Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
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...
Friday, July 17, 2009
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
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
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
Sunday, June 21, 2009
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.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
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
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
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
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
"Grief: It's a 2 steps forward, one step back kinda thing"
Monday, June 08, 2009
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
"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
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
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
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 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
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
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
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…