Saturday, January 30, 2010

Letter to my mother in law

I've seen several other bloggers do this and more than one person has recommended it, so here goes.

Dear Carol,

I am angry that you told your son you couldn't come to the hospital to say goodbye to your grandson because "you had to work." You broke his heart. He needed his mom and you haven't been there, even though you are the only relative we have in town or within 300 miles. Yeah, I realize you may have not wanted to see a two day dead, 21 week baby - but you could have held your son in the hallway while he cried.

I can't believe that you questioned us taking off from work after WE LOST OUR SON. You haven't once called to check on me, even though you used to call me once a week for random crap. You haven't talked to your son at all since our baby died.

Sean's brother told us that you just can't handle this, that you shut down when faced with tragedy. But you know what? I don't care. Suck it up - you are a mother, just like me. You can't abandon your son because you don't know how to handle it. You don't have to handle it, you just have to be there.

I thought when you called today that you had finally decided to visit your living granddaughter, who has missed you very much and doesn't understand why she doesn't see you any more. I didn't think you would be so callous as to bring me more work. THAT'S why we haven't come to your house - not because we don't need your computer anymore like you said today - but because you completely ignore our grief and exhaustion and expect us to do all the work around your house for you.

So this is what I wanted to say to you in the car: we don't come to your house anymore because OUR BABY DIED and you don't seem to care. We are tired and heartsore and don't give a damn if your stupid sink is leaking. If you had bothered to call and asked you would know we aren't doing well and could use some help. Well, we won't be asking you, and we won't be seeing much of you either. Maybe I will have to work the next time you call.

Jen


I will probably not do anything with this - I am way too passive, I know. But I won't open myself to be hurt by her again. I just really, really wish I could make it different for my husband. He's been abandoned by everyone in this. It hurts so badly that the people he loves let him down right when he needed them the most and I can't make them see what they have done.

I don't think I'm going to get tired of saying this: this fucking sucks.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Parental karyotypes: NORMAL

And yeah, probably PPD. I took two xanax last night and I feel incredibly different today. I am still very, very sad, and still angry but the anger is not so consuming and I am not having thoughts of hurting myself like I have been for the last week (gee - that wasn't a sign I needed help - idiot).

So - now for the really big discussion - do we or don't we? Now that I know all the other horrible ways a baby can die, do I want to risk another bolt of lightning?

Now that I have the added problem of antidepressants that could cause problems I don't know what the hell to do.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Holy shit - you have got to be kidding me!

Warning: lots of f-bombs

So - I went to my first therapy appointment today and got through the whole long sad and horrible story. I like this therapist already - she kept saying "oh shit" about different aspects of my story. I told her that I was a seething ball of rage and that I feel like I am hurting my daughter with it; she made me feel a little better about that.

Here's the kicker: as we were wrapping up, she asked if I had ever worked through the childhood abuse I mentioned on my intake. I told her that I had worked with a therapist after my daughter was born because I was pretty sure I had postpartum depression. She sat up and asked me if I had ever been diagnosed with it. I said no, because the therapy helped and I just never saw an MD about it. She said that if I did have PPD before, I probably have it now.

I just folded over and sobbed. I did not even fucking think about that. I have said to more than one person that I am now convinced I had PPD before because I feel very similar now to what I did back then (particularly the memory loss). But my reasoning was that I have good reason to be feeling so badly now, so last time must have just been hormonal. What a fucking idiot I am.

It never once occured to me that I was postpartum. Well, hello, I GAVE BIRTH 3 weeks ago. Even though I have lactating boobs and haven't stopped bleeding, I somehow ignored that I would have postpartum symptoms - possibly including depression since I was already prone to it.

What a cruel fucking joke. I was just saying on the glow in the woods post how unfair the postpartum crap is. We have to pay the admission price to motherhood but we don't get the door prize.

Fuck. Fuckity FUCK FUCK FUCK!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Well, that might have been stupid

I'm still not sure how to feel about this. I finally found someone with the same deletion that Aiden had. One person, in all of the internet, with several professionals looking. I emailed the parents (they had left contact info on a support site) and found out they have a living 6 year old daughter. She is in first grade, has normal intelligence but severe delays. She has congenital hearing loss and is the same size as my (small for her age) 3 year old. But - she laughs, she has friends, she can give hugs. It hurt so much to read about what my son could have been if he hadn't been so severly affected. On the other hand, it was the one thing that finally made me feel better about our decision to end the pregnancy. This little girl had no visible defects when she was born. She was small but otherwise looked fine. She has had a couple of surgeries related to the birth defects that couldn't be seen, but nothing like what Aiden would have had to endure. She had no heart, brain, or kidney defects like Aiden. She didn't have the cleft lip and palate or the spina bifida. So I am sure now that he was in bad enough shape that it is doubtful he would have lived to be born. But - I'm so angry that he didn't get the chance this little girl did. Why was he so much worse? Did the lab miss something? Are we just that unlucky? It's very, very painful to imagine that little girl, and miss my boy, and know that it doesn't matter how she is doing, Aiden never would have done that well. It's not fucking fair.

I want my baby. I want my baby. I want my baby.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Memory loss and the grief of children

God - yesterday was horrid. I think I am not doing well. I called the free counseling service through my work and they set up a referral. I only get 3 free sessions but my insurance should pick up the rest with a copay. Unfortunately they are not open today so lets hope I can hold out till Monday or whenever I get an appointment.

I was a fragile mess yesterday and for some reason, instead of picking up on this, my husband was an obnoxious jerk and made everything worse. So I spent the time after work just trying to hold it together until we got Kira in bed. I think she must of picked up on how I was doing because she had the mother of all meltdowns over absolutely nothing (I closed her bedroom door while she was in timeout because she was trying to play). I thought I did remarkably well with it, I didn't scream or anything. Anyway - it took over an hour to get her to bed and while I was rocking her, trying to get her to settle down, she started talking about Aiden.

I can't decide if that was good for me or the worst timing. She kept saying she didn't want mommy and daddy to be sad, she wanted the baby, she wanted to know why her friend got to have a baby brother and she didn't (god, that hurt), she asked over and over when Aiden would stop being dead. I know to be honest with her, so I told her the baby was dead and not coming back and that we would all be sad for awhile. But she kept saying she didn't want us to be sad anymore. Poor baby. I wish I could be a good mom right now, I just don't have the strength.

I ended up avoiding my husband until he fell asleep and taking 2 zanax (one when I got home and one before bed) and my sleeping pill. I have no idea it that's a safe dose or if I can mix those two. They were prescribed by two different doctors but last night I didn't give a damn. I apparently called one of my friends at 11pm (really late for me). I don't remember this but she had the missed call on her phone. I checked mine and then got a vague recollection of trying to call someone last night. I fell asleep on the couch and ended up in bed at some point - I never do that. I've been having a lot of memory loss lately. I'm sure it's some type of normal coping mechanism but it really freaks me out. I have to keep asking people if I did something or told them something. I just hope it doesn't extend to forgetting I took something and end up taking too much.

Anyway - I made it through work today and apparently I am driving okay so I guess I am functioning on some level. I am getting help - I just really, really wish I didn't need it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A horrible day, then a peaceful day, then a nightmare

God - I'm exhausted. The morning started with the appointment with the genetic counselor based in the office of the doctor we hate. She was taking our blood for the karyotypes on us in case we want to try again. I brought my records with me, which I only had because I asked MY OB's nurse (who is fantastic) to get them for me, since the asshole doctors office hadn't bothered. There were several discrepancies I wanted clarified. The doctor ourtight lied in the report - he said he spent an "extensive amount of time answering the parents questions." BULLSHIT! He dogded every single one. The thing that enraged me was that I specifically asked about the heart and brain defects and there were two very serious ones that he did not even mention, that I had to look up from my records. I then found out this morning that the lab reran my son's tests (I don't know why - I was too shocked to ask) and found that the piece missing was not as big as they thought. This killed me, there are living children out there that have this same deletion. Granted, they don't have all the defects that Aiden had and are all pretty much vegtables - but I just can't believe that I'm just being told this now. I was so enraged that I all but ran to the car and screamed as loud as a could into my jacket. I think I damaged my vocal chords.

After this lovely morning we picked up his ashes at the funeral home and my poor husband just about lost it trying to open the stupid, ugly plastic box they came in. We had some healing because we took some ashes to our favorite beach and had a little ceremony for Aiden. That part was very peaceful and helped clear some of the unbelievable rage. It started raining as we left and I thought that was perfect, the rain would wash his ashes out to sea and he would be part of the ocean I love.

The rest of the day was bad. I had the worst nightmare that something was wrong with my daughter and I couldn't get to her. I couldn't make myself wake up at first and when I did I swore I heard her crying for me, even though she was safe at daycare. It gave me the most bone deep terror until I woke up completely and is still bothering me.

I am wrung out. I wish I could take tomorrow off too.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tangles

I'm not sure what to feel right now. The funeral home finally called to tell us that Aiden's ashes are ready. We are thinking that we will pick them up tomorrow and take some of them to a beach that is very important to us. I had to call my boss to ask if I could miss a stupid meeting. I can't imagine it would be a problem but I still expect people to tell me no.

I'm confused, I guess. I thought getting that call would bring everything back but I just feel normal right now. There is a perpetual mid level of sadness in everything I do now, but the intense grief, and the incredible rage, seem to come in waves. That bothers me; I don't know what to expect or when it will happen and I feel like I should either be a sobbing mess all the time, or fine. I guess I expected things to be in order and have a definite beginning and end.

That is something that has been shocking in this whole experience, the disorder. A pregnancy is supposed to end in the first few weeks, or near 40, not right in the middle. When did my son's life begin and end? Was he gone when his heart stopped? Or was it when he left my body? Or maybe now, when his body is really gone? Babies are not supposed to be born after they have died; there is no order here, no beginnings and endings, just more or less pain and an echoing emptiness where there should have been light and laughter.

I think this is another part of grief that I hadn't expected, this confusion of being something other than what I expected. I have to learn how to define myself all over again as a bereaved parent, instead of just a parent. I have no idea how to do this.

Someone at glow in the woods mentioned that she had become less patient and understanding with her living child. I have too. I don't understand this. The one thing that terrifies me is that something will take my daughter from me too. So why am I not clinging to her and playing ponies for 3 hours straight? Why do I have to grit my teeth very hard to handle her tantrums without hurting her? It's like there is no room for her in my grieving for Aiden. I hate this, but I don't know how to change it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wonderful friends


I am saddened by how little material things are attached to my son. They all fit in a small box. I asked my friends to create some memories for his box by taking a picture with his name in it when they went somewhere beautiful. I got this back the next day. If you look closely you can see the nose of a manatee that was swimming in under the dock.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Aiden's lullaby

This is what I sang under my breath as the doctor was injecting his heart. I hoped he could here me and wouldn't be scared.

All the pretty little horses, Laurie Berkner

Hushabye, don't you cry, go to sleep you little baby
When you wake, you'll have cake and
All the pretty little horses

Hushabye, don't you cry, go to sleep you little baby
When you wake, you'll have cake and
All the pretty little horses
Dapples and grays, chestnuts and bays
All the pretty little horses

Hushabye, don't you cry, go to sleep you little baby
When you wake, you'll have cake and
All the pretty little horses

All the brown ones, all the black ones,
All the pretty little horses
All the blue ones all the yellow ones,
All the pretty little horses
All the green ones all the pink ones,
All the pretty little horses
All the orange ones all the purple ones
All the pretty little horses

So hushabye, don't you cry, go to sleepy little baby.

I keep singing this in my head when I'm rocking my daughter. Sometimes all I think about when I'm holding her is that it should be may and I should be rocking my son. I hope she doesn't know.

Death of a thousand cuts

Living right now is like walking through a minefield. The most innocent occurrence or random thought causes that stabbing chest pain or gasp of breath and the thought, oh yeah, my baby is dead.

I was at my neighbor's house for some play time for Kira (3 year old daughter) and I told her the baby (the neighbors 3 month old son, I am a glutton for punishment) was sick. She said, "Is he going to die?" In her little world babies get sick and then they die. How sad is that?

I roll over onto my stomach and realize I can't feel my uterus anymore, it has shrunk down to normal.

I remember that my brother's birthday is in 2 weeks and then remember that I have 3 birthdays, including mine and Kira's, to get through before I even pass Aiden's due date.

All the many things I worried about while pregnant just don't matter, and actually, they never did. I could have taken that migraine medicine the whole time, it wouldn't have made a damn bit of difference.

Holding my neighbor's son made my breasts ache - they are still trying to make milk.

I wonder when I will get through five minutes without a reminder. Thank god with the sleeping pills I can't remember my dreams. I know I'm dreaming of him and our loss but I don't remember the details. That's one small mercy.

Friday, January 15, 2010

good thing I'm not armed

I wonder if my other coworkers would understand if I strangled the woman in the office next door.

After noticing that I obviously don't feel well she started freaking out about germs. I thought I showed great restraint in not smacking her as I explained that I am under a great deal of stress and on multiple medications. That is what is making me ill. Relax, selfish bitch, I won't give you a cold.

God, I hate people right now.

And goddammit! Stop telling me to have a good weekend! The only way that will happen is if you can make my baby alive!

It was definitely too soon to go back to work - fuck you state of florida for not giving full time employees benefits.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I love your hair!

Number of times I've gotten that comment since my return to work yesterday: about 12

Number of times someone has said I'm sorry for your loss: 2

I'm starting to wish I had gone with my original impulse and pulled out or chopped off my hair in a spasm of grief. I did seriously consider it. I had a moment last week where I was standing in the bathroom after a shower, my belly still looking 5 months pregnant, my nipples leaking milk, and my puffy, swollen, red eyes starting at the stranger in the mirror, when I picked up the scissors and thought that it would be therapuetic to hack my (very long) hair off. Better sense prevailed (I was worried my hovering mother would have me locked in the psych ward for a few days) and I went to a salon the day before I returned to work.

It is a drastic change. I decided months ago that I didn't want long hair anymore and the constant headaches of pregnancy had decided me for sure. I just didn't want to spend the money on myself and I was scared of the risk of a bad haircut. Things being the way they are now (dead baby), those concerns didn't seem to matter so much. When I came back to work I kind of expected people to not know what to say and maybe avoid me. What I didn't expect was EVERYONE to compliment my hair. Seriously people, do you honestly think I give a rat's ass what I look like right now?! Apparently, if you get a flattering haircut after the death of your baby it gives people an excuse to avoid awkward greetings. Who knew?

Well Hell

I never got a chance to fill in this blog and talk about my infertility story. Things got busy and were going so well that I didn't feel the need to complain.

I am an idiot.

My first round of clomid worked but things did not end well. I don't know if I will keep writing here or not but here's the really short version.

Dec 18th - routine 20 week ultrasound (after absolutely no findings from quad screen) shows a VERY long list of almost certainly fatal defects. Oh, and congrats, its a boy!

Dec 23rd - horrible appointment with very assholish maternal fetal specialist that would not answer any questions about the baby after we mentioned the possibility of medical interuption.

Dec 30th - appt with 2nd mf specialist that agreed to inject Aiden's heart with KCl to stop cardiac activity so that we could let him go without suffering. Absolute worst day of my life.

Jan 1st - Happy fucking new year - here is your 10.2 oz dead baby boy, enjoy.