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.