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. 


  1. These rambling are so full of love and I get it, but did laugh at the thought of you rocking in a chair and petting a stuffed animal.

    Had Mary been a boy she would have been Branson Cale. I wish I had some part of Cale to use every day, but I didn't want that when naming Finn. But after he was born I really felt like "are you a Finn?! Do you look like a Finley?!" And I never felt any uncertainty about the name Cale (or Mary for that matter).

    And if I were walking, I'd have to stop you in your tracks too for that cutie. He does look older to me, but maybe that's because Finn was probably that same size at two :)

    I love the mug. Glad you found the A's. Wishing you had your A. Always

  2. I totally question the name Caroline for Zuzu even now! I think because I so much wanted my daughter's name to be Eliza. Caroline is a beautiful name and a family name so it should have been perfect but it just felt like a substitute--the NAME, not the child!!! Colette, on the other hand, is a total Colette. Isn't that weird? I'm glad I'm not the only one to feel that way but it is a sad feeling. For what it's worth, I love the name Theo. xo

  3. I often look at Mason and think we picked the wrong name. We didn't settle on Addison's name until an hour or so after we were told she had no heartbeat, but it is SO her name. It's my most favorite name in all the world and I would love to use it as a middle name if we were ever so lucky to have another girl. To see it in print on important documents, namely a BIRTH certificate. My heart needs that. Mason on the other hand was a forced name, I NEEDED him to have a name for people to say as I was pregnant. So we sat around as a family one night and voted. You know his middle name Alexander is after my brother, but what you probably don't know is that he would have been Alexandria (Ali) if he was a girl...again hoping for a another baby girl A. I think having a boy made the A less needed in his name, but I love that they share AddiSON and MaSON. All that to say, I get it. I don't know why this is something that weighs so heavily on top of everything else, but you are not alone my friend.

    I have yet to meet an Addison in real life, but I'm already dreading it. That moment in the park, Fuck! Talk about getting punched in the gut. Plus there's the added sadness of how freaking fun it would have been to say hi Alex, meet my sons Theo AND Alexander. One of those moments stolen. Again.

    The weather changing messes with me too. I'm so not ready to say goodbye to summer. Grief season is coming and I'm never ready.

    Love you, love Alexander. Xoxo

  4. I'm laughing at some of your "ramblings" bc you say it doesn't make sense but it makes sense to me, which makes me a little crazy too hahhaha!! Glad we are in this together (you know what I mean) and also lol'ing at the rocking with Caroline. I've been so fortunate that my kids own their names, but if it helps, I see Theo as a Theo and not an Anthony ;) sending love to you and your ramblings

  5. I am so glad you write so honestly here. There are so many crazy, crazy thoughts except that they're really not crazy at all. Theo is such a beautiful boy. WIshing A was here, too, growing in his own beautiful way.

  6. These ramblings are just how our brains work, my friend. Really, there's nothing linear or sensical about it other than the love behind the words. You're saying it all out of love for that baby A that you chose your very favorite name for. I know just how that feels.

    Ironically, Andrew's name feels almost foreign to me because I only wrote it a handful of times compared to my other two kids. It's like THAT is the name of dreams, and yet the one I wanted from the very start.

    I love the ramblings and they are healthy for the loss mama's soul. And for the rest of us who miss and grieve and understand the insanity of our hearts and minds after saying goodbye to people who carry part of our souls. xo

  7. Also, eff that noise about this weather. Not accepting of the weather changing to grief season, as you guys pointed out. Bah Humbug.

  8. I found this post so interesting. One of my favourite boy names (after Jack) is James- the middle name of my dad AND my brother. But I worried that having another baby J (if we got another boy) would make people think I was trying to replace him… But I like what you said about having a piece of them with you all the time. :)

    He's totally a Theo. And for the record, Anthony makes me think, "who's Anthony, who's Anthony?!?". bahaha :)

  9. Love the ramblings. That's what goes on in my head allllll the time! The name thing is hard. We knew Mason's middle name would be William so he could share a middle name with Aiden. And Caden's name is definitely a tribute to his brother as well as his middle name- Alexander (A) of course. But we debated for a long time over Caden's first name. And then when Caden hit me it was just absolutely perfect. Mason has recently started saying his whole name a lot. And I love hearing him say William because it is a special piece of Aiden he's carrying around ya know :)