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.