"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.

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.


Sarah said...

Oh Heather, I am so sorry. We just celebrated (yesterday) Baby Dale's 1 year birthday. I completely understand where you are coming from. Both my husband and I did not expect it to be what it was. We aren't sure what we thought or how we thought it would be, but it was not what we expected. I would say, just go with the flow. However you feel or what ever you want to do, do it. Thinking of you.

Jen said...

thinking of you, and feeling for you. I still have 6 month until our 1 year, but I already know what you mean....I don't know what I will do either. Whatever you decide, I am sure will be what it needs to be........

Michele said...

Technically, she has 5, dear. Logan will always count. Always.

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