... I'm glad it was fast. I'm glad I didn't have to walk around knowing he was dead. I'm glad that I didn't go full term thinking I was having a healthy baby boy, and then be slammed in the face with that horror. But, I wish I would have known that Wednesday of my ultrasound that he was dying. I would have liked to have been able to say goodbye, to have held him a little tighter in my belly while he slipped away. To have been aware, and not sitting around ignorant. But maybe knowing would have been even more excruciating... Anyhow, back to his angelversary. I just can't come up with anything that feels right. Its not a day I want to celebrate. I don't have any interest in visiting his tree that I see on a regular basis as I drive by the park. I have no desire to have a party, or a memorial, or a rememberance ceremony. There is no grave. He still sits in that stupid box on my armoir, where he has been for months. I don't really want to "do" anything to "remember" the day. It was a horrible day. I'd rather forget it. But since that won't happen... My dh feels the same way. It wasn't his birthday, it wasn't supposed to be, it shouldn't have been and it wouldn't have been had he lived. We don't celebrate the days our other loved ones die. Why celebrate Logan's? Because he was our son. And that's where I'm stuck. Part of me wants to do something, the other part doesn't. I don't want the time of my daughters birthday to forever be surrounded by a time of grief for a brother she was never aware of. That doesn't seem fair to her. But it seems odd to just treat it like any other day. When I think about that day, the vision I have is of me writing to him in his book. I have a journal where I used to track my pregnancy, then his death and have now written a few letters to him in. And maybe that will be enough, I don't know. But I'm afraid that I'll regret not doing anything more, and I'm affraid that doing anything will seem forced and weird. Last year I had so many ideas, things I wanted to do. One thing was to buy a star and have it named for him. But I don't even have that desire anymore. Now I just feel like maybe I'm wanting to commemorate the day because its what I've read so many others do. Its ok to do your own thing and no one should pressure themselves into following some status quo for The Dead Baby Club. I'm not sure why I feel weird about this.

So, we're in the home stretch. The horrible first year is coming to a close. By this time next month things should start feeling... feeling what exactly? All I know is that a year was supposed to be the magic number. I'm not expecting to wake up on the 28th and feel magically better or anything, but I'm hoping for days filled with more peace and acceptance now that we will be beyond all of the "firsts". Time heals all wounds, they say. Guess we'll find out.

I've added a few new songs to Logan's play list that I've been collecting for a few months. I've linked them to their lyrics in case you thought they might also be fitting for you.
They are as follows:
My Immortal - Evanescence
Glory Baby - Watermark (about a stillborn baby)
Don't Wanna Cry - Pete Yorn
and the most fitting for me right now...
I Still Miss You - Keith Anderson

I also wanted to add these two, but I couldn't get them on www.playlist.com so...
Living for the Night - George Straight
What's Up Lonely - Kelly Clarkson

Thanks for being there for this past year. I can honestly say with all confidence that if I didn't have this blog and the support and love of my readers all through the horror that loosing a baby is, I'm not sure I would have survived, or at least have come out on the other end with out being a total nut job. This blog has saved me, at least a little.

Sparrow Farm Creations Memorial Prints

Songs for Logan

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