Saturday, 16 August 2014

Ramblings Of A Baby Loss Mom...

I'm feeling a little melancholy this morning.  Often times the change of summer to fall does this to me.  It being mid August and reaching highs of 15 degrees this past week, it has the feeling of fall sinking in.  Grey clouds in the sky, and the chill in the air.  Makes my bones ache and feel weary.  I like fall, but on the days when the sun isn't shining, it's hard not to have my emotions match the gloom. 

I've caught myself reflecting on my last post.  I don't like that so much of my energy is directed towards unwanted comparisons and coinciding timelines.  I was talking to Daniel the other night about how much I don't like how I've changed.  I find myself regressing and "immaturing" if you will.  I'm finding myself petty and upset.  Dwelling on things that happened years ago.  Things that were said and not said.  A long time ago, I let so much go regarding dysfunctional family dynamics and found myself in a space of peace and feeling genuinely impartial to whatever other people had going on.  REALLY.  It held no weight in my every day.  Now, dammit, I'm bothered by so much.

My real feelings about Alexander seems to get lost and overshadowed by such pettiness.  I want him, I miss him, I love him, repeat to the infinitive.... and such is life now.

Lately, A's have been catching me everywhere.   I long to have a baby A to have and to hold... to watch grow and sing songs to.  I was in a Big Book Store the other week, and displayed as one of the first things seen when walking in was a wall of white mugs with letters on them in alphabetical order.  There were 2 of each letter displayed in three's on a 9 cubed shelf.  Each letter was a bright colour, and on the inside of the mug, a corresponding word was written.  "Brilliant", "Charming" "Dreamer".... I stood back and took a second look at the display from a far, and realized "A" was missing.  With the A being the only letter missing, it stood out as if it were shouting at me.  I wanted that mug with a bright blue or green or red or whatever colour that A was supposed to be.  I wanted to know what would have been written on the inside.  I missed Alexander so much in that moment it hurt.  I want my A baby back.

I later found a grouping of mugs with cursive letters written in black.  There were 2 "A"s left.  I bought one. 

I took home my A mug, and loaded my only living child in the car, and missed Alexander to the umpteenth degree.

Yesterday, I went out to the park with Theo.  There are 3 local parks with in 10 minutes of my house that I frequent with the stroller.  Yesterday was like any other day.  Dressed appropriately weather-wise, sand toys in the basket, water bottles in hand, and we're off!  While walking down the same street I walk on to get to 2 of the 3 frequented parks, I see a family ahead walking towards me.  It looked like a set of grandparents and a mother with her son.  The grandfather was walking a little dog, and the grandmother was holding the hand of the little boy.  The mother was walking solo carrying a purse/diaper bag/tote bag.  I have never seen this family before.  As our paths met directly the mother stopped and said, "oh my god, how cute is he?!?!!" referring to Theodore and pretty much stopped me in saying so as she was now standing in front of my stroller.  People say hello, and smile.  They pass by with an "Awe" and a head tilt and carry on with their walk.  "My goodness, what a doll" and phrases alike have been said here and there (picture lots of old people - as there are MANY in my neighborhood - and the quirky "my goodness" and "oh my word" type statements they make), but there hasn't been a time in which I can remember clearly of actually being stopped in my tracks as I'm walking briskly to the park. 

just so you don't have to imagine the cute, I'll provide these snap shots from our park trip that day
you're welcome :)
The mother asked how old Theo was.  And finished her question with "he must be 2 or close to it...?" 

oh 2.  How I wish I had a boy who was 2. 

"Almost 16 months actually.  16 months next weekend.  So... 15 and a half months" I managed to awkwardly say as I was already a little taken aback by the 2-year-old reference.

"Oh well, he's big!  What's his name?"

"Theo.  Theodore"

"Oh Theodore, what a cutie!"

I turned my head in the direction of the little boy holding his grandmother's hand.  "And what's his name?"

The mother paused, as if needing to make an effort not to answer.  "What's you're name sweetie?  Can you tell the lady your name?"

Looking straight ahead, the boy answered as a smile appeared on his face, "Aaaaaalex".

I look back at the mother, trying to hide my shock, but my eyebrows raise nonetheless.  I look back toward the boy, "oh, hi Alex".  I'm smiling and being polite, but on the inside my mind is racing a mile a minute.  What is going on?  Who are these people?  Where did they come from?  Why did she STOP me?? Oh my god, of COURSE his name is Alex.  I'm going to cry.  I have a son named Alex.  Well, Alexander.  I don't know what the evolution of his name would have been like had we referred to him as he grew and WAS ALIVE.  I look back to his mother, "and how old is he?"  I knew he was older than 2 and half.  He was taller... thinner... and almost all the baby had left his face.  "He's almost 4... he'll be 4 in October". 

I think I said something like, oh that's great.  I really don't remember.  I know we walked away from each other with remarks like 'enjoy your day' and 'have fun'....

I continued on my walk towards the park and I bawled.  I just cried my way down that friendly neighborhood street.  Aaaaalex.  Of course his name was Alex.  I didn't feel gutted or ripped apart.  I thought maybe this was it... you know when the universe speaks to you..?  I think it was speaking to me.  But what does it mean?  What am I supposed to feel?  I just felt sad.  I just wanted my Alexander.  My A. 

At times I think about what it would be like if we were to have another baby boy.  A part of me wants to name him Alexander.  I don't know if it's because I miss him so much or love him so much... but I want to have a piece of him "in use" every day.  I know he wouldn't be the Alexander we lost.  He wouldn't be replacing him or erasing him... but honoring him.  And then another part of me thinks it's completely crazy and unacceptable.  Plus, I think everyone around me would think I've lost my fucking mind and went completely off the deep end.  Or maybe not.  I don't know. 

I struggle with the name game.  Alexander and Anthony were front runners for us when I was pregnant with (who is now) Alexander.  Daniel is Italian and his one sisters used to tease that if I ever hand an Anthony, she'd call him Tony.  She even joked constantly while I was pregnant, always asking, "how's little Tony doing today??"  I like Anthony, but I do not like Tony.  Maybe "Who's The Boss?" ruined it for me, but I cant hear the name Tony and not hear "aaaaa ooo, ooo aaa". 

The name Theodore was literally said to me in a dream and I stuck with it.  We were SO UNDECIDED on a name while I was pregnant with Alexander, I didn't want to go through that again with what I was hoping to be the baby I would eventually bring home.  We had a "probably" peek at the gender from our OB that we were having a boy at around 14 weeks.... and from that day I was reeling in the thought of having to name another boy.  I had nothing left.  Everything I loved reminded me of thinking of Alexander and trying to name him while I was pregnant.  I didn't want to be in that space again with names and STILL not know if we were actually going to bring home a baby.  I was hoping that job of giving your new born baby a name would somehow just go away and happen effortlessly.  I remember wanting to name the baby Anthony, but didn't like that I was using a "runner up" name for this baby as it felt like in turn it made the baby a runner up choice to Alexander.  It doesn't feel that way now of course... but at the time it just felt too close to who Alexander was. 

At around 17 weeks along, I woke up off the couch after falling asleep watching TV and I heard the name "Theodore".  It literally sounded like someone in the other room said it.  I had never considered that name while pregnant with Alexander.  I don't think I had even HEARD that name while I was pregnant with Alexander. 

"Theodore.  Ok."  I thought. 

I told Daniel the next morning, and we both fell in love with it.  I knew I wanted to give this baby a middle name...and I was pretty sure I wanted it to be Alexander (or Alexander David, or David).  And Theodore Alexander sounded pretty good, so we stuck with it.

I still love the name... but there are days I don't know if I love it for my son.  Crazy talking?  Grief talking?  I don't know, and I feel a little weird saying this but there have been a few times where I look at Theo and I think, god you look like an Anthony.  Weird, right??  I think it's because I think he looks like an Alexander.  Theo's lips and eyes are SO similar still to Alexander's, I cant help but associate those traits to looking like an Alexander.  I don't want to be pictured rocking in a chair, petting a teddy bear and saying, "you look like an Alexander too... and so do you... and you do too...".  I'm not.  It's just a weird crazy splice of grief that's bleeding into things that would otherwise feel normal.

I do look at other BLMs and their rainbow children who have names beginning with the same letter as their dead child.... and I love it.  Not to say that I don't love ALL the names of ALL the children I've come to know along this journey of loss... but my heart aches for my very own baby A, and I wonder about thought processes and emotional needs of loss parents who chose to name their rainbow children with the same initial.  I wonder about thought processes and emotional needs FOR ALL subsequent children after loss.... but I at times think if I had named Theo an "A" name, maybe a teenie tiny smidgen of what I'm clinging to would be intact. 

And at this exact point in writing this blog post is when I knew it had to be titled "Ramblings of a Baby Loss Mom..."

Because I feel like it's gonna be tough to make any sense of this post. 


I just miss him.  Today, as it rains and is too cold to be August 16th, I miss him.

Theodore grows and becomes more of himself every day.  He's marvelous and wonderful and I love him with a capacity I didn't know was possible.  I want to go back and eat up his baby-ness a bit more before I completely lose him to his childhood and all it's rapidly changing moments.

I take his picture constantly, and keep every blurred image and missed opportunity.  I don't know what I'm going to do with all these pictures... but I'll share some classic "chair" shots here and now.  He makes my heart explode effortlessly. 

I don't know what I would do without him.  I try to not really "go there", but "go there" all at the same time as I know too well what it's like to live without a piece of my heart intact. 

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Right Where I Am: 2 years, 5 months and 10 days

I've put a pin in writing this post, and hoped and prayed my collection daily mental entries wouldn't escape me when I finally had the time and emotional space to do so.  I intended to dive in right after reading Angie's entry.  I'm so glad she's hosting this again.  I felt a RWIA post brewing in me for the past few months.  I needed something to get me back into my blog, however, I make no promises or commitments to regular posts - though I'd like to be doing so.  This project seemed like a good reason to try to sort some of the entangled emotions I've been living with. 

I haven't read any entries from anyone this year, nor have I re read my own from previous years.  I wanted to really feel where I am right now... and going back to what I was feeling months out, and then just over a year out... well, I know it would cause me to reflect rather than just take in and let out what I'm feeling now.

Theodore is 15 months old now.  He's been "sleeping the night" (a whooping 8-9 hours uninterrupted) for a little over a month now.  It's been a needed and welcomed change.  I still only get roughly 5-6 hours of sleep every night plus a bit of a cat nap in the early morning hours... and it's my fault.  I put Theo down for 9:30-10, and I stay up.  I read blogs.  Catch up on IG.  Watch a bit of TV.  I feel like it's the only real time I can check out freely from my responsibilities and relax.  When Theo naps during the day, it's often random and feels rushed when I try to do something I'm really interested in finishing.  (I'm writing this now as he naps, and I'm feeling the pressure).  It's a little bit of "me" time, and I get to shake off my day.  I've always been a night owl.  I've been staying up late since high school.  But I need to change my natural tendencies, because sleeping in until 8 or 9 AM isn't realistic at this point in my life.

I finally drag myself to bed around 11:45-12 midnight.  Sometimes I crash right away, and other nights I'm up thinking about the future or the past.  Theo wakes between 6-6:40, and I nurse and try to get another hour of solid sleep if Daniel is up (and willing!) to take him downstairs for the day.  All that being said, I'm doing much better with sleep and functioning normally these days.  I don't miss the nights being up 3-5 times tending to an irrational baby who just.wont.sleep. 

That point can bring me to my anxiety regarding having more children.  It's a hot question these days.  It seems to be the FIRST one from other moms when they meet me and Theo.  "So, when's baby #2 coming??"  My go to answer is always, "Another baby?  Years, not months away... I'll tell you that much." 

I want more.  I NEED more.  But I don't know if I can do it.  Maybe my tune will change after we've been in a solid, predictable sleep schedule for a few more months (or YEARS), but right now I'm seriously doubting my ability to go through the trenches of sleep deprivation again. 

I do want more children though.  I want them because I always pictured having more than one (living) child.  I want to have siblings for Theodore to grow up with.  And, I want to have more children because I'm selfish, and I need to have another infant to take care of and breathe in.  I know I JUST said I cant do the whole sleep deprivation part again, but I need to experience having a baby for the reason of just having a baby.  Not to say I'm trying to get back what I lost when Alexander died; but I need to go through a pregnancy, and have a baby for the simple fact that we want to expand our family.  Not because our baby JUST died and we desperately NEED a living child to have and to hold. 

When we brought Theo home, I was a wreck.  I was living in a parallel state for so long.  Part of me imagining and realizing "this" is what life was supposed to be like 14 months ago... and simultaneously trying to be present with my new son.. who was RIGHT HERE... in the flesh...crying... nursing...cooing... And it was just such a fucking shame that I had to do both.  Because in turn, I felt like I was no where.  Not present.  Not 100%.  Trying for the perfect in between my two lives was such a stealer of real life.  2 babies later, and I STILL feel like I haven't had a "babymoon" stage.  Baby 1 - ripped apart by loss and living with a new grief.  Baby 2 - in shock and awe of what my life consisted of, and living in a state of what next...? and waiting for the other shoe to fall.  I'm really yearning for that normalcy that comes with a new baby.  I know I'm reaching.  I know I'm in la la land over here.  But it's what I feel.  It's where I'm at. 

These days (similar to last year, but minus the shock) I'm really trying to find a balance between staying in the moment and being present, and letting my mind wander to the land of "if Alexander had lived" scenarios. 

Example:  When Theo turned 6 months, if Alexander had lived, that's the age he would have been when we got pregnant with Theo.  When Theo was 7 months, if Alexander had lived, that's the age he would have been at my sisters wedding.  When Theo turned 14 months, if Alexander had lived, that's the age he would have been when Theo was born.  My sister had a baby in September 2013, almost 5 months to the day after Theo was born.  If Alexander had lived, I would have had a 19 month old toddler (instead? as well?). 

I love Theo.  I want nothing more of him.  He cant be any more perfect.  There isn't an aspect about him I wish were different.  I'm desperately trying not to make him living proof of all that I once lost. 


I am not sad every day like I once was.  I am not depressed and down on my life.  But I'm also not extremely happy.  Like, that extreme happy that just eats you up and makes you want to constantly sing songs from your favorite movie soundtrack.  I'm not comfortable or complacent with how everything has panned out.  I often want to run away.  Pick up and move to the other side of the country... or world. 

I wonder about other blm's (and I mean on a WORLD WIDE, EVERY ONE THAT EVER EXISTED type of "other" statement) and if everyone is doing a whole lot better than I am.  I know where I get hung up on things.  And it's primarily related to family comparisons and timelines [read: should be 19 month gap between my first and my sister's first].  There is still an ugly, scowling, bitter woman who can look at other people with their families and think, that used to be me dammit!  I know I need to work on a lot.  I was commenting to Daniel the other day that I used to be a person that really wasn't affected by other people and their accomplishments/achievements/life plans ... and the list goes on.  I was really walking in my own shoes.  My stride felt exactly right, and no matter what pace anyone else was running the race at, I felt just fine with what I had going on.  Now?  Well shit.  Now is when all that bitter, angry, ugly stuff comes up when I catch wind of the latest news on how so-and-so is doing in their pregnancy, or new baby, or first baby or whatever.  (BLM'S EXCLUDED)

I'm missing a bit of how easy everything once felt. 

I know this is my battle to overcome.  No one else's life should have an impact on how I manage my feelings.  No one else's life should determine whether I'm able to find a state of being ok with my own. 

WAY easier said than done...these days.


I've been having trouble finishing this post as Theo has been up for the last few paragraphs.  He plays behind me, and makes his way over and reaches for items on my desk.  He chatters and brings me things.  His little doe eyes stare up and beg for interest and response into every item he evaluates.  My heart explodes and my chest feels so achy I could cry.  I love him.  I am in love with every cell in his body.  His essence and around-ness brings me a comfort I cant put into words.  He saves me every day, over and over with his simple existence. 

And I know my love for him is different because his older brother isn't here.  I know the feelings I have for him and the role he has in my life are complexed by the tragic fact that my first born child died. 

I know nothing will ever be better because of Alexander dying.  But I hope that my love for my living child(ren) is only ever richer because Alexander existed. 

Friday, 16 May 2014

Something (Alternate Title: Return To Zero)

I haven't been to this space since Alexander's 2nd birthday.  Not to say I haven't thought of a million posts about life, missing, heartbreak, sleep deprivation, Theodore's First Birthday (!!), Mother's Day, day to day trivial things regarding permanently entering the world of being a stay at home mom (!!x1000), feeling endlessly robbed of my old (better) life pre-loss, more sleep deprivation and possible boarder line depression associated with said sleep deprivation... but I'm coming here today because there is a hum (hum, or buzz?  I'm saying hum because buzz sounds too happy and chipper and associated with something on the rise that is involving nothing but positivity and good things) in our community about a very special film about to debut tomorrow night. 

I wanted to talk about it (even if very briefly.  I'm opening this post as Theo is entering hour 2 of his nap and I'm on "any minute now" borrowed type of time) because I am so grateful that something like this actually exists.

I hate HATE that stillbirth, infant loss, or losing a child at any age is anyone's reality, and that stillbirth is ACTUALLY my reality, but I'm thankful that now there is some light shined on the subject matter in a very public way. 

When I came home after Alexander died, (after a few days of my zombie-state-like tolerance of visitors and a house guest) I frantically googled "Stillbirth" day after day.  I didn't get much.  A lot of medical un-explanations came up in my search, and a lot of articles coming out of Australia oddly enough.  I felt so alone and as if this HAD NEVER HAPPENED TO ANYONE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD expect me.  I even googled celebrities+dead babies+stillbirth+pregnancy loss too.  I read a very dated list of some not-too-popular celebrities who had lost babies at various points during pregnancy, but most of which was being discusses as miscarriages.  (and I don't mean to add insult to injury by calling someone who lost a baby or had a miscarriage "not-too-popular".  oops.  Sorry)

Anyway, I felt ALONE.  GUTTED.  And while living in the land of complete obliteration, I felt I had nothing to turn to or to reference.  At least I know I'm not the only one in the world that this has happened to, because well, remember that movie, "Return to Zero"?  We'll ... it happened to someone..  That was not a thought that ever went through my mind.  And that's why I'm thankful a movie like this is being brought to the public.  Because the next time a mother comes home after giving birth to her dead baby, at least (AT LEAST) she wont feel entirely out casted into the world of absolutely impossible things to ever happen to a human being just happened to her. 

I read "An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination" by Elizabeth McCracken on April 27, 2012... and it was only on that day did I feel what I was feeling was 100% validated.  I found this piece of public material that was validating my feelings and experience.  Yes, the entire world didn't know what I was going through was in fact real, and mother's of dead babies were the only source of support and understanding out there for me at this very fresh time of loss and grief.  I had discovered the blog world of BLMs sometime in between February 27th, 2012 and April 27th, 2012.  But I actually held that book to my chest and hugged it while sobbing my eyes out after reading several parts.

I'm not alone.  It happened to her.  Exactly the way it happened to me, it happened to her... and she is feeling everything I'm feeling in the aftermath.  Holy shit, I'm not alone. 

It saved me in a way.  IT GAVE ME SOMETHING.  I wanted everyone I knew to read the book.  My friends, my family, my neighbors... just read it.  It says everything I'm feeling.  READ IT DAMMIT!!

Now, Return to Zero will be able to reach people who haven't experienced stillbirth or infant loss.  I mean, I know anyone can go ahead and pick up a book and read it... but it's not exactly a book that the average Joe would buy.  But this is a movie with recognizable actors that will be aired on National TV.  So hopefully those who haven't experienced such great loss will understand a little better how to approach the subject when faced with a mother who has lost her child.  And hopefully with less, "well, everything happens for a reason" and "at least we know he's in a better place now" and "things will get easier with time" and more "I'm just so sorry for the loss of your son/daughter" and "I do not know your pain, but I am here for you in any way you need me". 

I don't think there is anything I would say makes losing a child easier... but maybe a movie being out like this will make the next mother who loses her baby feel like walking this path in those early weeks and months can be a bit more bearable knowing she's not the only one.

Return to Zero airs tomorrow night, May 17th on Lifetime.  That's channel 83 here.  I'll be dvr'ing it and watching it as soon as I have a night with just me and Daniel and Theo is sleeping and I can bawl my eyes out.

Thursday, 27 February 2014


I have always thought Alexander was a beautiful baby.  Not just because he's my baby, but because he took my breath away when I saw his picture.  I was shocked with myself that I didn't actually hold and take in every part of his earthly flesh after he was born.  He was so beautiful.  His lips were full just like mine.  His nose was a mix of mine and Daniel.  His hair was light brown and long that curled oh so slightly (you really have to look to see the curl).  His ears were big like his Daniel's.  But he was full of newborn baby sweetness that I had never seen before. 
Theodore wasn't a "cute" newborn.  I'm not sure if it's because he was induced 2.5 weeks before his due date... or if he just wasn't "cute", but thankfully he grew into some cuteness down the line.  But Alexander was a cutie.  Maybe because he looked more like me as a newborn than Daniel (*snicker* sorry Daniel), but I couldn't believe I lost such a perfect child. 
There were about 12 pictures of him given to us on a photo card included with our "you just had a dead baby" package we left the hospital with the day after he was born.  They also printed one picture that was in the pillow tucked next to the blanket he was laid against for the pictures.  I looked at that picture a few days after we got home from the hospital.  I hated it.  Who ever was working the camera didn't get enough light in the shot.  And it was printed on such a dark setting... it made his already purplish skin tone that much more deadly.  I looked at that picture and was horrified that I let what ever happened to my perfect baby happen.  I then became so attached to that picture, and held it to my chest and cried ... endlessly some days... and I cradled my son desperately in this two dimensional form. 
I'm not sure exactly when it was that Daniel and I put that little memory card into our computer.  I know we initially thought that we had to find a camera that supported that card... and then one day, we were like, "hold on just a second here...." and saw that it could be inserted into our laptop.  The file appeared and we were taken aback.  Like, oh my god... there he is...
There were pictures of him at different angles taken what looked like minutes after he was born.  Nothing looked all that flat or sunken.  There was one angle in which if I wasn't an expert, and just quickly glanced at this baby... I might not know that he actually was dead.  Unfortunately, if you let your eyes study the details, you can see that something is just not quite right.  I showed this picture to my family.  Proud and heartbroken, I told each person individually, "I want to show you Alexander...".  99% of the viewers wept along with me as the oh god have mercy, why did he have to die hit us once again after seeing this perfect baby.
I wanted to have that image of him printed and in our bedroom.  I wanted the harshness of the reality to be softened... have it tinted to make everything look more angelic and him more ... alive.  Totally gutted by the task, I had Daniel go to a photo store and have smalls prints done.  I fixed the lighting and cropped the image so only the "perfect" parts of him were in the finished print.  But the results weren't as perfect as I'd hoped.  He still looked dead.  And having this image in our home was too heartbreaking for me.  I wanted him alive.  I wanted him to look alive.  And it just wasn't happening. 
I knew my desire to have him up in our home somewhere wasn't gone.  But at the time I didn't have it in me to press on and continue to find a solution with the very few pictures I had of my son. 
As his second birthday approached, I felt the pull to do this.  I was so hesitant to really try and complete this daunting task of reproducing an imagine of my dead child because I knew what I wanted couldn't actually be done.  I wanted him to look like he was born alive.  And because that didn't happen, I knew how impossible that would be to actually produce.
After Christmas, I knew I had to do something for his 2nd birthday.   With Theodore so evident in our lives, I wanted to share Alexander so badly.  I wanted to make him here a little bit more. 
I, like many loss mothers I've seen, contacted Dana and with as much courage and strength I could muster, and I emailed her his pictures.  I knew that even if I wasn't 100% pleased with the end result, it was a step towards lightening this load I've carried in my heart about sharing images of him.  I didn't hold myself to any obligations to show anyone after they were done, or even frame them or display them.  It was just me asking a lovely soul to see my son, and draw him. 
And that she did.  And they were beautiful. 
Today is Alexander's 2nd birthday.  Two feels so much different than One.  In some ways harder, and in other's, a lot easier.  I will try to share more about the complexity of 2 another day. 
Today, I will show you my son.  Who I love and miss more than anything I could ever express in black and white text.  His absence is enormous.  And my heart feels it every day. 

I love you Alexander.  I will pray for gentle days until we meet again.

Love Mom

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The day before

I am sitting at my computer, crying, listening to "Let It Be" by the Beatles, and replying to emails about Alexander.  Theodore is near by, playing with his stuffed Pooh bear, and emptying the plush toy basket over and over again.  He bumps his head gently against the side of the desk over and over as he reaches for his things that have travelled slightly out of his reach.  Bump bump.  I reach down an touch his head, feel his soft hair, and cry and smile as he looks up.  He smiles back.  He is tired.  He didn't sleep well last night.  He is extra clumsy as he's pushing his 5th hour of being awake today.  I was going to come to this place while he napped.  But alas, bump bump, he plays at my feet as I go through tissues full of tears and snot. 

I so wish he was born on time, and somehow I was juggling 2 boys under 2.  Life would have been crazy and probably impossible if Theodore was this kind of baby even with a big brother toddler present - but I would do it all without question to have Alexander here. 

I ache to say his name throughout the house.  It's big things - like his life - that I miss.  But it's the little things too.  I wonder what he would have been like as an almost 2 year old. 
"'re almost 2!  Happy almost second birthday!!" I would say.
"Alexander..."  I would say.  ... "Alexander..." I would be saying so much more.  I want to say it these days.  And not just to hear his name... but to say it to the boy ... the boy who would be busy, walking, talking, singing, dancing, fussing, fitting, tantrum-ing, and all things 2.

Shine until tomorrow... Let it be
There will be an answer... Let it be
"Alexander.."  I would say...

Tuesday, 18 February 2014


I’m still in mourning.  I miss the boy I was supposed to bring home from the hospital in February 2012, alive and well.  There is a sore spot forever marked on my heart now that he is gone.  I assume I will always miss him.  I will always ache for him.  I will always need him in a way that I cannot explain to “the everyday” person who hasn’t lost a child. 
There is additional mourning that feels suffocating these days.  I’m hoping one day it will lessen in it’s intensity.  It’s the mourning of my old life. 
Everyday in which I muddle through my current hand, I get bothered.  Irked.  Bitter.  Frustrated.  Hurt.  Sad.  And I miss what life would have been like if that boy lived and made it home with us in February 2012. 
Daniel's sister (the youngest of the 3 older he has) had a baby 2 weeks after Theodore was born.  She was due in late June of 2013, but her daughter was born via emergency c-section on May 9th – 7 weeks+ early.  Her baby lived, and spent a good few weeks in the NICU.. but she is home now and otherwise really healthy.  She’s “behind” Theodore in certain developmental milestones, but after a year or so, her gestational age will pretty much not matter any longer and she’ll just be small in size for her age. 
My sister had her daughter in September 2013.  Her baby and Theodore are almost 5 months to the day apart in age.  I don’t hear much from my sister these days.  A lot has happened since the birth of these 2 (Theo and niece) babies in our family.  During this past Christmas my sister told me (during an emotional conversation about my grief and Alexander’s involvement at Christmas) that she wanted to be the first to have children between the 2 of us.  I told her it has saddened me that she hasn’t been more excited to know about Theodore and all the baby wonderfulness he possesses.  However, the fact that I had Theo just 5 months before the birth of her daughter, she’s needed to distance herself from being involved in how Theo is growing as she doesn’t want to feel cheated in experiencing it first hand with her own daughter.  She really wanted to have her children come first and for her to be a mom first.  And the fact that I'm experiencing everything first is something she's unhappily dealing with - and in that, she's had to become less involved in being an aunt.
I said to her… “then I guess you got really lucky when Alexander died..”.  I was angry, and she got angrier in the fact that I would say something so rotten.  But that’s how I felt in knowing she wanted to be the first to have kids. 
It would have been so very different had Alexander been my first baby to bring home and raise.  My sister would have the role of being an Aunt for the first time, and figure out how she wanted to do that in her own way… while planning her wedding and then planning her life.  But liked it or not, she would have been an aunt long before being a mom.
Every since Daniel’s sister had her second daughter, there has been a constant comparison to how she is doing compared to Theodore.  It doesn't bother me too too much, but it's something that can get under my skin.  This is the closest that 2 babies have ever been in Daniel's family.  And every time Theo does something, his Nonna often or always says, "A does this too now.. but she does it like this... ".  (yes, the new baby is an "A" baby).  And I feel it diminishes a bit of Theo's individuality.  Like, can I just have a baby and have him be the only baby we think about for a second!? 
Alexander was going to be several months ahead of this baby, (who is also an "A" baby... sigh) and comparisons would be had in the sense that he’s older and in a completely different stage of infancy. 
(And can  I just take a minute to mention that yes, both babies had by 2 difference sisters after Alexander are "A" babies as well.  Would have been the cutest thing in the entire world if Alexander, Adrian and Alessia were walking along, hand in hand... but now... well... we all know how the story goes...) 
I mourn these should have been scenario’s in my life.  I mourn the fact that I was to have the only child on my side of the family for my mother, brother and sister to experience.  I mourn the placement of Alexander among the slew of grandchildren on Daniel’s side. 
I think about how life would be between me and my family if I was the only member with a child.  Selfish I know.  But it was a nice place to be back in 2011 when I was pregnant and expecting.  In all things that are unfolding in life, I get so bothered by where I am.  It’s unhealthy.  And I rarely – if ever – admit these feelings to anyone but Daniel.  But I feel so suffocated by my current “timeline” and thoughts of family planning in the future. 
I think I can safely say that Daniels 3 sisters are done with having kids.  But my sister isn’t.  She claims that she is done, and that she cannot imagine doing this again and she had no idea having a baby was going to feel so hard.  But I know she’s not done.  I'll be bold enough to mark my words that by the end of 2014, she's pregnant with her second.  And once again, I feel anxious and frustrated that thoughts of my own future pregnancies and babies could fall so closely with hers.  Or worse, she'll be popping out baby #2 and the life of 2 babies under 2 will be had by someone else in my family other than me.  Had we had Theodore on the same timeline of having Alexander being born alive, life would be CRAZY.  And to see that craziness had by her family = me feeling gutted.  I’ve talked about the whole needing my space aspect around what my sister does.  And in the baby having department (both while gestating and afterwards) I need that space from her more than ever. 
And I mourn the normalcy of not having any of my children dead.  I mourn the “go with the flow” feelings I had with family planning I had when I was pregnant with Alexander. 
I mourn the emotional lightness there used to be in my family surrounding me and my life.  I mourn the lack of stigma attached to me. 
I mourn the me I was before baby loss.  I mourn the wholeness I felt.  I mourn the outlook I had towards other people’s lives.  I miss the way I used to REALLY not care. 
I wonder when I’ll breathe with the same lightness I used to have.  And not a lightness that doesn’t involve sadness and missing.  But a lightness in really feeling like my life is just as it’s supposed to be. 
I mourn the life I had where I wasn't burdened so much by figuring out something so fucking complicated. 

Today is Alexander’s due date.  I mourn the life where February 18th was a perfect and exciting day to welcome my first born son.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Because my comment was too long to publish

I was just reading Brooke's Blog and she posted this.  And my comment was too long to publish. 

It was big.  It was heavy.  And its time I let the hurt out.


Dear Brooke,

I'm so glad you wrote this.  I've had a feeling.. a heavy shaken feeling ever since talking with Laura the day before yesterday.

And here it is.  I talked with her about what happened to me that day on Feb 27th... in the wee hours of the morning how we went to the hospital at 1am because I didn't feel the baby move... and then they told me that there was no heartbeat.  The ultrasound came in, and I saw his still silhouette.  I said the words ".. and that's when I started screaming and howling, 'what happened??' and Daniel dove on to my chest and told me it was going to be ok".

I remembered again how it felt in that exact moment to be alive and know that my baby just died.  I told her about walking down the hallway to the private room and feeling like I was going to burn the hospital down.  I told her how it felt to see Daniel not know he was REALLY dead until they closed the door to that private room to "give us some time". 

I haven't vividly remembered those feelings in a while.  I'm so thankful to have had that visit with Laura, and to finally talk to another mother who understands my pain... and to share in the common reality that our first born children are dead.  But I didn't know that reliving those moments would leave me a little shell shocked and shaken thereafter. 

And I worry that I felt the impression that I am an angry BLM.  Cold and callus.  As the decision to see and hold my dead baby was too much for me.  I didn't know what in the world these people were asking me to do.  I thought everyone around me had lost their mind asking me if I wanted to spend time with him - after we was already dead.  I was already so beside myself.  The nurses tried to facilitate a manageable space for me to come to after my baby was dead... but there was no reaching me.  All that you said about leading up to that moment, for 9 months, appointment after appointment... scan after scan... due date passed and more appointments thereafter... and all of a sudden, OUT OF NO WHERE, he's dead.  I didn't ever know that that could be a reality of what having a baby was like.  So, I didn't really feel like that's ACTUALLY what was happening.  I felt it was just a torturous ordeal.  I didn't know someone could get so fucked over.  But I was.  And all that pregnancy stuff, well, I felt it was all for nothing.  And I too felt so unbelievably duped and embarrassed.  Hugely pregnant... hours ago filled with life and plans... and now, well now he's dead and you have to go through the cruelest task possible and labor and deliver him... dead.  He's dead.  Remember that.  But do it all anyway.  Can you do that for us?  We need you to push, bear down, ok, breathe... that's it.  You're doing great... but he's dead.  But just stay with us now, you're doing so great...

I felt like I was in hell for that day.  And I wanted to get out of there so fast.  I wanted nothing out of this anymore.  I didn't feel ANYTHING beautiful was going on.  And it was only until I got home, and felt the physical pain of him not being with me did I realize what a beautiful thing it was to have him.  Ever.  In any form.  He is nothing but beautiful.  And with him being dead, travelling down the birth canal, and out into this cold world... I didn't see that at the time.  And I couldn't spend that time with him and hold him as I wish I had.  I watched the nurse carry him away, seconds after he left my body, and that was it.  And it's the biggest regret I'll ever have. 

I told Laura that I would do it all again, have him die, and deliver him all over again just to hold him.  Just to touch his skin, and kiss his lips. 

I'm crying now.  I'm thankful Theo is stretching his morning nap and letting me bawl my eyes out... because I needed this.  I'm crying now and reliving the shell shock of it all.

What happened to me that day was traumatic.  I didn't rise to the occasion to have my dead baby the right way.  I beat myself up all the time.  I shake my head at my performance at being a mother.  I forget about the 9 months of tender love and closeness I felt with this babe growing.  He was so adorable even though I'd never laid eyes on him.  And the trauma of that day, and that event stole that reality from me.  I long for him still.  I miss him unbearably.  My arms still ache for him.  Even with Theo here, my arms ache for the child I never held. 

And I am again beside myself in disbelief.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Oscars

"Award Season" is upon us.  That means so is Alexander's birthday.  Or, the way it stands out to me - the day he died.

I've always loved the Oscars.  When I was a teenager, I used to try to watch all the movies that were nominated for best picture.  Especially if actors I loved were in the cast, and/or nominated as well.  I remember "Titanic" being THE YEAR I started really getting into Oscar buzz.  I loved Leonardo DiCaprio.  Still do.  I remember the big hoopla of him not attending that year because he didn't get nominated, and well, everyone else in the cast did.  I was like 14ish years old... and I was a little boy crazy for Leo... but I also loved Matt Damon and was kind of gunning for "Good Will Hunting" to take the cake because I just thought that movie was SO GOOD.  And I thought it was adorable to see Matt and Ben win for best original screen play.

I remember "American Beauty" and my sister obsessing over that movie because she was all into Kevin Spacey (I think "LA Confidential" the year before started her obsession), and then "Gladiator" because of Russell Crowe.  Then there was "Chicago" and the comeback of the musical... I remember being surprised when "Crash" won, just because it didn't seem like a movie the Academy would appreciate.  Old farts and all.  And then "The Departed" came along and was another BIG YEAR for me and the Oscars.  I remember missing a few... but always paying attention to what was nominated each year and made a note to myself that I wanted to see that movie if given the chance.  Slumdog Millionaire was a good one too... and I actually saw The Kings Speech while pregnant with Alexander. 

Movies and the Oscars were kind of like markers in time.  I can remember nominees and I can almost remember that year of my life ... who I watched what movie with... where I was in my job, and with friends.  Anyway.. you get where I'm going.

The Academy Awards aired on February 26th, 2012.  I remember looking towards that date knowing that I'd watch them FOR SURE, as I was on mat leave, and the only way I'd miss them is if I was at the hospital in labour.  I wasn't too excited about the nominees.  I saw "The Help" in January when I started my leave, and thought everyone should win for that movie.  But I don't think I saw very many other titles that were up for anything. 

The weekend of the 25th and 26th was winding down and I was still pregnant.  I was nervous and unsettled about being so overdue, but I had an appointment and BPP scheduled for the Monday the 27th with my OB's replacement as my actual OB she on vacation as of the 25th... and Daniel was pretty comfortable in the plan that we would see the doctor and probably have the baby on the 27th or within another day or two.  I was in this weird, eerie mindset that I was somehow going to be pregnant forever. 

We both started watching the ceremonies together awake.  I was on the phone a bit, and on FB.  Reading all the comments of "ANY BABY NEWS YET?!?!" made my heart tired.  I wanted so bad to just have him born, and stop all the anticipation. 

I got comfortable on the couch around 9ish, and remember feeling Alexander kick and plunk away as usual.  Gabriel got comfortable on my legs, and Daniel fell asleep on the other end of the couch.  My belly hit the remote off the couch, and I stretched and twisted down to pick it up.  I remember feeling a very strange pain.  I went, "oohww" and it woke Daniel.  I said, "that was different, I hope I didn't hurt him".  But I remember shrugging it off knowing that I'd done a multiple of way more strenuous activities during my pregnancy... and not to mention a very active last month of moving out of my condo and into the new house... rearranging furniture (ON MY OWN AT TIMES) and a little bend on the sofa surely didn't hurt my baby.

I fell asleep soon after that.  I woke at 11:45PM.  I remember waking realizing that I wasn't being WOKEN up by the baby.  He always kicked and jabbed me around this hour.  My belly was very quiet. I nudged Daniel.. and he stumbled himself quickly off to bed.  I was going to tell him I didn't feel the baby moving... but I didn't want to act too prematurely.  I sat up and saw that they were on the Best Actor and Actress awards.  Ok, I thought, I'll just see who wins the big 3, and go to bed.  He'll pipe up a bit for sure. 

"...And the winner is..... "The Artist!".  What the fuck is that movie anyway... The fucking Artist won.  I stayed up for that?!  I hadn't felt anything.  I remember feeling a shift at one point.  But now, I don't remember if it was on the couch waiting for best picture, or if it was when I got into bed.  But it wasn't quite a shift.  I poked, and something "fell" in response.  Yes, it was on the couch.  I remember it now.  And I thought, I'll go to bed on my left side as usual, and he'll liven up. 

Well, he didn't.  I laid there for 5 minutes, shift and nudging... shaking my belly.  And nothing.  I got up and took a shower thinking I KNEW we were going to the hospital tonight as this was not like him at all to be so quiet for so long.  I jiggled my belly under the hot water, and started sobbing.  I talked to him.  "What's going on?  What are you doing?  What's happening in there?"  I was crying so hard. 

I came out and Daniel thought I was throwing up.. .. No.  I was crying.  Bad.  And we had to go.  He told me to drink ice water, and lay on my back.  I went downstairs in an open robe and did just that.  All four hands on my belly.  Nothing. 

We went to the hospital.  We didn't bring the baby bag.  Thought, let's just wait and see if this is the real deal.  It was 1AM.  Within 30 minutes I was being hooked up to the monitor.  No heartbeat. 

My love for the Oscars died the night my baby did. 

Last year it aired on a Sunday, but it was the 24th.  It was so close to Alexander's day.  I couldn't turn on the TV for the entire month of February without seeing something about nominee's and best pictures.... nearly killed me all over again. 

Award Season is in the air.

Grief Season is in the air.

Fucking Oscars. 

Saturday, 11 January 2014

In and Out

37 weeks and 4 days in...

37 weeks and 4 days out!

The pregnancy was painful, and stressful. 

So glad it's all over and I actually got a baby out and alive. 

I was tired and worn out.  I was unsure of what the following day had in store.  I STILL didn't have an induction date confirmed, and we pulled some crazy backdoor L&D scheming to get me checked in, and the ball rolling.  Looking back at that day, the ONLY good thing about 37 weeks and 5 days pregnant was that it was the last.  And well.. this guy was born..


And I was able to finally breathe a huge sigh of relief.