Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It was a silent birth...

Growing up, whenever I thought about having a child I knew without a doubt that I wanted a little girl. A little girl who's hair I could do, and who could be a little me (heaven help myself). But, from the moment I found out I was pregnant I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was carrying a boy. It didn't matter though - I suddenly found myself falling in love with the idea of a little boy who would be the big brother to his future little sisters. The protector. He was going to play baseball and football, he was going to look like his father and I hoped that when he was younger he'd be a total mommy's boy - even though I knew it would break my heart when he grew out of it, I also knew that I'd treasure those precious years. I had it all planned out and I could see it all happening. It was happening. I felt him kick and move and have the hiccups and I truly knew his personality even though he wasn't out for anyone else to know.....I knew that in only a short while I would hear his precious first cry, he would be in my arms, and all of my dreams for him would be able to come true.


My dreams didn't come true, instead - they were shattered ...... six months ago, at 4:21 am on February 18th, Ryan Austin Martin was born still. It's a common term "still born" but what I remember most about when he was born wasn't that he was still, it was that he was silent. It was a silent birth. That sound that most women get to hear, the first cry, the one that melts your heart and you are suddenly more attached and in love then you ever imagined you could be.....I think I wanted to hear that sound more than almost anything else. I hear it now - not the first cry, but every once in a while you come across a brand new baby and the cry is the same. It breaks my heart all over again. And yet I cannot wait until I have a healthy baby and can hear that cry from a child of my own. I don't know when that will happen...but I pray for it everyday.


Anyway...since today was Ryan's 6 month angelversary I lit his special candles and also released some balloons in honor of him. Here's some pictures....





















Thursday, August 13, 2009

Six Months...

Tuesday will be six months since I lost Ryan. But all I keep thinking about is what he'd be doing at 6 months old. Not that I lost him, not how empty it feels without him, not that everything in this world is somehow wrong (although those thoughts do pass through my mind everyday), but more so I've been so focused on what he'd be like. A friend of mine has a 6 month old baby girl who just got her first cold. It made me wonder what Ryan would be like if he had a cold.....would he be one of those babies that sleep it off - would he spend 72 hours straight in bed? Or would he be one who simply can not sleep when they are sick......72 hours of crying and congestion? The truth is, I'd take either. What would he be doing at six months? He'd definitely be smiling up a storm...laughing...maybe sleeping through the night.........but would he be sitting up? Maybe starting to crawl? Would he be attached at my hip? Or would he be his fathers son through and through? But I can only wonder about these things...maybe wonder isn't the right word - perhaps obsess would better describe how these thoughts haunt me.
A friend wrote something for me, about her pregnancies and giving birth. It was incredibly raw and true and amazing that she could write so much personal information. It will be very helpful for my writing. I've gotten about 1/3 of the way through my book...maybe a little more, its kind of hard to tell since I'm writing in sections - not straight through. I'm really enjoying writing it though...I write a lot at work and in my spare time. I don't know how long it will take me to finish, I don't know how good it will be, but writing about Ryan keeps his memory alive and that's something I struggle to do each and every day.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

lets burn all the calendars...

I looked at the calendar today and realized ... I should have just started back to work this Monday. Fresh off a nine week maternity leave...with a baby boy at my side. I'm sick and tired of the fact that I can't get through a single day without being reminded (not that I could forget) that something huge is missing from my life.


As I sat at work today watching the kids sleep my boss came in and handed a packet to my co-worker. The new school year is approaching and she had to fill out parent forms for her children that attend our school. I suddenly became slightly nauseous as I realized I should be filling out the same forms - Ryan's name should be plastered all over each and every one. But he's not here.


Why do you have your child and I do not? Why does one woman lose everything and another continues blissfully through life with everything neatly intact. I've been wondering if there is such a thing as "fate" or "destiny".....was it written in stone that I would lose my son? Is that just a part of my story? Was there no way to avoid it? Or maybe its true that there is no such thing...maybe I could have changed the outcome but didn't. I'm rambling...I guess I didn't really have much to say today......just felt like burning all the calenders and figured writing might be a better solution to feeling a so down...
"What if there's no such thing as "better days"...what if all that's left are tears?"

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Everything from Websters to writers block...

I wonder what the most commonly used word in the English language is. If I had to take a guess…I’d assume it would be “I”.

Suddenly I’ve become aware of a word I use much too often…no it’s not “I”, but instead – for me – it’s “should” or as the case may sometimes be, “shouldn’t”. A million thoughts race through my head each day…the truth is that most of them are still about Ryan. It’s been over five months and the thoughts about him still occupy the majority of my day. Sometimes I wonder when this will change…when it will fade. When will I start to think about him only a few times a day…or only once a day? Someday this will come. I know it will. I don’t think there will ever be a day that I won’t think about him at all – but I know that as time goes on there will come a day when he won’t occupy my every thought. In the mean time I’m okay thinking about him 24/7. It keeps him alive in some way. If I were to stop thinking about him all the time I think part of me would believe I was letting him be forgotten. I feel like I’m the only one who truly keeps his memory alive…the only one who really remembers he was here at all. He was here. He hated spicy food and he liked to wake me up half an hour before I actually had to be up for work…he would kick like crazy if I played a certain song and he had the cutest little button nose and really long legs…he was going to be tall like his father. I never saw the color of his eyes and I never got to hear his cry…but it doesn’t mean he wasn’t here. It seems as though some people think it makes it easier to pretend he wasn’t. But he was.

My son is a part of absolutely everything I do. From brushing my teeth in the morning, to taking a shower, to driving to work. Each and every thing I do all day long has a “should” attached to it. I shouldn’t” be able to sleep in every day. I shouldn’t” be able to sleep in at all. I “should” be getting woken up during the night by my sweet baby boy…I wish every single day for a year of completely sleepless nights due to a baby that didn’t sleep through the night – instead of nights filled by nightmares about hospital rooms and morgues, or sweet dreams about a toddler whose smile makes me weak in the knees, only to wake up feeling emptier because I know this dream child is not mine. The dresser in the spare bedroom shouldn’t” have a diaper changing table on it that is used as a cat bed…and it "shouldn't" be packed full of things I threw in it in a desperate move to get all things baby out of view (think breast pump, bottle sanitizer and a wipe warmer…does anyone actually use those??)……instead it “should” be full of clothes. I “should” have to carry around an extra bag everywhere I go – full of blankets, diapers, onesies, breast milk or formula, baby toys, etc. I “should” have the car seat in the car instead of in the garage…and I shouldn’t” have the base still attached in my car – but I don’t have the heart to take it out yet. I walk into my work each day and the first room I pass is the infant room…I have learned to not let thought of the babies inside get to me, I expect them there, but what I will never learn to do is get past the thought that my son “should” be in that room while I’m at work. I “should” be spending my breaks breast feeding…and when I talk to the teacher from that room we “should” be talking about Ryan…how he is running out of diapers, or rolling over, or crawling, or just her telling me about something cute he did that day. I shouldn’t” have a garden devoted to my dead son. I shouldn’t” need butterflies or a completely clear blue sky to make me think positively about him and thus bring a smile to my face…I “should” have my son here to do that. I shouldn’t” have a necklace filled with ashes. I have all these amazing people I have met, both online and in real life support groups, but I "shouldn't" know them. I "shouldn't" have spent the day after giving birth calling funeral homes getting quotes for an infant cremation. I "should" have spent February 28th at a 3D ultrasound, instead I spent it at a memorial for my son. I "should" have spent April 4th surrounded by friends and family at MY BABY SHOWER...instead it was turned into a group birthday party for my mother and some of her brothers. I "shouldn't" be coming up with excuses to get out of get togethers with the family around holidays that I refuse to celebrate without my son. I “should” have a crib next to my bed (not super saran wrapped in the garage) – even though I didn’t imagine using him actually using the crib except for naps…I envisioned him silently sleeping the night away lying next to me as I watched his chest peacefully rise and fall - often too mesmerized to fall asleep. I “should” have had the chance to breastfeed my son…I don’t think there is a single more bonding act between a mother and her baby. I shouldn’t” be hoping to have another child…I had planned on waiting at least a few years, until after graduating from nursing school…now I cant imagine waiting any longer than absolutely necessary. I shouldn’t” be wondering if I should still keep nursing as my major…I’ve ALWAYS wanted to work with kids with cancer…and now I’m not sure I could handle something that hard – and general nursing was never something I wanted to do. I “should” be able to take real classes this fall, instead of BS online classes – but I just don’t think I can get myself to actually GO to class, not with the way my moods swing and not with the probability of at least one pregnant woman being in a class with me. I "shouldn't" wake up each morning and have three seconds of bliss, only to look around and realize again what has happened, only to feel as if I'd lost my son all over again. I "shouldn't" have a thousand moments throughout the day where the thoughts rolling around in my head get so unbearable that I silently struggle to fight back the tears and have to remind myself to breathe. I shouldn’t” be able to leave the house without a stroller in my car. And if I take my dog for a walk I “should” have the stroller in tow. Each and every time I walk into a store I am reminded that I “should” have a car seat sitting on top of the shopping cart. Most often throughout my day, I am reminded that I shouldn’t” have the time to do things like watch an entire series on DVD in two weeks or to write this blog. The moments in my day that aren’t occupied by work or some activity I have immersed myself in (think puzzles and lots of paint) are the worst. These moments are empty…and they shouldn’t” be.

I think that in the last few months I’ve either used or thought the word “should/shouldn’t” enough to bump “I” out and make it the most commonly used word in the English language. I've contemplated writing Websters and asking them to remove "should" from the dictionary...maybe if the word didn't exist I wouldn't be haunted by these thoughts...

I “shouldn’t” have “IVillage – Stillborn” as the website I visit most often. I wrote something on there a few days ago…I was having a really hard evening. “I really don’t know what to do. I feel so lost and so alone. I could never, would never, hurt myself but that doesn’t stop me from wishing every single day that I had either died during my c-section or that something would happen now and fate would release me from this life and I could go be with my son. I feel useless…like my life is meaningless. I get up and get out of bed simply because I know I’m supposed to…I have to work because I have bills to pay…there is no choice in the matter. If I had a choice I’d have my boss lay me off so I could collect unemployment and I'd stay home, in bed, under the covers, in the dark all day. I just feel like my life ended the day Ryan died…there is no going on without him…I’m not really a person, I’m just simply here……and I don’t know why, and I wish I wasn’t.” There are two things I’ve been told repeatedly since losing Ryan…one is that Joe and I would grieve differently and we’d probably never be at the same place in our grief…and the second is that grief is a roller coaster. It really is. There are moments when I can’t believe it’s only been five months – I sometimes feel as though it’s been far longer and I’m doing incredibly well given the circumstances of my life. And then there are moments – like that night – when I feel like five months is nothing…like I just lost my son yesterday and I’m starting over in the grieving process.
For a long time I wrote each and every day. I wrote to Ryan, and I wrote to myself. I blogged and I posted messages. And I started to write the story of everything I went through when losing Ryan. It is enough to write a book...which I seriously planned on doing...I got about 1/4 of the way through it and now I just cant write. I've always enjoyed writing...and I'm not half bad at it if I do say so myself...I've written short stories and even attempted novels before...but they just never had much meaning behind them, I wasn't really passionate about any of them. This is something that could reach out to countless women in my shoes...it is something that would really mean something. And I'm coming up with nothing. I cant even get myself to write to Ryan...let alone sit down and work on this story I was so amped up to write. I got up to the point where I walked in to the hospital and it was like I just slammed into a wall and it cant be broken down. In the past three weeks I think I managed to write one sentence before I had to close my notebook and move my attention on to something else. It's weird because everything from the moment I found out I was pregnant until well after losing Ryan replays so vividly in my head...I have the story all up there...I just cant put the pen to the paper and make it come out.
I always thought "writers block" was an excuse...Now I'm wondering if there's anyone out there who has a sure fire cure to get over a serious case of writers block?

Friday, July 17, 2009

countdowns

I’ve been thinking about the future a lot this week. It’s been one countdown after another for me this past year. Countdown to a period that never came. Countdown to my first doctor’s appointment and getting to hear a heartbeat. Countdown to an ultrasound. Countdown to finding out the baby’s sex. Countdown to “__” weeks. Countdown to “__” months. Countdown to the halfway point. Countdown to the due date. And then all of the sudden the countdowns turned into crappy count downs/ups. Countdown’s to doctor appointments I was never supposed to have. A new countdown to my due date. And then count “ups” … one week with out Ryan, two weeks with out Ryan, one month without Ryan, three months without Ryan. Through all of this there was only one semi-positive countdown: My vacation. And now that countdown is over. What is left??? Countdowns to more “__” months without my son? A countdown each month to a period I KNOW will come…… I will probably end up one of those old cat lady’s who never has any children. Kind of sounds funny, but I’m serious…I have a real fear slash feeling that I will have no more children. Maybe it’s only natural to feel that way. There are now countdowns to holidays I wish could be nationally skipped, just for this year, on the count of Ryan dying and the fact that, to me, they just shouldn’t be happening. There is nothing left. I really feel that way. There is nothing to look forward to. I hate that. It makes me feel lost and alone. I just want to crawl in a hole and let the world pass me by sometimes…at least then I wouldn’t have to watch it go by.

Friday, July 03, 2009

nothing in life is guaranteed

I walk around in a bit of a haze. It's become so constant I barely notice that I'm doing it...it takes people saying my name repeatedly for me to focus in on what they're saying - and before I know it I'm back in the haze. I guess it's safer in the haze than to be focusing in on what is rattling around in my brain...Ryan, 99% of the time. I'm sad he's not with me. Obviously. I want to hold him again more than anything. Even if it was just for a minute, even if I had to lose him all over again...to see him, to kiss him...I want that. It'll never happen. And I often feel that I am to blame. For anyone who actually reads this, you're probably wondering how I could possibly think that. But I do. I have no answers...I have "theories". So I'm left to constantly wonder at what moment I did something wrong that caused my son to die. Was it because I slept on my right side and not my left??? Did that cut off his oxygen supply somehow? Was it the spider bite I got a few weeks before he died? Should I have gone in to get it checked out? Did me getting bronchitis and thus coughing my head off for a week cause trauma to him some how? Was it the two bites of lobster I ate three days before he died...I shouldn't have eaten it - you're not supposed to eat seafood. A few weeks before Ryan died I went to Reno and spent about 45 minutes in a casino...did the second hand smoke kill my baby? At what point did I make the wrong decision?
I cannot imagine my next pregnancy, or any pregnancy from this point forward. I wish I could go back to being one of the blissful pod people who walk around with huge bellies and grins on their faces...unaware of the pain that can come from something that is supposed to be wonderful. In my next pregnancy I think I will become a recluse. I dont want to go out for food - fast food or resturaunt because you dont know how well they cook the food and how clean their kitchens are and whether they really cleaned the table or the silverware. 9 months of eating at home only. I already walk around with antibacterial soap permanently fixed in my palm...I cant go into a store without spraying the cart with Lysol first. I sleep on my stomach or right side (its impossible for me to fall asleep on my left side)...when I become pregnant again I imagine months of sleepless nights lying on my left side surrounded by pillows that wont allow me to turn over, afraid it will stop my baby's life support. Back aches? No tylenol for me...besides prenatal medicine I dont think I'll take a single pill during my pregnancy. I had horrible acid reflux with Ryan...they gave me medicine I took everyday, it was my life support......and yet I think I'd have to deal with the acid instead of taking the pill, afraid it would hurt the baby. Baths would definately be a no. I took them once or twice a week during my pregnancy, I even used a water thermonater to make sure the temperature never got above 100...but still my baby is not here so I wont be able to let myself take a bath next time. I know I wont. There's so many things I just wont be able to do. I imagine I wont tell Joe until I'm out of my first trimester...I think I'll wear huge sweatshirts until I cant hide it anymore...and I dont think I will tell ANYONE (except maybe my boss) until I get past the point where I lost Ryan (even though I know getting past that point wont mean I couldn't lose another child). Doctors appointments? Once a month for the first 28 weeks...closer together after that? YA RIGHT. I think my doctor may need to leave a standing appointment open each and everyday for me to pop in when my anxiety gets the best of me. I will need them to run every test under the sun to make sure my pregnancy is safe...and I will need to take every possible precaution. For my sanity. C-section at 39 weeks? Dont you know it seems like thats when most cord accidents happen? "Everything's fine...give the baby more time" Then all of the sudden the baby is gone. I dont need that added risk - a doctor who will perform the section at 38 weeks max is a must. Baby shower? You're joking right. Thats a total jinx if you ask me. I dont think I'll buy a single thing until that child is in my arms. We may have a lot of shopping to do when we bring the baby home but it's better than coming home after losing your son only to have to return 10 boxes of diapers 4 days after a c-section. I dont know why I'm writing so much about this subject...I probably wont be pregnant again for a very long time...but the truth is I wish every single day that I'd get pregnant soon and bring home a healthy child, even though I know the pregnancy would be an anxiety ridden nine month nightmare.
I went to Target today, to return something and as I was standing inline I noticed a girl holding a scanner - you could tell she was pregnant (although she was just barely showing). I figured she was just about as far along as I was when I registered for my baby shower. About 20 weeks. I was litterally biting my tongue as I stood in line, unable to stop watching her out of the corner of my eye. Firstly, she looked like she couldn't be more than 18...and that's being generous. It's hard to see teenagers pregnant. Secondly, it took so much effort to stop myself from running up to her and screaming at her, telling her that she shouldn't be smiling - she shouldn't be planning a baby shower, she shouldn't design a nursery, she shouldn't buy diapers or clothes, she shouldn't do any of it. Not until that baby is in her arms...because its not a guarantee. Nothing in life is guaranteed.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

what's on my mind

I had a dream last night - since losing Ryan it's rare that I remember them. But I woke up from this dream just as it was ending...all I remember was that I was in a plane, holding a baby (sex unknown) and the plane was going down...it crashed but we were still alive. Then I woke up. I wonder what this means. Fear of losing another baby? Although in the dream we were clearly still alive so how does that fit in? Anyway...the thing that stuck out to me was the baby...I was holding a baby. It was clear as day. It was a nice thing to see. Definitely something I wish for.
The 4th of July is coming ever so closer. Joe has to work that night...I think I'm going to go spend some time with him during the day and the do my best to ignore the festivities outside during the night. It can be just any other day, right? Not a day I was very much looking forward to spending with my son. I can make it just any other day.
Then next weekend is vacation. I'm looking forward to the relaxation - I'm just afraid it will be overwhelming, Ryan should be there in everything that we do. And he wont be.
I keep thinking about holidays. Valentines Day will probably permanently be ruined, seeing as it is a few days before when I lost Ryan and I will probably always blame myself for not getting to the hospital sooner. Thanksgiving and Christmas (especially this year) are things that he is supposed to be at. I think I will forgo them. At least the big family get togethers. I think I'll just stay away from them.
I don't know why I'm thinking so much about things so far down the road...but they've been on my mind lately...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

no need for a babysitter

Sometimes I feel like I'm forgetting him. Which is funny because he's all I ever think about. But I try to remember his face and I don't see HIM I see my favorite picture of him. I can't picture him in the hospital, lying in the bassinet next to me or in my lap...maybe it's just a subconscious emotional block of a traumatic event. It probably is. Seeing as it was the most traumatic event of my life. Funny thing is I can play the c-section over and over in my mind though...that is what is stuck in my head. It replays like a bad movie a million times a day.


Speaking of movies, we went to the midnight Transformers showing last night. It was a great movie - but throughout it I found myself thinking about Ryan a lot. Since this was such a big movie the date it was coming out has been blasted everywhere for a long time...we used to talk about how my mom would have to babysit Ryan so we'd be able to go see it. Well, we didn't need a babysitter. Funny thing is...if I could go back, knowing what I know now and for some reason things turned out differently and I had him with me - I wouldn't want the babysitter...I wouldn't leave him for a second if it could be avoided. After the movie ended I just started crying and I had to get out of there - I was practically running through the parking lot. This, for some reason, pissed Joe off. I wouldn't stop and he just wanted to hold me and make me feel better - so he got frustrated when I wouldn't stop...which is understandable, I was acting a little crazy. But I just literally couldn't stop. I just had to get out of there. I got home and cried myself to sleep...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The incomplete me...

The shacks are up...the 4th of July is just around the corner. Fireworks will go on sale soon. Ryan should be anywhere between 3 and 7 weeks old that day...depending on when he had shown up. If he had shown up when he was supposed to. If I had chosen differently...choose to have the c-section earlier, and he had lived - he'd be four and a half months old that day. It just so happens that he just showed up a little too early. And a little too dead. Sorry to be frank. Sometimes I feel like people look at me like "the woman with the dead baby". They just never talk about him. Ever. I feel like his name, his life...everything about him is a taboo subject. I wish people would talk about him more...if people wanted to I'd probably talk about him and nothing but him forever. My favorite holiday has always been the 4th of July. When I first found out my due date - and knew that I'd definitely be recovered from giving birth by that day I was so excited. I couldn't wait to spend my favorite holiday with my little boy in hand. Now I think I might just stay in bed that day. Pretend I don't hear the fireworks, pretend there is nothing special about that day. Pretend my son shouldn't be with me. Everyone else seems to be able to do that just fine. Why cant they stop for just one day? Why cant everyone skip the fireworks for a year? Don't they realize no one should be celebrating??? My baby died. What is there to celebrate? Shouldn't everyone be as heartbroken and consumed by his death as I am? Shouldn't everyone realize that when they ask me how I'm doing...and I say "okay"...that I'm lying. That the truth is something they don't want to hear so I don't tell them. Would "my son is dead, how do you think I'm doing" really be an appropriate answer for that question? Or how about "I didn't want to get out of bed this morning, I dream about my son all night and occasionally I even think I hear him crying...also, sometimes I pray to be in a coma so I can sleep through the next year"? You think my boss wants to hear that when she asks how I'm doing? Probably not. My vacation is only 17 days away. I'm looking forward to it. Kind of. I'm looking forward to the relaxation - not working for eleven days. I'm scared of how I'll manage being up at that cabin though. Ryan was supposed to be there. I planned throughout my whole pregnancy how this was going to be our first family vacation. Every single thing I do that week will be something I'm supposed to be doing with Ryan. When we unpack the car, someone should be watching Ryan. When I put my stuff in my bedroom...it's going to seem empty without a crib and all of his things. A "family picture" will not be complete without my son in it. Nothing is complete. I feel incomplete. Maybe I shouldn't even be going...but I'm hoping its the relaxation I need. Maybe I'm just glutton for pain.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

so frustrated

I am so frustrated, I want to just scream and scream and scream...and then punch something a few hundred times
First, AF was due yesterday - I had very little signs that it was actually coming and so when it didn't show its ugly head yesterday I let myself hope and believe for a split second that there could be a rainbow on the horizon. Of course I was wrong. AF always comes. It came first thing this morning. Yes, this is frustrating, but no it’s not the reason I'm so pissed off
After I came back from the bathroom and tried to go back to sleep my phone rang. Who calls at 845 on a Sunday morning? It was my grandma. She’s always been the uptight - mind set stuck in the 40’s kind of grandma. Anyway she asked to talk to my mother. Yes, I’ve been staying at my mothers (although most of the time I stay at Ryan’s dads). The plan was that I’d stay with my mother until a little while after Ryan was born - kind of get a nice nest egg before we moved out when Ryan was a few months old. But really staying here has kind of been a blessing in disguise. I’ve taken so much time off work and cut my hours back so not having to pay rent has helped - if I wasn’t able to take 10 weeks off and go back at part time I think I’d be literally insane at the moment. So anyway, I gave the phone to my mother and about five minutes later I came back in the room to see what they were talking about. Every summer we take a big family vacation - we have a cabin in the mountains and everyone stays up there. I have a room - usually I’ll share it with a cousin. Ryan’s dad has come up the past two summers for a few days and my grandma has insisted that he not stay in my room. This year was supposed to be different. Ryan was supposed to be there. His dad was supposed to take the entire week off. It was supposed to be our first family vacation with Ryan. And obviously there was little my uptight grandmother could do considering we had a child. I was looking forward to this more than anything else. It is going to be a very hard week knowing there should be a little baby there...the one thing that will make it tolerable is knowing Ryan's dad will be there with me for part of it. Well, like I said my grandma called this morning pitching a fit about whether or not he’d be there and where he'd sleep and the message it gives to the younger cousins who are there because we are not married. I wanted to rip the phone from my mom’s ear and scream at her. I did not. I simply told my mom to tell her if this was going to be a problem then I would not come. Ryan should be there - and because he’s not my grandmother reverts back to the old way as if nothing happened to change anything. Now, don’t get the wrong idea - my family actually really loves Ryan’s dad - they’re just old fashioned and I am not. I don’t care if we’re not married, it was never a big deal to me - we had a child! I sent her an e-mail explaining in further detail that he will be coming and we will be staying together, or I will not come at all.

I just wanted a peaceful vacation with time spent relaxing at the lake - I really, really need it. It may seem stupid to put my foot down about something so insignificant as where Ryan’s dad sleeps but to me it seems insane for her to throw a fit when we had and lost a child together.

There is no Rainbow...

I thought for a split second there was a chance for a rainbow. But I should have known better than to get my hopes up. I dont even have anything more to say...I just wish I could be writing that there was a rainbow today...

Friday, June 19, 2009

who is that girl in the mirror?

Yesterday was hard. I woke up telling myself I'd make it just any other day. But it wasn't just any other day. Yesterday was four months since I lost Ryan. I decided that I was going to get my kids some cupcakes. Even though they didn't know - no one but me knew - but they were for him. Instead of it being "four months since I lost him"...I tried to think of it as what would have been his four month birthday. A celebration instead of another memorial. It didn't really help as much as I thought it would - but it's always feels good to do something, anything, for Ryan. I finished something else for him this week. I had planned to paint the letters of his name to hang above his crib.....but his crib never got put together, he never slept in it, he never came home. I decided last week to paint them anyway. Now they're hanging in my room, next to his shelf where I have all of this things. Here is a picture:




So, yesterday morning I held it together pretty well. I didn't cry when I woke up. I didn't cry when I went to the store and got the cupcakes. So tell me why I cried when I had to change my pants??? BACK STORY: I got a pair of Khaki's when I started wearing maternity clothes - they eventually were too short because of the protruding belly, then I got another pair and right when I lost Ryan something got on them (weird stain, couldn't get it off)...so I decided to dye those pants when I went back to work (I've tried to dye them black about 10 times now, a few more dye jobs and maybe they will no longer be egg plant purple). So yesterday morning I put on my 3rd pair of Khakis and looked down and there's little spots all over the legs (bleach from mopping at work). I was pissed, took them off and sprayed them with stuff (hoping that even though I knew it was bleach it might have been something else that would come off). So then I put on my first pair of Khakis which fit better now because I no longer have a baby belly. I walked out the door, got in the car and looked down and there was a stain on these pants (it looked like someone drew on them). I'm not sure why but this made me start bawling. I think it was just the stress of the day and something going wrong. I cried for about ten minutes as I ran back into the house, put on black pants (I was wearing a blue shirt - I NEVER wear black with blue) and drove to work. Yes, I'm sure you are reading this thinking "so what" but I just didn't need something crappy happening. And it really bothers me when something happens to my maternity clothes - like they're linked to Ryan.
On another note, work this week was less stressful. Instead of 9-6 every day I'm now working 12-6 Monday-Thursday and 9-6 on Friday. Much easier. When I get to work they're already laying down...so for 2 and a half hours I pretty much just watch them sleep. The afternoons are easier than the mornings.
Only 21 more days until my vacation and only 13 more work days. Every summer we go to a cabin up in the mountains for a week. I'm almost hesitant to go this year - except less family will be there and I think the relaxation of just laying by a lake for a week might actually be good for me. The thing is, Ryan is supposed to be with me. We're supposed to have to take an extra car because were supposed to have so much baby stuff. I have the bedroom upstairs...I'm supposed to bring his playpen for him to sleep in, he's supposed to cry in the middle of the night and wake up my whole family. There will be no crying baby. This was supposed to be my summer. I was supposed to have 10 weeks off with my son. I was supposed to be able to spend my favorite holiday (4th of July) holding my son. Now I'm planning on hiding out in bed that day. I was supposed to bring my son on vacation...I don't know how I'm going to face the silence of that room without him there.
This is not my summer.
This is not my life. Or at least it doesn't seem like it. I feel like I'm living some stranger's life. You know how you sometimes hear people say they don't see themselves when they look in the mirror? Well that's how I feel. Theres some other person looking back at me. There's pain in the eyes of this person and tears that are always just on the edge of pouring down...there's anger written all over her face and you can tell she's withdrawn from everything around her - like nothing really matters much. That's not me. Or that's not who I was anyway.
Will I ever be me again?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

remembering...

Remembering by Elizabeth Dent

Go ahead and mention my child,
The one who died, you know.
Don't worry about hurting me further.
The depth of my pain doesn't show.
Don't worry about making me cry.
I'm already crying inside.
Help me to heal by releasing,
The tears that I try to hide.
I'm hurt when you keep silent,
Pretending he didn't exist.
I'd rather you mention my child,
Knowing that he has been missed.
You ask me how I was doing.
I say "pretty good" or "fine."
But healing is something ongoing.
I feel it will take a lifetime.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Four months tomorrow...

It has been 17 weeks today. Four Months Tomorrow. 17 weeks ago I woke up pregnant. I went to work pregnant, I went to school pregnant...and then I after talking to the doctor who ultimately delivered Ryan I checked myself into the hospital just after 11:30pm pregnant. What if I had gotten myself to the hospital earlier that night, or even that morning or the day before.....would everything be different? What if we had decided to have the c-section earler...would he be in my arms right now? I wonder this each and every day. Only five short hours after getting to the hospital my son was ripped from me (quite literally). APGAR=0. As I was laying on that table I realized he should have been crying, but still I told myself he'd be fine.....you see it on TV all the time, it takes a second and then everything is fine.....It wasn't until Joe looked me in the eyes, tears streaming down the face of a man who never cries, and told me he had died that I realized he was really gone. As I sat there...staring at him, listening to the doctors and nurses talk as they sewed me up, it was as if I was having an out of body experience. I watched what everyone was doing but I wasn't a part of it. There is a quote I often find myself relating to..."Looking back, I've often thought the doctors should have written a death certificate for me as well as my son, for when he died, a part of me died, too." No...I'm not suicidal - I could never, would never harm myself. But that doesn't mean I don't sometimes think that if something had happened it wouldn't have been the worst thing. Not for me. It might have been better if I had, I could be with my son. It's true. I had a c-section. It's a serious surgery. I could have died. Even though I didn't, I still feel like I did. I live every single day feeling hollow - like there is something missing and without what's missing nothing really matters much anymore. Truth be told it is slowly getting better. I have to admit that. But it will be a long time before I can laugh without feeling guilty, a long time before absolutely everything doesn't make me think of Ryan (and I mean EVERYTHING...movies, laundry detergent, a pencil...EVERYTHING), and Im not sure that Ryan will ever not be the first thought on my mind when I wake up and the last thing on my mind before I go to sleep.
I wish I didn't have to work tomorrow...its going to be a very hard day...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

grief is a dance...

I stole this from another bereaved mother's blog...couldn't have described it better myself...obviously for me it'd be "son" but I didn't want to change her writing.....

There is a lot of pressure that comes with grieving. Every day, we get watched, observed, sized up.

People are constantly looking to us to set the tone. We can hear them holding their breath, waiting for us to smile, or laugh, or cry.

We are also holding our breath, waiting to see how people will react to us.


If we laugh, will people think we’re being disrespectful to our daughter? Because sometimes we laugh.

If we cry, will we make people feel awkward? Because we cry, a lot.


If we smile, will people think we’re okay? Because we’re not okay. We’re not better, or fixed, or over it.

It’s this constant up and down, like a thermometer…rising and falling.


But most of all, we put pressure on ourselves. We get tired of crying, but we feel guilty if we don’t.

We miss hearing her voice, but just the sound of it can throw us into utter despair.


Our friends invite us to things. We want to be with them. But sometimes it’s just too much. We hope they keep inviting. We hope one day it won’t be too much.

Grief is a dance we don’t know the steps to, but we shuffle along, trying not to mess up.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I'm not sure I ever wrote this on here, but even if I did it might help to repeat it for the sake of the story..... about six weeks after losing Ryan I took my dog for a walk and walked past a park I had walked past about one hundred times before - but on that day something stuck out to me that brought me to my knees. There were swings...a few normal ones as well as baby ones. Ryan would never swing. I would never see his nervous but excited face the first time he sat in a swing. I cried an ocean full of tears and stared out at the park, which in that instant was one of the most painful sights I'd seen in quite a while. All of the sudden a swarm of butterflies were all around me. I'm not lying or being over dramatic, there were probably 20-30 butterflies. All I could think of was that it was my son trying to comfort me. Prior to losing him, if someone had told me the same story I'd be the skeptic...but I believe it was him, other things have happened prior to that and since than that also give me chills and make me believe he's looking over me always.

Friday at work we brought the chalk out for the kids to play with. While I was working on some paperwork and watching the children play one of the kids came up to me "Miss Jamie Miss Jamie you have to come see what I drew" he told me. I told him he'd have to hold on because I was busy. He then said "NO you have to come NOW!" I agreed, followed him, and asked "What did you draw?" He told me "A butterfly". I looked down and he had indeed drawn a butterfly. It took me a second to catch my breath and then I asked him "Why did you draw this" and he told me "Because butterflies like you". =)





On a separate note...

I was talking to my mom this morning and was telling her about some weird dream I had (I don't even remember what it was now) and then she told me "I had a dream you told me you were pregnant" All I could say was "I wish." Lets hope shes psychic...




I went to get my hair cut today. I went to the same place I always do. I sat in the same chair I always do. I talked to the same lady who always cuts my hair. The last time I was there I was pregnant. I had a baby on the way...I was so excited, I couldn't wait to meet him.....I had hopes and dreams. I have none of that now. I didn't cry (does it make me insensitive or less caring because I dont cry over things like this...all my angel mommy friends do) I just got very quite and thought for a long time about Ryan and how every place I go from now on that I haven't been to in a while will probably bring forward the same overwhelming sadness. The hair dresser who was doing my moms hair asked about the baby, I didn't hear it but my mom told me later. It's a good thing I didn't hear it. I have a feeling THAT might have brought about the illusive tears.

I dont cry every day anymore. This seems fast to me, like I should still be crying every day, all day. Most of the moms who lost their children around when I lost Ryan still cry multiple times a day. I think its just because thats who I am - I've never been a cryer. And when I do cry its always when I'm alone...unless its something I cant control (like my breakdown at work). Sometimes I even wish I did cry more. Im not sure why - who wants to cry??? I just feel like I cant do anything right.....I couldn't keep my baby safe...hell, I cant even grieve right.



My aunt asked my mom if I have been seen by a doctor and whether they think I might have post partum depression and told her that if I wasn't on depression medicine I probably should be. Because pills fix everything. Apparently my status updates on myspace make her think I'm having a very difficult time. WELL DUH. My baby died. I held him in my arms for three days (which apparently was wrong of the doctors to allow me to hold him if you ask my aunt or grandma)...I wish they could understand I would have stayed in that hospital room, in that bed, with him in my arms forever if I could have...I loved my baby more than life and if I could trade places with him, so he could be here and enjoy life, I would.

I would rather be his angel.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

the hangover...

Dont really have much to write tonight. But I wanted to make a note of something. I laughed tonight. This may not be a big deal to most people - but for almost four months now I've either not laughed at all or cut myself off as soon as I started laughing. We went to a movie tonight though..."The Hangover"...it was SO funny. It felt good to laugh. Of course, after every laugh I still felt the fimilar pang of guilt I feel whenever I have a fleeting moment of happiness. "My son is gone, why should I be happy?" But like I said...it felt good to laugh. I felt like, for the first time, maybe Ryan wouldn't want me to be sad all the time. It doesn't mean I wont be...but maybe it was a step forward.....

"Grief: It's a 2 steps forward, one step back kinda thing"

Monday, June 08, 2009

didn't want to cry in front of you

What is eight pounds, wrinkled from head to toe, and dressed in blue? A brand new baby boy.

I am prepared for babies when I go to Target, I am prepared for the 2 babies we have in our center (both girls) but I was not prepared for the brand new baby that a parent brought in today to show off. He looked like he couldn't be more than 2 weeks old - which probably meant that he was born on or around Ryan's due date. I had a complete break down in the middle of my classroom. For about five minutes I had horrible anxiety and I couldn't help but look over at the mom holding her brand new baby, I tried to keep my composure, I tried to keep it together - but I couldn't help but notice the adoration in her eyes and the people ogling over the precious bundle of joy - I couldn't help but think that should be me and Ryan. The anxiety got worse...I couldn't breathe and I completely lost it in front of my kids. Well, technically I went to the side of the room and tried to make it so they couldn't see me - but they knew something was wrong. They saw the tears, and when it got worse, I actually had to remove myself from the classroom...I went outside and cried for a good ten minutes...when I came back in almost every single child asked if I was okay. They knew I'd been crying.

I didn't want to ever cry in front of them.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

breast feeding survey the mail...

I received a letter in the mail yesterday. I didn't sit down to look at it until today. The return address said "The Research Institute of Mother and Child Care". My first reaction was that it must be junk mail, but that was quickly replaced by the gut feeling that it actually had something to do with Ryan. So, pain seeker that I am, I opened it. Inside was a letter asking for me to participate in a random survey. The letter said

"The questions apply to the youngest infant in your home, regardless of whether you breastfeed or use infant formula." and "We value your experiences as a parent."

There is no infant in my home. And I have no experiences as a parent with the exception of caring for my dead babies body for three days. Sorry for being so frank. I don't know why but I put the letter in with my box full of Ryan's stuff. The letter came to me because I was supposed to have an infant here...I just feel wrong throwing away anything pertaining to my sweet baby boy.

I looked at the survey...imagining what I would have filled in had Ryan been with me today. Due Date: May 26th 2009. Age now: my answer would probably be 1 month or so. Birth date: ?? Weight at birth: ?? Breast milk or formula: breast milk. There's more to the survey but you get the point.

I wish I had my son with me right now...I was I was too busy taking care of him to look at some stupid survey...and I really wish I had the answer to fill in on that survey.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

going back...

How weird is it that going somewhere could bring up such a wave of emotions? I went to Panda Express last night - was in the mood for some fattening, sodium rich, Chinese food before I start my diet - and as I walked in the doors it hit me: I hadn't been there since before I lost Ryan. The last time I walked through those doors I was pregnant. Today I decided that things have been pretty hard and I needed to treat myself to something nice for a chance - so I took myself to get my nails done. Again, as I walked through the doors I realized the last time I went in was when I was pregnant. I don't know why but this realization was hard. It's been three and a half months. I don't expect to ever be "over it" and relatively speaking three months is a very short time in this whole grieving process, but I didn't expect to be hit so hard just going some place. Now it's got me thinking, is it going to be this way with everything? The last time I got my hair cut I was pregnant - will I freak out when I go to get it cut again? The last time I went to Reno, or San Francisco I was pregnant - will I stop myself from going back in fear of a total breakdown? The list goes on and on. For anyone who truly knows me, I don't let myself break down - its a general rule I've had for pretty much my whole life. Any crying happens behind closed doors if I can help it and I always try very very hard to stop crying asap. Its weird because I talk to my angel mommy friends and there are some who are 3-6 months further into this journey than I am and they still cry tons every single day. I will say I tear up every day, but do I let it out? No. It's almost like a natural physical reaction - I couldn't let it out if I wanted to. Don't get me wrong - I have my days where I cant keep it in (always in private) and I cry but I stop myself after a minute or two. Maybe I would benefit from a good, long, half hour cry fest. I just don't think I have it in me. I think I try my hardest not to face my demons. And if that means burying how I truly feel then I do it. This is probably not the best means of grieving - my guess is 5 years from now I will be worse off because of this...but who knows, maybe not.



On another note, my job is killing me. I go to work and somewhere within 15-60 minutes I want to punch a wall - or ram my head into one. I don't know what it is exactly. It's no more stressful than when I worked there before (which has me wondering about the stress level during my pregnancy) but its just like every little thing irks me. I work with children. Probably the worst field possible to work in when having just lost a baby. But I've worked with kids years and it's not the best time to go looking for a new job. Anyway, when I'm there I often get this feeling, almost like a vertigo feeling, where the room is spinning and the kids are just loud and screaming and their voices are so annoying and I cant stop it the room from going round and round and there is such disarray and its so loud and I cant think straight and part of me is afraid I'm going to pass out and another part of me wants to burst out in tears but I cant and I don't because well quite frankly it would scare the shit out of the kids and like previously mentioned I don't cry in front of others. Instead I get in my car on my lunch break and then I break down for my typical 30 second cry (although sometimes I cry the whole way home - all of two minutes) and then I pull myself together and force my thoughts onto something else, anything else. I say it jokingly with my co-worker, but I'm actually quite serious - if something at work doesn't change, or I don't find a new job soon I'm seriously afraid I may come home in a straight jacket one of these days...........I just miss my son so much and working with other peoples children in that environment is probably not the best place for me right now. But bills have to be paid - and for that you need money!


My angel mommy friends and I are all doing a craft exchange. I'm excited - I get to focus my attention somewhere productive. I hope we can get started soon - we group up into groups of 5 or 6 and make unique little gifts for eachother having something to do with our angels. It should be fun. It got me wanting to do something else crafty so I went out today and got wood letters for Ryan's name. I was going to paint them origionally for his room but obviously I didn't get to that - anyway I decided that I would go ahead and do it anyway and put it above his shelf in my room. I hope they turn out okay..

Friday, June 05, 2009

something weird happened today.....

So, during my pregnancy I played Ryan piano music almost every day from about 18 weeks up until the day I lost him. There was one track in particular that would ALWAYS make him move. #8 on my oceanside piano disk. It was weird, I would play the whole cd and he'd kick a little bit but all of the sudden he'd start kicking like crazy and every time it happened I'd look down and it'd be track #8! When I returned to work I copied my CD and brought it in to listen to for nap time music. We always put the disk on "repeat all" so it goes through the cd over and over again. Earlier in the week however I noticed that it had started playing #8 a few times in a row. I walked over to the CD player and instead of saying "repeat all" it had changed to "repeat". No one had touched it but I figured I must just be insane to think anything of this. Well today we had the cd on again and again it was on "repeat all" and for 3 hours it had played through the cd over and over again....then all of the sudden I again realized it had played #8 several times in a row. I walked over and again instead of being on "repeat all" it was just on "repeat" again. None of the kids can reach the CD player. My co-teacher said she didn't touch it and she also does not know the relevance of this particular song so she would have no reason to touch it. I couldn't help but to get a huge (genuine) smile. Those are few and far between as I imagine all of you know. I felt like it had to be a sign from my Ryan........

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Lifes Not Fair

Day in and day out I see and hear things that make me physically ill...I want to punch something or take scissors to a pillow or throw dishes as hard as I can at the wall. Mothers who cant take 10 minutes out of their day to read their child a book or teach them to write their names so they can actually get in to kindergarten. Mothers who drop their children off at daycare the second the doors open and pick them up five minutes before the center closes (this is a 12+ hour day...). Parents who come in to pick up their children REEKING of weed or totally off their rockers doped up on some drug. New mothers complaining about being woken up five times a night or not getting more than three hours of sleep because of their newborns. Pregnant people who don't take care of themselves - how hard is it to cut caffeine out of your diet for 10 months? Consuming caffeine doubles the risk of miscarriage. Yet countless women cant suck it up and do whats in their babies best interest. Why is it the mentally sick people, the perverted people, the unstable people, the twisted & distrubing people, the druggies (I could go on and on) ... why is it these people bring home babies, sometimes many of them, and my son is not with me today? I'm pounding the keys as I type this. It is infuriating. I loved my son from the moment I found out I was pregnant. I took my prenatals religiously. I had MAYBE the total of 2 cans of caffeinated soda throughout my entire pregnancy. I stayed as stress free as possible. I took care of myself. And I would have taken care of Ryan as good as a parent possibly could take care of a child. This I know for sure. I have always been the motherly type.
I should not be typing this right now. I should be holding my beautiful baby boy - staring at him in amazement...slowly memorizing every inch of his body. I should have diapers and wipes in every room. I should have Ryan's stuff filling my house, instead of wrapped up in the garage. Nothing is right in the world anymore. I wake up each and every day to a world that makes no sense - I wish I could fall asleep and just stay asleep for months...and then wake up in a place that made sense.
I would give my right arm or my ability to walk if it meant I had sleepless nights due to my son waking me up countless times...I wish people appreciated what they have...

Friday, May 29, 2009

one of those days...

I woke up this morning and decided to treat myself to Starbucks. I was supposed to start my diet this week but I put it off since I'm going to Monterey for a few days and I know I'll eat fatty food there for sure. Anyway, I used to go to a certain Starbucks during my pregnancy (decaf coffee, always......go figure, my cousins wife had 1 caffeinated beverage per day during her first pregnancy and had a healthy son and she is currently pregnant again and currently does the same thing -- I probably had the total of 1 can of Pepsi throughout my entire pregnancy, but that's not the point here). I went into Starbucks today, I still get decaf coffee...for some reason I still don't really allow myself to have caffeine. It's been three months and a lady at Starbucks who knew I had been pregnant finally realized I wasn't pregnant anymore. "Oh my god...you had your baby!" she said....."yeah..." I said. She asked "What was it?" "A boy" I said. "Congratulations...you must be so happy!" I just politely smiled and walked away. I knew it was

just going to be one of those days.

Ryan's dad's niece goes to the preschool I work at. She's four years old and although she knows I was pregnant, she didn't really understand what that meant. To her that meant there was a "baby living inside my tummy". Which yes, theoretically she was correct in that but she doesn't understand that he's not here now. Every once in a while she will come up to me, touch my stomach and say "Jamie, where's the baby in your tummy?" I show her the picture on my phone, remind her that he was her cousin, and tell her he's in heaven. She really doesn't understand any of this, so she smiles and goes on her merry way - I don't think anyone sat down and explained anything to her and I sure as hell couldn't get through doing it.

Another child at work came up to me this afternoon and said "Miss Jamie are you a Mommy?" My reply was "Sure...yes...no...Well...I think so hunny." This was probably not a clear enough answer for a four year old, even though she is actually a really bright kid, but she caught me off guard and I gave her the first answer that came to mind. She asked "Well...what I mean is...do you have any kids at home with you?" I said "No." She said "Oh......well I asked because my mommy had me in her tummy and now I'm here and now she has another baby in her tummy, isn't that funny?" I just smiled and thought silently to myself..."No...it's really not funny...its unfair."

Three of my kids parents are now pregnant. One is having a boy, the other a girl...the last is early in her pregnancy. I knew going back into the job I have that there would be a bigger chance of running into babies and pregnant women. The babies I long to hold and love - the pregnant women I long to yell at and secretly hate a little. But I just didn't think I'd be bombarded by SO many pregnant women that I have to see day in and day out...........
You think you've hit rock bottom and all of the sudden something just smacks you in the gut and you drop a level lower.........there has got to be a point where things turn around right? Where things start to go up? Where my life has at least a LITTLE bit of positive in it? Where things aren't hitting me from every angle? One more blow and I'm not sure I'll be able to keep myself together any longer...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ryan Austin Martin Memorial Video

video

Ryan's Due Date

Only about 5% of babies are born on their due dates. That's really not a large percent. But then again less than 1% of babies are born still and for some reason my Ryan had to fall into that category.

Ryan has been gone for just over three months. So why does today mean so much to me? I've known for three months that today would not be the day my baby would be born. But today is still his due date. Today is HIS day.

There should be three options for me. One is that Ryan was born early (the most likely option) and I already brought him home and we've already bonded...he sleeps next to me every night and I watch him with adoration in my eyes. The second is that I am one of those 5% and yesterday or today I go into labor...I spend hours pushing and I have my beautiful baby boy on his due date...we bring him home from the hospital 2 days later. The third is that I'm one of those women who are frustrated because the due date comes and goes and I end up being 8 days late but still, I bring home a healthy beautiful baby boy.

There should be no fourth option. There should be no still births. No mother should outlive her child...no mother should have a child who never had one breath of air, never got to breast feed, never saw his first birthday. I often wonder how I can even consider myself a mother when my son never did any of those things? But I do...I do consider myself a mother. I carried him for months...I felt him kick (hell, I knew how to make him kick - he loved piano music). I held him for three days before I had to let him go. And I carry his ashes on my neck and never, EVER, take them off.

I miss my son so much. I long to hear him cry. Sometimes I even hear a baby's cry in the middle of the night. Does that make me insane? I long to hold him again...my arms physically ache. It's a scientifically proven phenomenon...when a mother loses a baby their arms can hurt for weeks or month from lack of holding a child.

I planted another rose bush for Ryan today. I do little things as often as I can.....anything I can think of to try to keep his memory alive. I feel as though I am the only one who remembers him...who lives for him daily. He is the reason I am alive. That sounds weird because I've often thought that I should have died too that day......but loving him, memorializing him, remembering him - those are the only things that keep me alive.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

John's Incredible...

How do you get through life knowing that every day is different than it should be? Knowing that the fact that an alarm clock wakes you up in the morning instead of a crying baby is not the way things are supposed to be. Knowing that every time you leave the house you should have a car seat and a diaper bag...and a baby. I feel like for the first two and a half months I was either in shock or simply mourning my pregnancy. It seems like its just been the past few weeks that I started to really mourn losing RYAN. Ya know...like it just sank in that he should actually be here now.
Today was my friend Tara's daughters second birthday. My friend is like a sister to me and her daughter I consider my niece. I was really glad she didn't throw a birthday party. She had just a few people go to this place called John's Incredible - its basically like a fancier Chucky cheese. So I got to spend some time with her and the kid at her house and at the place in the restaurant part. But as soon as we took the kids (just Makenna and her little friend Ava) back to the play part of the place I started to slowly come unraveled. I ended up only staying there for about 20 minutes before I had to leave. There were so many kids. So many moms. So many things shoved in my face that Ryan will never do.
It's stupid but somehow absolutely everything makes me think about him. Every meal, every movie...everything. I eat pizza and at some point I think...Ryan will never have pizza. I watch a movie and someone goes to the beach and at some point I think...Ryan will never feel the cool of the ocean or the sand between his toes. I use a #2 pencil at work and somehow that gets me to think...Ryan will never go to school. Dont even get me started on all the birthday's he will never see...or the fact that he'll never have a birthday cake...
I dont even know how to express myself except to say nothing is the way its supposed to be. I think I've used the phrase "supposed to be" more in the last three months than I did in the previous 23 years. Does it make me sound like a spoiled 7 year old girl whining because I didn't get my way?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

tears...

If I cried in front of others as much as I cry when I'm alone, I wouldn't have a single moment in a day with dry eyes.....

being alone...

At work I'm decent. At school I'm okay. With family and friends I do alright. The second I am alone I feel the walls cave in. My chest feels like there's an elephant sitting on it. I cant breathe. And the tears begin to fall. I feel so alone. I miss my son like crazy. He should be in my arms right now...I should be nursing him and changing his diaper. He should be sleeping next to me every night as I admire how beautiful he is. He should be coming on family vacations. He should be here on my favorite holiday (the 4th of July).....I should be able to share that with him. If I cant share it with him I don't want to share it with anyone. I want to crawl in bed, pull the covers over my head and not get out until this pain goes away...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

when I see him...

I see him. He's slowly running towards me from the play set. Soft brown hair shining in the sun. Wobbly little legs threatening to fall out from under him with every unsure step he takes. A baseball shirt on. A smile that could light up my darkest day. Bright green eyes. A soft giggle that melts my heart erupts from his beautiful mouth. And then there's a smile that is meant only for me. I reach to pull him up into my arms...and then he's gone.

I open my eyes. I'm devoured by darkness. It takes two seconds and then I remember - that boy was not my boy...that smile was not meant for me. I cant breath. I choke for air...pulling on everything near to me as the hysterics set in. My breathing becomes less erratic. I move around in the darkness looking for what I cling to when this happens. A stuffed tiger wrapped in baby blankets that I wish smelled more like him. This gives me comfort, if only for a while......I cry myself back to sleep.


This, or something to that effect, haunts my nights religiously. And during my waking hours, every time I close my eyes I see it again. Nine times out of ten it takes my breath away and I have to stop and remember exactly how it is one breathes. I have to stop and make myself move, go on with what I was doing...keep working, keep moving, keep living. I shouldn't be living though. Not this way. No mother should live when her child does not.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mothers day in Yosemite

So, Ryan's dad ended up getting his night shift on Sunday switched to a morning shift which was better because we were heading up to Yosemite that day for out trip to spread Ryan's ashes. During the day my mom took me to the movies...she said she was going to get me a card but thought it would hurt more than help. I told her that just so she knows in the future that it would not hurt...not being acknowledged as a mother is what hurts. Ryan's dad got off around five and we packed the car and got up to the mountains around 930. We put everything into the tent-cabin and went to sleep since we were getting up early the next morning to do our hike. NOT ONCE did Ryan's dad even say "Happy Mothers Day" or get me a card or do absolutely ANYTHING. I decided not to bring it up because I was so angry and frustrated and I didn't want it to ruin our trip. I didn't even mention it until about an hour ago when we got home. He also said he thought about it but decided it would hurt more than help. This I can accept from my mother...but from him I just cant. It's not a good enough explanation. He lost his son too. He should feel like a father as much as I feel like a mother and he should understand how much it would hurt if someone (especially me) didn't look at him as a father. So anyway...Monday morning we got up early and hiked up Vernal Falls and all the way to the top of Nevada falls. Probably no one on here knows what the hell I'm talking about but it's a pretty strenuous trail. Round trip was around 8 miles of switchbacks and climbing up the side of two waterfalls. I haven't REALLY worked out since before I was pregnant and I had a c-section so I'm really, really out of shape so it took us a while and I had to stop a lot but I just kept telling myself it was for Ryan. I had his ashes and we were going to spread them in a beautiful place so I HAD to make it up there. Well I did. I made it to the top and then I chickened out. I couldn't do it. I couldn't walk away without his ashes. I needed to bring them home. I decided to just spread a very small amount of his ashes and bring the rest home with me. It was a very hard and emotional time. It felt like we waited 2 and a half months to have his funeral. Like everything just happened. Anyway we walked the rest of the trail back to the campground and all of the sudden my knee started hurting. Now, throughout the walk I twisted my ankles a few times but I didn't do anything that should have hurt my knee...so I'm wondering what the hell this is all about. As the night went on the pain got worse and worse and worse. I ended up getting out of the tent in the middle of the night bawling my eyes out and limping to our bear proof locker to get medicine. Yes I said bear proof. In the 3 1/2 days we were there we saw 4 different bears...1 several times. So Tuesday I could barely walk...I’m slightly better today but not by much. I can’t go up stairs, and any incline or decline in the floor kills my knee. I think I am going to try to go into Urgent Care tomorrow if it’s still this bad and get it looked at to see if maybe I tore something. So now I’ve got my knee to deal with on top of everything else and I really don’t need something serious like a torn ligament because I don’t have insurance right now.

OH – and on a separate note I was excited to get up to Yosemite because I thought I’d have a few blissful days without pregnant women everywhere. But I was wrong…they still go camping and hiking. And there were people with babies and toddlers everywhere and every time I see a kid (especially a toddler for some reason…I really don’t know why) it kills me. Whatever they are doing at that time…even if it is something stupid like eating a hot dog…my first thought is “Ryan will never do that”. So my “vacation” was definitely not what I thought it would be. I expected it to feel like a gigantic weight was lifted off my shoulders. But I feel exactly the same…maybe even a little worse. I came home today and sitting on my porch was a package…I knew I didn’t order anything so I wasn’t sure what it was. I came up and picked it up and it was a sample of Enfamil for the “new mom”. That was like a knife right in my heart. It made everything worse. It was a total setback. And I’m afraid there’s more stuff like that to come.

On one last note before I end my rant today…I was driving home today and me and Ryan’s dad were talking about something random and it happened to be something to coincided with Ryan’s due date. So just out of curiosity I asked him “When is Ryan’s due date?” He said “Um May 20th right?” WRONG! How the hell do you not know your sons due date? That frustrated me more than I can possibly explain! Am I wrong for being upset about that? I mean he was close and its not like he was at all the doctors appointments and that date was burned into his brain. But that was his SON. It’s not like I never told him or we never talked about it or he never heard the doctor say it. It really hurt me that he didn’t know that. I don’t know why it bothers me so much but it really, really does….

On one good note I had a butterfly that stuck around me for like 10 minutes on Tuesday…it even posed so I could get a really good picture of it. I couldn’t help but think maybe it was a sign from Ryan. Every time I see a butterfly since the day a while ago that like 20 of them swarmed me and wouldn't leave me alone... I read too much into it and think of it as a sign from him. So maybe it was just wishful thinking…

Friday, May 08, 2009

what irritated me today...

I have this annoying habit of checking Facebook. I look to see what everyone is doing. But the things that stick out the most are the pregnant women or women with kids who COMPLAIN. "The baby kicks me in the middle of the night and wakes me up." "My bladder is so full I have to go every 30 minutes." "I never get a good night sleep because the baby wants 2 am feedings." And so on and so forth. If they only knew. If they only knew that I would give my right arm to be woken up 10 times a night because Ryan was still kicking away inside me. I would give my left leg if it meant having to go to the bathroom every 30 minutes because Ryan was pushing on my bladder. I would give anything if it meant that I was woken up 3 times a night for feedings. All of this would mean that Ryan was still with me. I just don't understand how they can complain about these things...these things mean that their baby is alive. I don't even remember if I complained about these things before...I know he kicked all the time, I know I had to go to the bathroom 20 times a day (not an exaggeration)...but I don't remember being irritated by that. I looked forward to 2 am feedings. I wanted my son so much...I wanted everything...the good and the "bad". Part of me wants to leave a post on Facebook telling pregnant women everywhere to appreciate the kicks and the backaches and the heavy bladder and every single time you feed your baby...every single second they have with their baby. But I know that if I did it would fall on deaf ears. I know they cannot understand where I am coming from. And I pray for their sakes that they never can...
Today was an especially hard day at work. So far I've been able to keep myself composed there...I haven't cried there once. Which doesnt mean that at the end of the day as I'm driving away I am not bawling. But I really almost lost it at work today. I work at a preschool...I'm a PreK teacher. I'm around kids and even sometimes babies all day. It's hard but its such a busy job that it keeps my mind going and forces me to think about something else...if only for a little while. Today however, when I came in the class had made Mothers Day presents. It was a stupid string of beads that the teacher turned into bracelets and with the bracelets there was a drawing from their child. A typical gift given out at daycare centers. It just got me to thinking that I bet most of the moms will never wear those stupid bracelets...I bet the drawings will end up in the recycling & maybe even the bracelets. I would give anything to have a stupid bead bracelet and a scribbled picture. Ryan will never make me a lame Mothers day present. And the people who get them, probably dont appreciate them.............