Monday, 29 October 2012

Spoken Word Blog Round-up

(Note: this post and video was written and recorded on Friday October 26, 2012)

Well, I finally did it.  After a lot of stewing about, I finally participated in Angie's spoken word blog round up.

It will most likely be a little underwhelming for most who watch.  I picked my first entry, which is all about a miscarriage I had back in August... but I really didn't have much to choose from, and I did a run through of a few posts earlier this week... and it was taking me 15+ minutes to read them!  I'm a better public speaker when I'm telling some sort of story..reenacting a bit... if I'm strictly emoting, and unzipping my heart for conversation sake... I do better with a person (or people) in front of me (and not so much with the lovely camera in face approach). 

It was hard for me to select a post.  When I read more emotional posts, I felt I couldn't really "go back" to when I wrote it.  I could "go back" in my heart, but it wasn't reading well in my presentation.  My tone of voice was coming across as a ramble, and my reading them felt very disjointed - and ultimately I just couldn't get anything under nearly 20 minutes, and I was certain I'd be boring anyone attempting to watch as I was starting to bore myself - and I almost bailed on the entire thing yesterday.

I finally realized that my iPad has a good set up for recording (I was doing test runs on my black.berry the other day, and it was falling all over the place)... and here is the result.  One try... with a tickle in my throat almost the entire time.  And I think I said "open up my story about my son's loss" and what I meant was "open up about my story about losing my son.." 

I hope after this reading, who ever follows this blog feels like they've "met" me a little better.  I watched a few of the entries posted recently, and I cried along with the participants.  I got cold feet, and suddenly felt like my attempts were futile, and I'll have to give it another go with a better post next week.  But I'm not sure I'll follow through.

I know when I read last years entries (over this summer as I picked through some of Angie's archives), I felt more connected to who loses babies.  Every day, common, wonderful, beautiful people.  They were no longer just words on a page, and stories I've read from "authors".  They were people, living in homes across the world. 

So even though my entry isn't all that interesting, or isn't even all that emotionally fuelled (it was at the time of writing it!)... I just wanted to participate so I could carry a bit more of an identity in this community.. and maybe make others who are new to this baby loss world feel like they too have a better understanding of who loses babies. 

I did.  Me.  Hello.  I'm so sorry to meet you like this. 


back in real time...Here I am... still trying to get this blasted thing up!  I am very technically challenged, and waited nearly 4 hours for this video to load on Friday night.  Daniel came home, and checked the size, and it was over 330,000 megs!  My recent cat vid's were 30,000 megs, and took less than 10 minutes to upload.  So Daniel shrunk the video, failed, tried a different program to convert, and spent way too much this weekend trying to get it to work, and now it's finally working. 

I saw that my video wasn't going to be synced to the day it was posted, so on Saturday I wrote somewhat of an explanation, and touched on the fact that another 27th has come and will soon be gone.... and then my computer crashed without saving the changes to the post.  My updates to the post along with all the lovely things I said were flushed.

So I will try to pick my brain, and reflect on my lost words from the other night.

I definitely got distracted from my end of the month funk with trying to get myself involved in this project.  When I had some quiet time at home, I'd try to set up my phone to get a good shot for a good read.  By the time the days came to an end, I had only done a dry run through - off camera - of a few posts.  I watched the date and the 20's blew by, and I knew the end of the month - along with my dear 27 - was fast approaching.  But I felt a normalcy about it... an okay-ness

I was going to read "thank god he was ok".  I wanted to connect with the happier residual effects of pregnancy and having a baby.  I wanted to think about memories, and closeness, and talk about him while he was alive.  I tried setting up my phone, and did a "take one".  I cried, and smiled through the entire thing.  I checked my phone - it had stopped recording.  I was frustrated, and knew that another read through would come off as staged.  I almost threw in the towel.  So, Friday midday I on a whim, set up the iPad and picked my first post..and just read it and tried not to sound like a fool.

Anyway... on Saturday I watched the footage back (of what I'm now posting)... and I feel unrecognizable to myself.  I can see I was obviously in a more positive state...ready to speak all 'as-a-matter-of-fact' like about anything.  Not really all that down about anything.  I'm showered, and dressed for pete sake - and not because I have to be!  I don't know where that energy is today... I really don't know if I feel this is a good representation of myself.  I don't think I'll have the opportunity to do this again - I have a busy 2 weeks with my sister coming in from out of town - so this will have to do. 

Until next year... when maybe I'll get it right...

alas... I Will Hit Publish!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Comfort in a Cat

I have a cat.  His name is Gabriel.  I actually have 2 cats... but Gabriel is my cat.

He's always been a snuggler.  Especially when I was pregnant last year.  He'd make his way to my lap...looking for his spot.  But as my belly grew, I couldn't really accommodate his need to constantly be ON me.  I was trying to get him used to a little distance anyway, with a baby on the way and all.  I didn't want him in SHOCK when he didn't have first dibs on my lap space.

When we moved into this house at the beginning of the year... it took him some time to adjust.  He doesn't do well with change.  So the move was big for him.  I've moved three times with him before, but it was always from apartment to condo, so it only ever took him a few weeks to adjust.  This time, moving to an entire HOUSE was a bit of a big deal.  Plus, he had a new set of rules to now follow.  He wasn't allowed in the bedrooms (again, preparing his behaviour for when baby would arrive) and I usually found him sleeping in the dining room, tucked under the table on a chair.  On random nights, he would do his best to find a sliver of couch near me, or find space around my legs as my fully grown belly took up most of my personal snuggle space. 

After Alexander was stillborn, and we came home empty handed, the cats seemed unfazed.  We had only been in this house for 6 weeks when my pregnancy ended.  I sensed Gabriel could feel the emotion turmoil living with us, but essentially nothing in his reality changed.  And as freaked out as he still was over every knock at the door, and creek in the floor boards, his only response was to do what he always does when he feels I'm down - just be there for me. 

But I couldn't have anything of the sort.  My belly was all broken and floppy, and having him cuddle me was somewhat of a cruel reminder that I didn't have a baby occupying my environment and I was essentially "free" for him to snuggle.  I was too heartbroken to have some stupid cat claiming me, using me.  Jeez, how dare he!

He had tough tendencies to break.  Or, maybe he just loves me that much.  But he stopped looking for my lap, and found places on the floor next to the couch, or on our ottoman we were substituting for a coffee table... or at times, especially after a few weeks out when I'd be on the couch 24/7 with lap open (skimming articles and blogs on stillbirth) he'd find a spot right beside me. 

During the summer, as usual, we had less contact.  It's hot, and he sheds and we both would rather not share body heat during this season.

But I wondered if he'd still be his regular snuggly self if I allowed it.  After all, he might hold a grudge.  I had a monster belly for about 3 months, and then for a good 6 months after that I denied him his lap space. 

But lately...coincidentally... he's been all love.  I'm pregnant again, and a part of me feels like he knows, and he's doing his best to love on me hard while he still has the chance. 

Earlier today, I was channel surfing on mute and browsing emails on my ipad (I know, another tough Tuesday) and he slowly nudged his way on to my lap.  I was feeling bloated and cramped up, so rested the ipad on my stomach so he couldn't knead his way into pissing me off.  So he happily found a spot balancing awkwardly on my thighs.  He purred deeply from behind my ipad, and I couldn't help but feel like he was telling me he'd be gentle if given the change to sprawl out. 

He laid down, and started kneading the air around my belly.  He was cuddling his head right into my belly while his pawns spread and flexed their way into some sort of hugging gesture. 

Yeah yeah.. I have a cat, in every sense of the definition... but today just felt extra oozy and cozy!  I grabbed my phone, and tried to capture the sweetness... but of course, he saw the device in my hand, and acted less adorable.  I tried whispering sweet nothings to him to induce a little more cat love... but he was pretty ready for a good cat nap after his little pet himself silly on a mushy tummy fest.

8 years of cat love from this guy. 

There was a time after Alexander died that I resented having him around.  I couldn't find any enjoyment in his company, and I simply couldn't love him the way I used to. 

Whatever stage of my grief induced those feelings has since (mostly) passed.  We have old love for each other... and I'm happy he didn't give me reason to want to kick him to the curb after our baby died.  I've come terribly close with my other cat, and Sam is still on thin ice most days, but Gabriel and I are in it until the end.  And as cheesy as this sounds, I'm thankful that he's around. 

(Mind you, if he does ANYTHING to make me feel like our next baby's well being is in jeopardy, in.a.heartbeat, he's gone...or up for adoption... or will be locked in the basement!, but I've explained that to him... and I'm pretty sure he gets my drift ;))

And yes, in this video, you can see my belly roll, and humongous pregnant boobs.  And I'm wearing smurf pyjama pants!!

I know it's probably overkill, but he snores too!  Again, he was much louder before I fumbled with my phone, and woke him up a bit.

P.S I hope the video upload works!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Our Wave Of Light

 We lit up the night with love and light

For all the baby A's, B's, C's, D's, and E's .....all the way to the baby Z's

 We are here because of one special A

 Alexander David
 We felt the love that fell upon us
We had no will
It has become us since that blessed day
 We hugged
We cried
We were warmed by the light
We felt the glow
 He joined us
In spirit
 ... I'm just so sure of it that he did
To our perfect son
We love you

Monday, 15 October 2012

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awarenss

When October crept in… I was filled with desires to take part in so many projects, and events that were taking place all over the web.   But after being totally caught off guard in the first 3 or 4 days and finding myself in a deeper depression than I anticipated, I stopped dead in my tracks.  I was overwhelmed with the feeling of not being able to do anything “right”.  I didn’t feel at all prepared, or inspired by myself.  I wanted to do so much, but I didn’t know how to jump in.  I saw Carly’s Capture your Grief project pop up on my reader, as BLM’s I follow were participating this year.  I felt so behind, and having already missed the sunrise on October 1st (and having several days of overcast skies following), I felt I missed my chance.  I know there were no rules, and any which way one wanted to go about participating would be absolutely fine – but I felt like I couldn’t even be a good BLM after all is said and done. 
This weekend, I talked to Daniel about what to do on October 15th.  I told him I wanted to email everyone we knew… and ask them to light a candle.  Not only for us, but for ALL the children gone too soon and for the families that miss them every day.  I talked to him about how lonely and isolated I feel, and it’s becoming somewhat my fault because I keep myself so far removed from everyone else’s life.  I talked to him about how I didn’t, and don’t feel any support from his extended family.  (He has 30 cousins, and just as many aunts and uncles living within a 1 hour radius… and the most we got were a few phone calls the week after we lost our son).  I told him how I felt his family didn’t know how to deal with tragedy, and in typical Italian fashion – you go to church, pray for who you love, and then mind your own business but talk about it all behind closed doors.  I’m sure our loss went through so many circles of inner family gossip, and it all doesn’t even compare to the lack there of that actually made its way to our reality. 
I thought maybe I sort of caused this.  Initially I tried to not have anyone outside of a few very close family members find out about our loss, as I felt so embarrassed, and heartbroken – and I only expected everyone to down play our loss – so I didn’t invite any sort of support to our door. 
Everyone was having children left and right.  As often as someone would sneeze, anew pregnancy was announced and without fail – a new baby would arrive in 9 months.  One of Daniel’s cousins had a baby girl on February 15, 2012… another cousin had delivered her first in late October 2011.  His sister was due with her third in June of 2012…and here we were, announcing our son was stillborn.  Because I wasn’t able to carry on as everyone so easily did with their new babies, and have everyone pour over our new arrival on FB… I felt no one would validate me as a mother.  No one would see Alexander as a part of our family forever.  I hid away for months, and had Daniel do all the talking.  Any time a phone call would come in… I’d get cross with Daniel, and say, “stop telling everyone I’m ok!” 
But that’s what they did in his family.  Bad things happen.  People call and ask if you’re OK.  And you say you are.  End of story.  Didn’t seem as if anyone was willing to venture deeper into what this loss actually meant in our lives.
Looking back, I thought, maybe I didn’t give anyone a chance.  Maybe they were too ill equipped to deal with such a monumental loss in someone’s life.  Maybe it’s time I tell them, and invite them in, and let them know it’s OK to say sorry, and to let us know they are thinking of us. 
And ask them, to please think of our son. 
After procrastinating the entire Saturday away, last night I decided the time was now or never. 

So I wrote this…

Dear Family and Friends,
Please bear with me as I stumble through this email. This isn’t easy for me to talk about, and address large groups while doing so.
October is Pregnancy and Infant loss awareness month. I will be the first to admit, had I not had a baby, or lost a baby, I probably would not know this fact. It was sometime in the late 1980’s that October was declared pregnancy and infant loss awareness month to honor this very sad and tragic subject matter. Many countries around the world, England and Australia to name a few, have since taken this month under their wing as well.
Lots of rituals and ceremonies around the world take place for grieving families to take part in, to give them the space and support to honor their children. October 15thspecifically is the day when most ceremonies take place. Families release balloons, butterflies, lanterns or just gather to light a candle and say a prayer. And you don’t have to venture far on the world wide web to catch a glimpse of said ceremonies.
Daniel and I are still “new” at this. It has been 7 and a half months since we had to say good bye to our first born son after a horrible twist at the end of my pregnancy lead him to his demise while I was 41 weeks pregnant. We still miss him. We are quite certain that no matter how many months, years, or decades go by…the missing will still be there. It gets softer, yes. It becomes more bearable to take part in everyday activities and celebrations, yes. But he will always be the missing part of our family.
I have met hundreds of women and families as I’ve made my way through this post loss journey. There are literally THOUSANDS of people who have had stillborn babies that are somehow plugging along, doing “life” as best they can. These people are not from your grandmother’s generation. These people didn’t lose their babies because they were denied proper health care or come from third world countries. These people didn’t smoke, or drink, or practice any type of risky lifestyle. These are just normal people, in real time, who lost their children for the same reason I did. And no matter how you look at it, it’s no good reason at all.
I don’t think the average person thinks about how many people actually lose children. I for sure didn’t! I knew that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage…. But I did not know that 1 in 150 pregnancies end in stillbirth or neonatal death. That seems like a small percentage. It’s less than 1%! Most people will go unscathed by those odds. But… imagine how any people you pass in your day. At the bank, in the grocery store, driving to work, walking to school. It’s possible that at least one person you’ve brushed shoulders with on a weekly basis has lost a child. Nearly every day, dozens of people brush shoulders with me…
It’s a taboo subject. It’s unheard of in this day in age. People don’t talk about it… but let me tell you when it happens to you (and I truly hope it does NOT ever) the stories come out of the wood work. It still happens. Just because the statistics have gone down significantly in the past century and you only ever hear about it in movie plot lines, and from your brother’s co-workers friends grandmother and it almost seems too unreal to be true…the pain is still real. The unimaginable life that has to be lived after your child dies is still someone’s reality. EVERY DAY. And I wish with my all my wishes that when it does happen, they do not feel as if they’re alone.
Women and families that experience stillbirths or neonatal deaths do go on to have more children. But the ones we have lost do not in some way disappear. They do not vanish from our heart space, or fall off our motherly radar. We need them, miss them, and want to mother/parent them as much as any child we will ever bring into this world.
On this October 15th, mothers and families around the world come together in a special way to honor their lost children. They will light candles and say prayers. We release love and light up into the heavens. We say their names, and think of all the families whose hearts have now been constructed to love a child that they cannot hold.
Many ask for their friends and family to participate in this celebration of remembrance to strengthen the “Wave of Light” around the world for the lost children. And that is why you are finding my email in your inbox tonight.
Tomorrow is October 15th. And at 7pm, families around the world will be lighting a candle for their children, gone too soon. I ask that you not only think of our son, but all the babies gone too soon. And send healing prayers, and love to all the families suffering this unthinkable loss.
I cannot send you updates of my 7 and a half month old son…I cannot tell you how he is standing or babbling all day long… I cannot tell you that he is sleeping through the night, or keeping us up and that’s why the bags under our eyes are so heavy these days. I cannot parent him as my heart begs to do so every minute of every day. But I can ask you to remember him.
If possible, any time tomorrow, please light a candle for our son, Alexander David. And remember that he was here, born into this world on February 27th, 2012… and he will always be our first born beloved son.
And to ask for a step further… for my own contribution to spread the “wave of light” around the world… I ask that you take a picture (cell phone camera, pocket cam... anything or any quality) of your candle with a simple message across the bottom – whether it be photo shopped on or actually included physically with the candle – “Love. From (your [first]name[s])" or "Remembering Alexander. Love, from (your [first]name[s])". I may not be the only person you know that has lost a child to stillbirth or neonatal death. Please include any names or children you are lighting the candle for.
I would love to share your wave of light with all the grieving families I’ve come in contact with over the past 7 months.
I try to break free from this isolating and lonely space that losing a child can put you in. I encourage you to tell my story to those who are in need. To those who too, have lost a child. I ask that you forward this email to ANYONE (your family and friends) you feel would want to take part in the “Wave Of Light” to honor and remember all the babies gone too soon. And please, if you know anyone that has lost a child to stillbirth or neonatal death (or to anything for that matter), tomorrow, please let them know you are thinking of them and remembering their babes – gone way too soon.
Thanking you for taking the time to read this email – and if possible, for lighting a candle tomorrow. And thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for your continued love and support in this very trying time.


Veronica and Daniel

I did the best I could with what I have.
I have received a few responses… and someone has already sent me a picture of the candle they lit to honor all the babies gone too soon.
I think one of Daniels sisters forwarded our message off to a bunch of his extended family… and the “Wave of Light” might have been over looked.  In her message, she said, “if you can’t light a candle, please say a prayer for them tonight”.
(often times, people don’t read “forwards” in detail…and just take the gist from the sender – oh well…)
I’ve since got a few responses saying that Daniel and I will be in their prayers tonight.  So the wave of light will be from within.  And my hopes to posts a bunch of pictures of lit candles from my friends and family might fall a little flat. 

But I did what I could.

There’s an amazing energy I feel today.  I feel a tremendous sense of loss, but the energy of togetherness and always remembering gives me a sense of peace. 

Remembering all of our children today.

Alexander David.  We think of you every day – but today especially as we honor your life, gone way too soon.

Friday, 5 October 2012

All Over the Place

This past weekend Daniel and I, along with a handful of family and friends, attended my sisters’ wedding.  It was a 5 hour drive out of town, and we had to book 2 nights in a hotel because no matter what way we looked at it – we couldn’t make it in and out in one day.  And just a few weeks before the wedding, my sister informed me that she wanted me at the rehearsal dinner as she included my brother and me in the ceremony … and with the following day starting at 1pm, and the reception at 6pm, it sealed the deal with 2 nights at the Best Western, and us being 350$ poorer.  But it’s my sisters’ wedding… so come on, right?! Nickels and dimes! Right?!

Well, it didn’t help that I was completely under enthusiastic about the whole thing.  Leading up to the weekend, I had a lot of “I just don’t give a damn” feelings.  I felt incredibly sad, yes.  We were supposed to be planning this, and accommodating our time around our 7 months old. So the entire ordeal that was her wedding felt very empty to me.  I expressed my feelings to my mother, and brother… but they gently tried to help me see things from another perspective.  “It’s about her.  It’s her day.  One doesn’t have to do with the other”.  I get it.  I know that.  But still.  God, but still.
We were able to get ourselves packed up Friday morning, and I found myself feeling…OK.  Kind of uncomfortably OK.  I was just going through the motions, and got ‘er done.  The drive in was good.  I surprised myself with only one stop needed to pee, and we got to her in-laws farm for dinner.
And it started to unfold.  This feeling.  I’m not jealous, I insisted upon myself.  I’m not bitter.   I couldn’t put my finger on it.  My sister showed up over an hour late, and this melting pot of guests just swirled around me and I felt like I could jump out of my skin, I was so uncomfortable.  I eventually isolated myself to this gazebo style outside room attached to the back end of their farm house, and just waited to be summoned for my part in the rehearsal.  I was a horrible pile of unpleasant hormones and emotions.  My mother found me, and didn’t even have to ask the question.  She knew I was pissed off, and DYING to leave.  The dinner invitation stated 5PM with the bride leaving at 8PM.  It was now 6:30, and NOTHING had happened.  There were sorry excuses for food randomly scattered throughout the house, and people were getting too drunk to care that dinner wasn’t even in sight.  Call me a snob, but  if I invite people over to my place, or eek, host a dinner party, I make sure people are happy.  Everyone was hungry.  Everyone was reaching for conversation, and everyone that wasn’t directly involved with the wedding or the wedding party didn’t know what the eff was going on.  So, on top of my complete disappointment that I wasn’t being hosted to my satisfaction, I was a messy pile of my own grief.  I shouldn’t be here.  This is stupid.  Everyone’s life is so fucking SIMPLE.  I don’t even know who KNOWS about me.  Fuck all of you who do know, and are not giving me some sort of sentiment.  I dunno, I’D say something, do something, if I knew.  I’m not going to make the effort to play normal.  I’m not going to MINGLE!  Could you imagine?? “how many dead children do you have? Oh, none?  Must be nice.  What’s that like??”
My sister planned her entire wedding.  She budgeted everything.  Singlehandedly hired everyone needed.  Picked the time, place, colours, dresses, everything.  It’s been 18 months in the making.  But really, she’s been playing this day over in her head for over 10 years.  I knew that.  It was evident when she rallied us all up, and had a custom made itinerary, full page – front and back, with different colours, fonts, text sizes –  to read from for something that was going to be less than 10 minutes in real time. 
And it hit me again.  This feeling.  Look at her.  Look at everything.  This is all so pointless.  This all means nothing.  ANYONE CAN DO THIS.  This is nothing special.  This is nothing worth celebrating.  A pretty awful way to feel about your sister getting married.  But I couldn’t help it.  I was getting so frustrated with myself that something so important to her was only coming off as something pointless and trivial to me.
Pesky details regarding the ceremony were finally behind us, and it was now time to eat.  IT WAS 7:30.  I checked out the spread.  Cold cuts, cubed cheeses, iceberg salad, and Kaiser rolls.  What-the-fuck.  This is what took an EXTRA 2 and a half hours to prepare?!?!  I was shaking I was so hungry.  But the lonely, pathetic rolled up ham slices had no appeal to me.  I needed out of there, ASAP.  Daniel fixed himself and plate, and wolfed it down and we got the hell out of farm country and to our hotel in downtown Ottawa. 
(Side note:  I love farms.  I love the country.  We had several close family friends growing up who lived on farms, and I have wonderful memories playing in haystacks and barns.  Wearing wellies and walking through poop while petting pigs, cows, horses and chicks.  LOVED IT ALL.  I have farm living associated with fresh foods, colourful spreads, corn on the cob, potato salads, and more.  We had BBQ’s out on the farm that could feed an army.  So… my farm living expectations were not met in my experience above.)
The next morning:

The feeling came to fruition.  I got it.  I understood all that I’d been feeling.
This was all happening for them.  All the planning, and budgeting, and WAITING… it was all finally happening for them.  And there was NO RISK of it being taken away.  They wanted something, they worked for it, and they were in a matter of hours going to get it.  How about that?  Just like that.  And for me and Daniel, it just didn’t. 
“They’re gonna get theirs.  And we didn’t get ours.  That’s why today sucks.” I said to Daniel as I was putting on my make up.  “It's not like they had to survive anything to get here, or do anything particularly HARD to achieve this.  And it’s just so incredibly unjust, I could be sick.”
I know it’s a wedding, and not a child.  But so what.  They’ve been gushing over this for 18 months.  And a full 9 months of those 18, I was pregnant.  I was a very quiet pregnant woman.  I didn’t go ahead and jump into conversations and make everything about my expected arrival…I would sit and listen, and comment on how great everything was going to be on that day (their wedding day), but I’d have my own dialogue in my head.  You’ll have the wedding you always wanted, and I’ll have my child.  Way more exciting, much more anticipated, WAY-BIGGER-DEAL.  And there I was, the morning of her wedding…in the hotel room, just myself and Daniel, facing this nauseating injustice.  I didn’t find anything about the day worth celebrating.  So what?  She’s getting married.  ANYONE CAN GET MARRIED.  As if it’s HARD?!  And I know too much about their union to be expecting monumental, against all odds type years to unfold. 
I’ll bottom line it.  Even though my sister would probably SPIT ON ME in disgust for summing up her marital intentions in this way, but….
She’s almost 31.  All of her high school friends have been married for 5 plus years now, and 90% of those friends have a child.  And, a hand full of said friends are working on their second.  My sister has been in 2 long term relationships that ended because the guys didn’t want to get married “too soon”.  My sister summed them up to be “not marriage material” and was forced to move on… because her end goal has always been to be married and to have children.  AND THOSE ARE NOT BAD GOALS TO HAVE!!  But in my sisters’ case, it seemed more about the end result and less about WHO she reached it with.  Her husband is 24 years old.  He’s younger than our little brother.  She’s on more than one occasion called him by my brother’s name.  She says it’s because they both start with “M”.  ooookaay then….

Now that that’s out in the open, you all can formulate your own opinions. 

Truth of the matter is before I got pregnant… while I was pregnant… I was completely indifferent to what my sister did.  As long as she’s really happy.  That’s all that mattered to me.  But something about the way that this life is all unfolding has got her life really rubbing me the wrong way.  Not fair, not fair, not fair.  I was off doing my own things, living my own life… and now I cant help but feel like I’m desperately needing to play catch up.  She got what she wanted.  She got her happy.  I’m still chasing mine…to no avail.
The ceremony was fine.  There were a few mistakes that I’m sure my sister will NEVER be able to let go once she gets off her wedding day high (music was choppy, and not synchronized.  The song they arranged to walk down the aisle as husband and wife was in the wrong spot when they began their stroll.  Whatever, nothing’s perfect.) 
She threw a little private party for the wedding party and the bride and grooms siblings and dates.  Free booze.  And yes, everyone got all loaded up before the reception.  I for one, stood out like a sore thumb.  I stayed by Daniel’s side as he loosened up, and started to mingle after his third gin and tonic.  I did my best to join into conversations while they were in full swing, not leaving any openings for the dreaded question “so, what have you been up do lately?” 
She had a custom guest book made by Shutterfly.  She had pictures of all 100 guests, and started to pass it around at this pre party for everyone to sign.
I flipped to the back.  I remember her saying she didn’t want anyone to write anything on the back pages as they were in remembrance to those who were no longer with is.  There were pictures of my two grandmothers, and my father.  And that’s it.  “Forever in our Hearts” was written along the bottom of the page.  I could have ripped it out.  What a fucking hack.  MONTHS ago, my sister asked if I wanted her to make something to memorialize my pregnancy with Alexander.  I emailed her back telling her I wasn’t ready and was unable to think clearly about anything like that… but I definitely wanted to do SOMETHING.  And I wrote the line, “9 months in my belly, forever in my heart” as something I wanted to incorporate in a collage, or in a frame…  So when I saw that last page, I could have stopped the show right there.  But I didn’t.  I calmly found my picture, and wrote some cheezey, meaningless sentiment and signed my name.  But you’d better bet that I’ll ask about his absence that day in that book.  Especially after she’s claimed Alexander is an actual absence in her life, and that she thinks of him and misses him in all the ways an aunt would miss their nephew. 
My brother and Daniel walked out of there a little shitfaced.  6 drinks each in just over an hour.  Yeah.  Smart moves on their part.
On to the reception.  That was probably the more tolerable part of the evening.  My brother was pretty persistent with his jokes, and pokes towards the happy couple.  He hasn’t swallowed one bit of their relationship since day one… so this wedding has been front and centre to all things he makes fun of these days.  And hearing him let loose at our table was just what I needed.  
And then my sister said her speech.  And she said a few things that I had to shut out, and not let replay in my mind as reasons to hate her.  She talked about how she looks forward to facing “the challenges” as a couple that life will bring.  She talked about how she’s “been through so much and if it weren’t for Mr. new husband, she doesn’t know if she would have made it”.  She dedicated a part of her speech to my mother… on being a mother… and how that is her lifelong dream.  And how she “knows” what being a good mother means because of my mother. 
I know you don’t have to have a dead baby to know what it’s like to be a mother, or want to be a mother.  But that part of her speech hit a chord with me.  Just let me be the first to flick her on the forehead and tell her to shut the fuck up as she hasn’t a clue as to what she’s talking about.
Dinner was OK.  I’m allowed to be picky and insulting.  My baby died, and I’m gonna call a thing and thing.  The soup was mediocre, and the chicken breast was dry.  It was cheaply catered food.  There, I said it.  La dee da, my baby died, and your wedding sucked and your food was bland.  HA!

The reception plowed through the evening and the dance floor finally opened up.  I got out there with a few of my aunts, and older family friends (as all the occupants on the dance floor under the age of 40 were all the grooms old high school and current university friends… and I didn’t know ANYONE) and did some pretty mean side to side moves.  I had really sparkly shoes on, and I couldn’t deny them a dance floor.  They played the typical wedding party dance songs… YMCA, Macarena, SHOUT!, but the majority of the play list was very much catered to the groom’s generation… lots of top 40, and songs I’d rather not admit to knowing. 

Finally, a few slow songs rotated on the playlist, and I dragged Daniel out of his chair, and we swayed, hugging, and missed our son.  I sang “Don’t wanna miss a thing” and “Always” into his ear as I felt him cry while nestled in my neck.  It was the most bittersweet and heartbreaking part of the night.  But I couldn’t help but feel ever the more in love with him.

We went back to our hotel room at around 1:30AM.  There were still a few people hanging on, including my brother and his date/friend, but for the most part, we were of the last group of people to leave.  When we got back to our hotel room, Daniel broke down.  He told me how much he missed our son.  He told me how much he felt like he was out of place all night, and not a single person could tell.  He told me how celebrating other people’s happiness is impossible after what we’ve been through.  He told me how his heart was breaking every time he looked over at my mother, and caught her alone at her table in between songs, and just thought how she wouldn’t have had a moment to herself on this day of Alexander were here.  I thought that too.  I looked over at her, too, a lot throughout the night.  I wondered if she was missing his presence as much as I was.  I danced with her a few times, and she saw the ache in my heart as I tried to enjoy the evening.  She said, “Don’t worry, the next big party will be for your baby’s Christening”.  I just felt defeated.  God, she tries, and I know it.  But I just wanted her to tell me she missed him. 

Here are a few shots of us after the ceremony.  It was windy, and overcast skies.  My sister ran off with her photographer to get all the pretty shots of bride and groom on a park bench taken…AND, Daniel forgot to bring my camera to the reception… so I don’t have ANY pictures of me and my sister!  She did make for a lovely looking bride… too bad I couldn’t be happier for her.  (But I’m not THAT short sighted in my not gushing over her… she did enough of that on her own.  When we were at that little private in between party before the reception… I can’t remember what we were talking about, but she was standing in front of a mirror, and checking out her waistline….while we were talking.  Turning, slightly twisting to see how much of herself she could see over her shoulder…all whilst we were chit chatting.  She stopped herself, and finally looked at me and said, “I’m sorry, I just can’t believe I’m finally looking like this!”  gag.  Sister or no sister… it’s hard to be happy for someone when they’re just so into themselves.  I know she was DYING for everyone to gush over her… but sorry hon, it just ain’t gonna happen coming from me.)
Someone's missing
 With mother and brother
And are we total nerds for doing a DRESS REHEARSAL a week before our trip.  Because we did!  And this is us in front of our home, with the camera on our CAR, timed to catch this shot.  I'm so vain!
Now that you've made your way through this extremely long post about a wedding that means next to nothing to you...
I have some news...
In those pictures...I didn't have a big lunch.  There's a reason why a week before the wedding outside our house I look slightly different than the day of the wedding.  And no, I don't think it's because my hair is down and I'm wearing makeup. 
I will quietly tell you... I'm pregnant.  This time, I hope it's for real.
In the dress rehearsal pic I was 7 weeks, feeling pretty good about myself, and our little secret.  By the time the day of rolled around, I looked like I swallowed a football.  I'm sure everyone could tell, or maybe those that didn't know me just think I'm belly heavy.  But that's what 8 weeks pregnant looks like on me, 7 months after having a full-term baby. 
I've been very apprehensive to release the news.  I'm afraid I'll be back here tomorrow... to tell you all how it's all over...
The more people we've told in real life... the more I feel like it's all a matter of time now until this pregnancy ends too.
We're hoping for the best.  Because man, we need a bit of the best right now.
Hang in there baby, we need you <3