"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.

Fourteen months later and I'm tired of explaining.

It's almost April. APRIL! Don't get me wrong, I'm ready for Spring and the inevitable Summer (please hurry!!) but when I take a step back and look...I just can't believe it. Fourteen months have passed since Logan died. His first birthday would have been knocking on the door in May. Fourteen months. Feels like a lifetime, feels like yesterday, feels like someone else's life. And I mean, I'm better...right? These last fourteen months have been documented here in this blog and this blog is nothing else if not proof to what life was like and is like now. And though I know that I must have survived, and I must've gotten through it...I don't know how, and I don't know when it happened. I mean, I guess I'm not really through it yet. I think that will take a lifetime. But here I am. I wake up, I live what my life is now, I enjoy my daughter (among other things) and for the most part...I'm okay. There are moments, days, even several days at times when things are ugly and tough and I want to pack it all in and head for the hills. And when those times hit, they hit hard and fast. The part that I really feel like I have a hard time coping with is the "outsiders". People who just can't fathom what a wrecking ball loosing a baby can be. How it just seems to hang around forever and change everything about you. How you view the world, other parents, your own parents, your friends, your self... Its all changed. And the "outsiders"...well, I guess its just that it doesn't occur to them, the fact that everything is different. That I'm different. My mother comment something about me not being this bubbly person anymore. I mean, what do you say to that? Duh? It seems appropriate enough. But I guess its not her fault. She had five kids, not one complication. She has her own "tragedies and hurts" that I guess make her feel like she can connect with me on some level, but I don't see the similarities. I guess that's a fault I have to work on. I dunno. How can I be this bubbly person anymore? Though I can not relate, and this is probably a very insensitive comparison, I kind of feel like maybe its similar to what happens to people who have been in the middle of a war. They go in naive and ignorant to the horrors, they come out very changed, shell shocked and very aware that life isn't all sunshine and rainbows and that no, life doesn't always get better. And no one can get that unless they were there too. I just get tired of defending myself (or feeling defensive, I don't know how much active defending I've been doing) or trying to explain myself. She said that I should go out and celebrate my birthday, do something really special this year since I've been through a lot. In theory this sounds great. But in reality, I don't want to celebrate. The coming of my birthday (or any holiday or milestone for that matter) is just a reminder of the time that has passed. One more [insert event] further from my son's life. One more event that he isn't present for. One more event where I can't overlook the enormous elephant in the room, the fact that he was planned on, and isn't present. I can't help it. Believe me, if I could escape those thoughts I gladly would. I'd love to have an event go down where the thought of his absence wasn't bouncing around in my head like a Mexican Jumping Bean. Its tiresome to remember, and exhausting trying not to. I can't win. But my birthday, my 33rd birthday, is one more year (2 in total, if you were counting like I was) since the "bad egg" was brought to life. And if there was a bad egg two years ago...well then, how many are there now? And another birthday means I'm that much older. If I was old at 31... If I expired two years ago... If time was up then... Well, where does that leave me now? I just don't want another birthday. I don't want this time to keep trudging past, pulling me further and further away from the reality that Logan used to be. Those feelings are fading. I have to almost fight to remember what it was like while I was pregnant with Logan, especially since I took it all for granted. You know, because well, my baby won't die. The memory of his precious little face is starting to blur around the edges now... And I don't remember him looking the way he did in those photos, so they don't help. He's starting to feel like a vague dream these days, and I hate that because the ugly memories are still crystal clear. How I felt being wheeled down the hall from the uber-OB's office to the birthing room, like everyone was staring at me, like they all knew. Sitting there knowing that I had a dead baby inside of my body, but not fully grasping it because I could still feel him. Sitting there feeling a baby inside of my stomach who was dead. Being wheeled by some stranger while my husband walked a few steps behind...just out of reach when I was screaming inside and never felt a stronger desire to hide behind him as I felt in those few hours. Wondering how his face looked, what he felt. Was he crying too? Was he as devastated and dazed as I was? The memory of being in that bathroom in my birthing room where I was supposed to be changing (I think) and all I did was stand in the furthest spot from the door I could get in and cry and cry and cry. The sheer terror of what birthing a dead baby was going to be like. The terror that I knew would come the next day when I would wake up and it would really hit me. The annoyance I had of having to communicate with the outside world, to let my family know what was happening to us, when I didn't even want to admit it to myself. The horror I felt as his lifeless tiny body slid out of me onto the table while my husband watched in horror...and no one caught him. The way it felt when they handed him to me and I made the sad joke "it's a boy!" because hey, that's what they're supposed to say when a baby is born. I remember that horrible walk to our car just a few hours later. The longest walk I've ever taken. I remember those moments, those feelings, like they just happened. But Logan...his actual little face, the way he felt, his little life...its fading, and it scares me. And how fair is that anyhow? Isn't it bad enough that I lost him, can't I have the sweet memories remain and those horrible ugly ones fade? Is it that I hang onto those memories tighter because they felt more tangible, more real?

I'm tired of this roll. The one of a dead baby mom. The one who can't watch a stupid movie or TV show with out thinking things like "well at least he's alive" or see another parent trying to parent with out thinking that they're taking their kids for granted, that they don't love them enough. Its an exhausting way to be. And I wish I didn't yearn for the days "before". I wish I could just accept this role my life has taken on and live it to its fullest. I feel whinny and selfish and like I'm refusing to let go. Like this role defines who I am now, and with out it that I wouldn't know how to be anymore. But I can't. I can't think of myself as Heather, mother of one. Because I can't let it go. I have pictures. I have memories. It was real. For six months I was Heather, mother of two. And that reality is too much for me to overlook and go back to being Heather, mother of one. But no one outside of this circle sees me as Heather, mother of two. And I get funny looks to comments that I make that seem perfectly coherent to me, but obviously must fall into that crazy lady realm. Like people want to say "No, no Heather. You're mistaken. You have one child." and anymore its just easier to agree, to not try to explain it to people. Like this Sunday, being Easter and all. This would have been Logan's first Easter. Logan would be almost eleven months, maybe walking by now. Maybe Logan would have been able to hunt for eggs next to his big sister. There would be two Easter Baskets on the table. Two children on the bunny's lap. A family of four in all of the pictures. How many of the "outsiders" are thinking about this stuff? Who do you think actually thought to themselves that Logan will be missing, that Logan should have been here to experience this with us? And come Sunday I'm sure there will be a moment when I look distant, lost, or sad and someone will notice and someone will mention it...and they will have never thought it would have had something to do with a baby that never quite made it to this life. And how would I explain it to them? How fourteen months later it still feels like a ton of bricks slamming into me every time I stroll down that lane? How after fourteen months, well, I'm just not quite over it yet. And if I did chance an explanation... Well how could it possibly be that I'm still mourning? There must be something wrong with me. Because its not normal right? People die, we move on. That's the way its supposed to be. That's the way it is most of the time when someone dies. But not when a baby dies. Not when the story ends before it was ever written. It all leads back to that same old feeling, I shouldn't be doing this, any of it. So, its too hard to explain. Its easier to just smile and shrug it off like that person was imaging something ridiculous. Its easier to let people think that you "got over it" and "moved on" and that you're still okay in the head and that it wasn't that big of a deal and that it didn't really change you. It's just easier that way, and these days, I'm all about doing what's easiest.

You know, I asked a question over on The Dead Baby Club Blog about how loosing a baby has affected your relationship with your parents (go add your own thoughts if you'd like). A few people commented on how its affected other relationships, and I've been thinking a lot about my husband. Not so much about how its affected us as a couple, because I think its still too early to know for sure, but how its affected him as a person. I know the ways that I've changed, ways that others can't even begin to understand, even ways that I may not even be noticing. But what about David? David's different. Not good or bad, just different. I can't quite explain it, or even single anything out in particular, but the question has gotten me to obsessing about him. How he's doing, how he's coping...is he coping? What he thinks about, what he feels about it. For the most part I splash myself out across these pages with out a whole lot of editing. He reads my blog (Hi babe!) he knows how I feel, who I've become, what I fear. But most men are so private. Men don't like to talk about their feelings. Especially my man. Its left me feeling like I wish it was mandatory for men to blog after something like this occurs. I wonder how many times I was off my rocker and David read my blog and was like "oh, I get why she's acting that way!". I don't have that. I mean, we used to talk about it, in the beginning. He used to be real up front about what was going on with him, but that's gone by the way side now. I ask on occasion how he is, but for the most part I get the same generic answer. I don't want to fix it, I don't know how. I just want to know where he's at. From what I've tried to figure out, he's about six months behind me in the grieving process. Like he took the first six months to keep me from going over the edge, and then took time to start his grieving. But its hard for me to remember where I was six months ago. I don't know. I just don't know what to say to him anymore with out sounding like a broken record, or like I'm prying or something. And no one wants to talk when they're having a bad day, and I don't want to bring it up on a good day and make it bad. It leaves me feeling lost about the whole thing. And I just want to know where he is, and where I am, so that we can try to work together and try to figure this mess out. Life was complicated enough beforehand, now its even more complicated and weird. And I can't help but have this nagging feeling that something isn't right, when deep down I know that its that damn elephant again.

I feel like I could talk for hours tonight. I have a lot racing around in my head, but I've so very tired and well...the Muffin doesn't like to sleep till noon the way I desire too. Hopefully I'll be able to fall asleep with out laying there staring into the darkness obsessing about things I can't change and fearing the ones I can.


belle said...

heather!!! how did you know what i'm feeling too? you said it much better than i ever could but i have a similar long rambling (:D) conversation with myself on a regular basis (with my details and not your of course).... it's been 10 years since my first miscarriage and i still grieve for and miss him. i always say that i have 8 kids and then just dare anyone to correct me. (they have and after 10 years of practice, i've gotten pretty good at not taking it in a polite kind of way) i too can hardly stand to take a family picture because of all the kids that are not a part of it. i am not having a good time walking past all of the cute baby girl easter dresses that this time last year i was sooooo anxious to buy! the ballet classes she'll never have..... oh, too much to write.... and i feel heavily that i do not measure up as the mom i should be to the kids i've got and that i don't even deserve the chance to have more. i've also been told this on numerous occasions so.... i can't say i look harshly on other parents. i save that for myself :( and unfortunately i do know what my hubby thinks.... let's just say he disagrees with me and leave it there (it's on my blog if you're curious)

i'm so sorry you're feeling this way to.... wish i could hug you in person and have a rant fest with you :((((

ps- I haven't forgotten that you should have 2 easter baskets this year. I will thinking of logan this year. his memory will be treasured by me too. xoxoxox he is special and so are you.

Michele said...

Oh we are different... So different. I think we just have to be. How can you be the same after your child does? (Although I wish we didnt have to know that...)

The time goes by and it still feels like yesterday. 16 months ago since Nicholas died and I still cant believe it...

Heather said...

I feel as though my DH is about 6 months behind me too, I think I ve even described it using those same words. We're probably never going got be in the same grieving stage, but at least we can try to understand one another better if we know where each other is at. I have to ask, too, if I want to know. (sigh) It's so hard watching each other go thru this, and not e able to help, or fix it, ir change it. Especially for them, I think. (())

Anonymous said...

Thank you... It is comforting to know that there is someone out there that can put my feelings into words.

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