"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.


Waiting for the other shoe to drop

Do you fear the death of your living children?  I feel stupid crazy weird odd admitting this, but I do.  It's like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.  And this week it's beating me down.  Next week my four year old, my only living child, my first child, my real fluke it would seem, is having her adenoids removed.  I know, I know.  Simple.  Common.  No big deal.  No big deal, I suppose, if you've never held your dead child.  I'm not even allowed to voice my anxiety over her looming surgery, because no one gets my fear!  And frankly I'm tired of the looks and I'm tired ot the arguments that are supposed to win me over.  You see, its not that I'm afraid of the surgery in and of itself.  I think the doctor is great, he's a pro, he'll do a great job...but...what if she doesn't wake up from anesthesia?  What if she gets MRSA or some other horrible disease while at the surgery center?  What if we find out the hard way she's allergic to some med (like her grandfather who had his heart stop during back surgery due to Demerol, though the doctors assure me this is not hereditary...but what if it is...)?  And then, to add to my anxiety, a fellow BLM sent me an article on this genetic mutation that causes children to over-metabolize Morphine causing an overdose and death.  You can freak yourself out if you want and read it here on Baby Center.  So, freak concerned mother that I am, I called the doctor and asked the nurse to ask him if he's heard of this and can she have something else...you know...just in case.  Shockingly, he called me back and left a message.  Yes, he's heard of it, and yes they can prescribe something else, call him back if I have any other concerns.  Nice of him.  He probably rolled his eyes and cursed Google.  I bet doctors hate moms who call all freaked out about something rare they read on the Internet.  I try to not be one of those mom's, but I couldn't help myself this time.

And then today...

Today Aubrey fell and smacked her mouth on the wood floor.  People, her head bounced!  And I tried to be all cool, shaking like a leaf and trying not to pass out (because though blood doesn't freak me out, HER BLOOD does!) while comforting her and cleaning up the blood, and praying that she still had teeth below all of that blood.  And I spent the entire day running her around.  First stop, pedi.  Does she needs stitches?  We don't stitch.  No kidding, but you'd know if she needs stitches, so clue me in.  Could use a stitch, but better to not traumatize her.  Ok great.  Let's get ice cream. Two hours later, its still bleeding.  Run into nurse, what do you think?  Needs a stitch or two, shouldn't keep bleeding.  Go home.  Call MIL.  She looks, nah, put wet bread on it.  WHAT?!  Seriously?  You should take her to dentist since she is complaining that her teeth hurt.  Ok.  Went to dentist.  DD has a mini melt down and won't allow Xray.  Weird, but ok.  Exam.  Looks ok.  Don't stitch.  Sigh.  Good.  But, she has several cavities!  WHAT?  Sigh.  I need a margarita.  Went for a walk instead.

You see, I know that I'm a freak.  I get that.  I don't live in denial about my irrational fear.  But today I felt like a bad mom.  And not because she hurt herself.  Hey, it was sad and I felt bad for her, but these things happen.  No, I felt like a bad parent because all day I was terrified that this was the beginning of some hideous end to her little life.  That this innocuous fall damaged her brain (which isn't that far out since the poor kid had a concussion at 3 from what seemed like a minor bump to the head and I wasn't even aware of it!).  That the gaping wound in her mouth would fester and introduce some hideous form of bacteria that I can't pronounce, much less spell.  That, if nothing else, her cute little baby teeth would die and/or fall out and it would somehow damage her self esteem and self image before she ever had a chance.  And all of these ridiculous thoughts make me feel stupid and weird.  I can't even be a normal mom to my living daughter anymore because I'm so consumed with terror over what feels inevitable to me.  Her death.  And all the while trying to be light and play it off to her so that she isn't in a panic and scarred for life because her mother is a FREAK!

Feeling like a freak is tiresome.

Being from a Christian family, I asked my brother to pray for my daughter that she doesn't have any complications next week.  My brother texted back "Don't worry sis.  God protects the little ones.".  I mean, what do you say to that?  Because what I wanted to say was something along the lines of "Sometimes, I guess."  What do you say to the moms whose little ones were not protected?  Logan wasn't.  Rudy wasn't.  So why should I believe that Aubrey is?  Because I want it so bad to be true?  What about all of the other babies?  What about all of the kidnapped children, the molested ones, the abused, the murdered, the neglected ones, the ones who get MRSA and die, the ones who get cancer and die, the ones born with holes in their hearts or water on their brains?  Were they protected?  God protects our little ones when it is in his plan and there isn't a lick we can do about it if its not!  What about the 4 children last year who they discovered had this weird genetic mutation?  Three of them died with in 24 hours after having their tonsals removed (another simple, common procedure).  God didn't protect them.  So who am I to believe that I am the special one?  That my begging and pleading to keep my daughter will make a difference this time, when it didn't the last two times I begged to keep my children?  In the end, and I know he was trying to comfort me and be helpful so I take it for what its worth and I don't hold it against him, but its that lack of understanding that makes me feel so alone in this world. 

Yes, I believe God is in control.  That's the part that scares me.

Dusty Ovaries

I'm turning 35 this weekend.  Sigh.  I hate my birthday.  I don't know why Logan's death has had such a profound impact on the way I feel about my birthday, but it has.  Maybe its that whole getting older thing.  Three plus years ago, when Logan was conceived, my ovaries spit out a dry shriveled up egg that let my son down.  And here I sit, 35 looming like the biggest freight train you have ever imagined, and its barreling down the tracks at me...carrying my dusty ovaries.

That's what my friends husband calls them.  Dusty ovaries.  He said this, a few beers loose, to my friend (who is a few months younger than me) the other night.  Bastard.  And anyways, who's he to talk...more than a decade older than us with his wrinkly old balls!! [Enter Adam Sandler]

So every year, around this time, I get ugly.  I stomp around and snap at everyone.  I hate everything.  I overindulge on everything from sugar and fat to booze and TV.  Coincidently this turns me into a real bear the week after my birthday when I jump on the scale and see that, YUP, I'm still fat!  I guess that the only difference this year makes is that I am now aware of why I am being such a jerk to everyone around me.

Sigh.  I hate the time that has lapsed.  I hate the years that continue to move me further away from the memory of my son.  The faint, dream of a son, that I had so briefly.

We create the illusions we need to go on...

"We create the illusions we need to go on.  And one day, when they no longer dazzle or comfort, we tear them down, brick by glittering brick, until we are left with nothing but the bright light of honesty.  The light is liberating, necessary, terrifying.  We stand naked and emptied before it.  And when it is too much for our eyes to take, we build a new illusion to sheild us from it's relentless truth."  -Libba Bray "The Sweet Far Thing"

We do don't we?  We build illusions to help us cope, to forget, to move on.  My illusion, or dillusion perhaps, is that one day I will feel whole and complete, that my family will be complete and that I won't forever feel the gapping holes of the children who never came home to us.  I hold tight to this hope, and when it slips, I feel like I am drowning in that forever sorrow of missing children I didn't get to keep.  Building the illusion that "next time" it will be different, better.  It won't happen again, not three times.  The world isn't that cruel...but it is just an illusion.

I fight to go back to the blissful ignorance...

I fight to go back to the blissful ignorance, but it is too late.  The dull pain of truth weights my soul, pulling it under. I am left hopelessly awake.  -Libba Bray "The Sweet Far Thing"

Oh, how much I miss that ignorance!!

My Silence

I don't blog much anymore, obviously.  Part of it is lack of need, part of it is because I've been exposed.  Or at least I feel exposed, to my real life.  And you see, there was something special about being anonymous.  Not feeling judged by people I have to look in the eye, made it easier for me to be open and honest.  Not feeling like I have to explain myself and qualify each emotion, especially the ones I know to be irrational, but are there none the less, makes it hard for me to find comfort here anymore.  That makes me bitter.  I needed this space.  I'll be honest, it was an innocent exposure.  I believe deep down they were trying to help, to understand, not to gawk.  It just didn't work out that way on my end.   And frankly, now I just feel weird about this place.  Guarded.  Censored.  Fearful of my thoughts and the repercussions they could have on my real life. 

Anyhow...

So, seems like these days everyone around me is having a baby.  Sure would like to hide from that.  I'm currently in the middle of throwing my second baby shower in the past year.  That's tough.  I can't lie.  And though I am thrilled that my brothers are finally having children, being the only sister in the family, thus making me the "go-to" shower planner...is rough.  Most days I try to ignore the ache.  Its not about me, its about them.  They deserve their bliss.  I just wish I still had some...  I'm not jealous.  I don't begrudge.  Them having, or not having, babies doesn't influence my reality.  My children would still be dead.  I dunno.  Most days I keep those babies of mine in a protective haze.  Protecting them from the world, and the world from them.  The thing is, I have all of these conflicting thoughts and emotions that swirl around my fogged, perpetually mourning mind.  And most of the time they don't make sense and are irrational.  Which, frankly, irritates me.  I guess its because I keep waiting for it to all go away.  To wake up one day and go "Yup, that's done.  I'm over it."  Obviously that's not going to happen.  And really, I don't want it to.  Mourning those children are all I have of them really.  It makes them real.  If I wasn't sad for them, missing them, endlessly wishing that they were here, healthy and alive...well, wouldn't that be weird?  Because if my living daughter suddenly died now at four years old, I would endlessly miss her and wish for her to be returned to me.  I would for the length of my life.  And no one would expect otherwise, or think it odd.  I don't know why I've started to feel like I am odd for missing my other two children.

To try, again.

That's the fear on the forefront of my mind these days.  Oh, how badly I have wanted another baby!!  I kept saying I didn't want to go out like that, I didn't want to end on that note.  Like I refused to let nature knock me down and not get up and punch right back.  But the thing is, now that the decision is mine to make, and one that needs making soon, I'm not so sure any more.  I mean, with Spina Bifida hanging out on the sidelines waiting to take its turn to knock us down, the fact that Logan had Down Syndrome and that the odds of us having another child with Down Syndrome (ending in either another stillbirth, or even more awesome - a neonatal death, or at the very least a seriously ill child who will never know a normal life, probably never make it to it's 40th birthday and live a horribly painful existence)  is seriously high, and now let's throw in an increased risk of another Ectopic pregnancy thanks to the "fluke" we experienced last May...  I dunno, in that light, it makes the feeling of having a healthy living child seem like a real stretch, and that is dismal.  Let's lump in the fact that my husband is done, though is willing for the soul purpose of my happiness, but none the less is full of fear and would rather not tread down that path again!  Guilt.  The guilt weighs me down.  Guilt over the last two dead children.  Guilt over not being content.  Guilt over putting our living child through something that is not a necessity.  Guilt if it all blows up in my face, again.  Guilt over what that will do to my husband, to our relationship, to my daughter, to the people around me...and all because I didn't want to go out like that?  And when I think about it, and I talk about it, and I write about it and I see it all laid out plainly in front of me...I think I must be the most selfish person in the world...or nuts.  And yet, I come to the same conclusion each time...what if I decide not to have another baby, and then I change my mind and its too late (assuming that its not now) and I spend the rest of my life regretting it?  More wondering, "what if?".  Anymore I feel like my whole life is one big what if?  What if the kids would have lived?  What if Logan had been born with Down Syndrome and survived?  What if these dead babies have ruined us?  What if I never feel whole again?  What if another baby dies?  What if it doesn't?  What if I never get pregnant?  And though I keep 90% of this stuff to myself, its been eating at me a bit more every day.

perfect life...except..."  There is always that exception.  And each day I come to the realization more and more that no matter how much time goes by, I will always feel their hole.  I need to be okay with that reality.  I need to find comfort in what is, and not what is not.  Grief is like that though.  It follows us around, long after we are done with it.  It is a force that demands to be reckoned with.

Sigh.  I miss the ignorance.  It would be so nice to just feel like I wanted another baby, and so therefore, we'll do it again.  Now that decision is forever tainted with not only the normal fears of having a baby (Am I ready to do this?  Can I handle two?  Am I getting too old for this?)  but with the fears that only a mother who has dead children can ever have...  The knowledge, not just the fear.  I know what it feels like when it all goes wrong.  There is no more speculation.  There is no naivete about how bad it really is.  And maybe that is what scares me the most.  Maybe I'm not ready for another broken heart.

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