Wednesday, June 22, 2011

So far away

My dear sweet Silas,

I feel so far away from you right now.  I was just reflecting about all that is still good in my life and maybe it is because I am focusing on that that you feel so far away.  I don't know, but I don't like it.  It has only been 3 (almost 4) months, I feel like you should be closer to me, tugging on my heart strings.  I still think of you all the time, yesterday I felt very angry that you were gone, I always feel sad, but now in a numb way. Maybe I don't feel close to you because I am not crying.  I haven't really cried in awhile.  I don't like that.  Am I wrong to not be crying?  Am I wrong to feel I need to be crying to show you that I love you or to feel close to you?  I hate it when I lose my tears.  My hearts cries for you all the time, but my eyes don't always follow.  I hear about women farther away from their loss who cry all the time.  Should I be like them?  Is that what proves that I am a good mom, that I love you and miss you with every fiber of my being?

I am afraid that I am unconsciously putting up my defenses and pushing you away.  So many bad things in my life I have forgotten because that has been my natural defense.  Forget it and you won't feel it.  I don't want to do that with you.  I never, ever, ever want to forget you.  I know that I won't, I can't.  But, I can unconsciously push you away so that I don't feel so much.  Is that what is happening?  Or, is this just a plateau and I will find my tears again?  This grief thing is so tricky.  I know that this has happened before.  I thought that I had lost my tears only to have them wash over me again even more intense.  But, this time is longer  between losing and then finding my tears again.

I so much try and not judge myself in this process and to accept my grief however it looks, but it is hard.  It is hard to not think there is a "right" way to grieve and I am doing it the wrong way.  And, that this wrong way somehow reflects on what type of mother I am and how much I love you.  I don't ever want anyone to questions my love for you.  But, why do I even care?  I know how I feel about you and as long as you know that too, I don't care about anyone else.

Do you know that I love you?  With or without tears my heart aches for you everyday.  I am going to try so hard not to put up a wall.  I don't want that wall. I want to be close to you. I want to feel having lost you.  It is all just so scary.  Feeling it is so scary, but not feeling it is even scarier.

I love you my precious boy,

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Good things

I had started to contemplate what is still positive in my life (my marriage, my job, my core group of friends) and the positives that have been created from my loss.  The latter is hard to swallow because I don't want to acknowledge that anything positive has come out my my son's death, but in reality it has.  A fellow BLM, Karen said it perfectly,

"Lately, I have also been having more positive moments of actually seeing the loss as giving me the gift of new friendships, the gift of appreciation for things I would have taken for granted in the past, the gift of wanting to bring more awareness to our cause, the gift to be more open about death, the gift of compassion (with an intense desire to want to "pay it forward" by helping and supporting others who have gone through this type of loss), etc. "

All of this is true in my own life as it is in hers.  She just expressed it so eloquently.  I honestly had taken my marriage for granted before becoming pregnant.  Once, I became pregnant with Silas I saw how amazing of a man and future daddy I had married.  After Silas died, our love for each other grew even stronger.  It is only in this great tragedy that we have seen how much love we have for each other and I have become aware that the man I married will stick by my side through thick and thin.  He has been so patient with my grief process, always encouraging me to express myself, to walk, to yell, to hit, to cry, whatever feels right for me.  He has shared his own grief by crying and being vulnerable, by not being afraid to talk about our son and sharing his sadness.  This has made me feel so less alone.  

I never imagined that I would establish such amazing friendships with other BLMs that live locally and all over the world.  There are only a few that I feel truly close too, but they have been so amazingly supportive to me.  They have reached out to me in times when I needed that extra support.  They have listened, counseled, shared, comforted, cried, outraged, consoled, yelled, and so much more with me throughout these past 3 months.  They have not coward away when I have shown the uglier sides of myself and the darkest moments of my grief.  It is amazing that through our shared experience we can bond so deeply in such a short amount of time.  

I have also been surprised by those RL friends who have been there for me through this as well.  Over the weekend, I vacationed with friends, some who have been around through these months and others who have not really, but I felt with them that I could truly be myself.  Before going, I was nervous about how I was going to be around them, what I could share, what I couldn't, what I really even wanted from them.  I thought that for them to be "good friends" and support me I had to be comfortable breaking down in front of them, crying, etc.  But, I realized when I was there that that is not what I want from them or what I need.  I know that I prefer crying and falling apart privately (or online to my BLM friends).  What I found so amazing about these friends is the way they unknowingly supported me by allowing me to talk and by talking with me about Silas and my pregnancy without question.  They were completely comfortable, not any signs of them being uncomfortable: awkward silences, looks, etc.  They were completely open to talking about my pregnancy even joking about some of it, talking about Silas, my volunteering with Faces of Loss, etc.  And, not in a serious, deep way, but just talking.  Maybe mentioning something in passing.  It was amazing that my pregnancy, my loss, my son was an okay topic to discuss or not discuss.   I had no idea what I needed until I was there.  I tried talking about it to see if it would be okay and how they would react and they were wonderful.  It allowed me to relax and really enjoy myself knowing that they weren't trying to shove my loss under the table, but recognizing it and being open to listen and share as if it was any other topic of discussion that could have been had.  They have no idea how much that means to me.  I had no idea until this weekend.  

I feel so blessed to have all of the love and support.  This too I must have taken for granted.  I had no idea how many people cared about my husband, me, Silas until he passed away.  I have been constantly surprised by those who have reached out in such amazing ways.  It has made such an impact on us.  I know that this journey would be so much more unbearable without all of the love and support that has been showered upon us.  Sometimes, I forget or am unable to recognize how much support we have because my grief is so strong and no amount of support will take it away.  But, when those darkest times pass, I can see that the love is there.  

Lastly, like Karen I have found such a passion to support other women in this community, to "pay it forward", and to spread awareness.  It is so deep in me to give back, to help change the medical system to better support the 1 in 4 women who will experience this type of loss.  Since, I have started giving back my grief has changed significantly.  So much of my anguish has been channeled and focused in outreach and volunteering projects.  It has helped to know that something positive can come from my son's death.  He saved another child or twos life by donating his heart and I will continue his legacy by helping others in whatever way that I can and to ensure (as much as I can) that women who experience child loss have the support that they need. 

So although it is sometimes hard to wrap my head around the fact that positive things can come out of something so tragic, they have and I am grateful for it.  I wish with every ounce of my being that my son was here and I would trade these good things in a heartbeat (his heartbeat) for him to be here, but he is gone and I am not.  I have to continue to live and I deserve to have good things and to do good things.  I know that is what my son would want for me. 

Have you been able to recognize positive things in your life that emerged after or because of your loss?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Life is so unfair!

Today a friend lost her third baby.

Her first son died at 26 weeks, her second son at 18 weeks, and this sweet child at 20 weeks.  My heart is very heavy and sad for her today.  I just can't understand how this could continue to happen.  How can she be the 1 in 200 three times in a row.

It is just heartbreaking and so fucking unfair!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Outside the box

My dear, sweet boy,

I am so thankful that you came into my life.  I am thankful for the precious 42 weeks I was able to spend with you.  I held you for every second of your life.  What a gift.

I realized that in my grief of losing you I have spent the majority of my days dwelling in negativity.  I dwell on how sad and empty my life is without you and what it should be.  I dwell on those in my life who have disappeared when I have needed them the most.  I dwell on the fact that my body is different and none of my close fit me anymore.  I dwell on the insensitive little things people say that affect me so deeply and sets me in a downward spiral.  And, that I now feel like holding a grudge against these people, where before I was so forgiving.  I dwell on the fact that my doctor isn’t being as supportive as I hope he would be.  I dwell on the fact that every day is another day further away from when I had you.  I dwell on my fear that every day your memory is going to start to blur and fade in my mind and completely disappear from everyone else’s minds.  I dwell on how much more negative and impatient I am.  How I used to think I was really compassionate and non-judgmental, but my tolerance for other people’s bullshit problems is very small. 

But, recently, I have also started to notice the positives.  I have started to see glimpses who this “new” me is becoming.  I have started to see how although I am so very sad that you are not alive, healthy, and in my arms, that you have also made positive changes in my life.  I will continue to explore and keep my eye out for these little glimpses of positivity. Right now, the biggest one I have noticed is that my fear of social awkwardness has lessened.  This started while I was still pregnant with you.  I used to be the type of person that would avoid interacting with acquaintances or strangers like the plague because the idea of an awkward encounter was so anxiety producing for me.  However, while 4 or 5 months pregnant with you, I met a woman online who was also pregnant.  I pushed my fear aside and met her, a complete stranger, for coffee.  She was very nice and although there were some awkward moments overall I enjoyed my time chatting with her and sharing our excitement of being pregnant.

After you died, I have pushed myself even further.  I have met and reached out to so many women online in an attempt to create new friendships.  I attended a loss group and then initiated contact with a woman from that group and got coffee with her last week.  She is wonderful and I am excited for this budding new friendship.  Over the weekend, I drove 2 ½ hours to support a new friend (and my hub’s old high school friend) by walking with her and donating to a cause that supports children with disabilities (her sweet little girl has CP).  This is something I would have NEVER done in the past, but she has been so incredibly sweet and kind to us, I couldn’t not meet her in person and try and establish more than an online friendship.  And, most recently I have offered to speak publicly in a staffing meeting at our local hospital to help educate the nurses and doctors on how to better support women whose babies are born still in their hospital.  I am excited, but also terrified.  However, I know I have your support and strength to help me.  You have allowed me to grow in ways I never thought I would or never even wanted to.  I feel proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and I hope you are proud of me too.

I love you more than words can express,

Your mommy

Monday, June 13, 2011

A meeting with the hospital

Okay, so I felt like torturing myself today so I went back to the hospital for Silas' medical records and then popped into Labor and Delivery to have a chat with the head of the department. While I waited for her I thought I was going to have a panic attack and pass out, but the conversation ended up being good. She has now asked me to come to a staff meeting to share my experience and help educate the staff on how they can better support women who experience stillbirth in their hospital. Now, I need your help…

What type of support would you have liked to have been given by the hospital that you didn't get?

What did they do that you liked?

What suggestions do you have that could have improved your stay there?

A few of my suggestions will be:
1.  Offer NILMDTS services. The brochure was in a folder they gave me, but they didn't point it out or explain it to me. Thus, I didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked.

2. Ask more often if I want to hold my son. I was in such shock that I didn't hold him that long and I wish that was different.

3. Offer to let me bath and clothe my son


The world is playing tricks on me. 

 Right now, I am stuck in the HS classroom at my work where the lesson plans is about poetry on death and dying.  I feel stupid that this is triggering me, but it is.  It is abstract poetry and nothing about babies dying, but I don’t want to spend 4 hours talking about death and pretending to be interested and engaged in the lesson when in reality all I am thinking about is my own little boy’s death. 

Yesterday, I went to get a massage and the therapist asked if I had children and I said no (without even thinking), I SAID no!  Oh the guilt.  Granted, she was asking me questions about my work and lifestyle and how it affected my body.  So, when she asked me about kids I knew she was referring to little children running around or having to lug a child on my hip, both of which I I don't.  So, in the way she meant it, the answer is no.  But still, right after the words came out of my mouth, I felt so guilty.  I swore I would never not acknowledge my son, but I did without even thinking or contemplating, it just came out of my mouth.  What kind of mother does that make me?  What kind of mother am I?  I just don’t know… 

I just can't believe this is my life.  I wish it wasn't. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

3 months

In a parallel universe, I am celebrating my son turning 3 months old today.  In a parallel universe, his is giggling, and smiling, and cooing at me.  In a parallel universe, I am on maternity leave and loving my beautifully alive little boy. 

In this universe, I am crying because my son should have been 3 months old today.  In this universe, I am crying because N asked me what milestones would Silas be making right now at 3 months old and I couldn’t answer because I don’t know, I don’t have a 3 month old showing me what those are. 

In this universe, I am happy that today I became a part of the Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope team and will be helping post people’s stories to the site.  In this universe, I am hoping that my son is looking down on me and is proud that through my sadness I am finding a way to do something positive and give back to the BLM community as these women have given so much to me. 

In this universe, today is bittersweet.  Mostly bitter, but a little sweet.  Thank you Kristin at Faces of Loss, for giving me this opportunity and welcoming me to your team of awesome women.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


People have said they would be here to pick up the pieces (most of which have been only words), but now is the time, I am FUCKING falling apart, and I am so scared.

I just left work because I started crying as I walked into a meeting full of people.  I just can't hold it together…

tomorrow will be three months since I held my baby in my arms…..THIS FUCKING SUCKS!


I think I am experiencing panic attacks again.  This hasn’t happened to me for a long time.  When I was younger, I was a full-fledged hypochondriac.  I spent many nights falling asleep sure that I would not wake up in the morning, because I always had trouble breathing (which I now know was related to anxiety).  For a time, I also suffered from pretty bad vertigo and would wake up in the middle of the night with it and sure that I had been bitten by a mutant daddy longlegs with a huge mouth (because they are supposedly the most poisonness spider, but their mouths aren’t big enough to bite you).  I was the girl that tended to have random physical pains and aches and would immediately associate them with some deathly illness, look up the symptoms on WebMD for brain aneurysm, heart failure, tumors, cancer, blood clots, etc and then my body would play tricks on me and I was sure I was feeling all of the symptoms and was minutes away from death.  I won’t go into all the details about how bad it has been at times, but through the years I have gotten much more control over this and have usually been able to talk myself down knowing that it was in my head.

However, since losing Silas this fear of death has started to creep up again.  For example, I was at the gym yesterday and got this sharp pain in the top of my head and immediately went to the thought that I was suffering a brain aneurysm.  I prepared myself to the fact that I might keel over at any second, visualizing falling on the guy next to me on the elliptical.  I had to leave the gym early and go home.  This is when my body started to play tricks on me.  I started to get this warm sensation on the side of my face and my nose started to run a little and I was sure it was going to start pouring blood.  I just work myself up so much.  When I got home, my husband talked me down and I was able to distract myself enough and forget about it.  Now, this morning my head still feels weird and I am freaking out.  It is likely just my sinuses, but I am back to going to such an extreme.  I haven’t suffered panic attacks in a long time, but they are back and it SUCKS!!!  I could go to the doctors and get all kinds of tests, but I have done it so many times before and never has anything ever been wrong with me.  It has always been in my head. 

And, it’s not just for my own death, but I get really scared for my husband too.  He was at a concert on Sunday and I was so scared something was going to happen and he wouldn’t come home.  I can’t imagine life without him, I don’t know what I would do.  I hate feeling so scared and so out of control of my mind, my body, my emotions. 

Monday, June 6, 2011


I have a weird obsession going on with my OB that I can’t seem to make sense of or understand in my head. He was an amazing doctor throughout my whole pregnancy, very compassionate, good listener, patient, and comforting when I had concerns or worries. Recently, we have been exchanging emails over the past week about what my future looks like (trying again), whether I will see him again or choose a different doctor, whether he would be willing to do a c-section at 39weeks, and trying to figure out what happened to Silas (which we never will definitely). Anyways, I want to keep emailing him. I really don’t want to lose him as my OB even though he ultimately killed Silas and I should hate him. It feels very confusing. I don’t know why I feel so attached to him and I feel like I need to restrain myself from continuing to try and stay in contact and emailing him and spilling my guts about how I am feeling about my loss, about him, etc. I think he is just being nice when he says “keep in touch,” but I want to use that as an excuse to keep emailing him. I guess part of it is my delusion that he might bring Silas back. Or that if I lose him, I am losing a small piece of Silas. Also, he was one of the only people who really knew Silas. I feel like besides Nate and I, he was the closest to our baby and invested in his well being (although that didn’t turn out so well). It makes no sense, but I just don’t feel like I can part from him. None of it makes sense and it makes me feel crazy!

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Be forewarned that this post is a little scattered and disconnected and written at two separate times throughout the day.  This is how my mind is right now, all mixed up.

9:00am~ So, it is Sunday morning and it is quiet.  Yesterday was quiet too.  I have so much time on my hands when I should have a three-month-old baby being noisy and keeping me busy.  I feel so restless, like my body has prepared to be busy, but I have nothing to do.  I feel like I have so much cooped up energy, but no way to expel it.  I want to blog (which I am), but I don’t feel like I have words right now.  I want to paint, but I can’t think of what to paint or how to express what is inside of me.  I just feel empty.  Not without emotion, but I have nothing in me to move, to write, to paint, to be.  I want to go back to how I was in the early days when I didn’t get off of my couch, but I feel too guilty doing that.  Like, I have come further then that and it’s not okay to go backwards.  Plus, when I am doing that again I feel too restless.  I am constantly checking my email and facebook and blogs to see if anyone is saying anything.  Seeing if I have a chance to connect with anyone who understands, anyone who cares.  I feel so needy, but nothing fills my need.  I don’t know if that even makes sense.  I just know that the only time I feel somewhat at peace is when I am connecting to other babylost moms which is why I am obsessed with my facebook forum and with blogs.  My husband gets jealous of my computer and feels neglected, but this computer is my lifeline.  I can’t imagine not being on it or close to it. 

On a different note, I recently had an interesting experience.  I was at the gym and across the street was a little baby boy, less then one year old.  Previously, I would have become really upset and jealous.  Thinking why me, why my baby, everyone else gets their babies.  Then it hit me, that is a good thing.  I am still jealous, I am still why me, but it gave me hope for the future.  I had forgotten that it is more likely that babies survive.  But, when I started thinking about it there are soo soo many babies around me, so many “real life” friends, coworkers, and acquaintances having babies and only a few have stories like mine (three exact including myself).  Those odds are good, although they bring me little comfort since I have experienced the wrong side of statistics/odds.  But, that little comfort is better than no comfort or hope at all.

On another completely different note, I am going to the lake in two weeks with some friends.  Now, it should be sunny/hot, bathing suit weather.  This means that these friends are going to see my body, the body of a mother.  I still have the dark line down my tummy, stretch marks, and quite a big belly button. I am proud of my body, I am a mother and this is a mother's body, but I am nervous about how other's will react.  I doubt they will say anything and I don't know if I like that either.  My body I feel like is one of the only physical things I have that proves I am a mother.  So, part of me wants to show it off, but the other part is nervous that it will make them uncomfortable because it is a reminder of what happened.  I am a mother whose baby has died.  I feel like my body screams that.

2:00pm~  So because I was feeling restless and shitty, I decided to go do some retail therapy.  Now, this isn't really my nature.  I don't like to really spend money and I usually feel guilty afterwards, but today I though screw it.  And, off I went to Target.  I know, I know, this was a total set-up.  Once entering the store, I quickly realized I was in newborn baby hell!  However, I pursued and continued to shop.  Three pairs of shoes, cardigan, and a picture frame later I couldn't take anymore, but I had several stops I still needed to make.  One of which was Beverages and More.  My friend bought me a gift card for my baby shower which was intended to be used to purchase celebratory champagne.  That didn't happen so I thought today I will use it and go buy some beer, surely BevMo will be baby free.  Wrong, a man strolled in his newborn right before I walked in.  AAhh!  I bought my stuff and was out of there.  Last stop Trader Joe's.  Well, I kid you not a woman and her newborn baby boy walked into the store at the same time as me.  Okay, I thought I will go one way she will go the other. Nope, I swear she was following me.  Granted, TJ's isn't that big of a store, but come on.  She even checked out at the same time as me.  I did my best to fight back my tears and be quick.  I checked out, got in my car as fast as I could, and booked it out of there.  As soon as I was out of the parking lot, I lost it.  I scream, I cry, I punch my steering wheel,  "I WANT MY BABY!" "WHY, WHY, WHY!"  "Why was he taken away from me?"

Now, I am home and exhausted.  And, also frustrated.  I swear my life is constant contradictions.  Just this morning I started this post about two things, feeling hopeful when I see new babies and being proud of my mama body.  Well, clothes shopping sort of sucked which is why I ended up with three pairs of shoes.  Pants and shirts just don't fit me the same anymore.  And, I was surrounded by new babies and didn't feel hopeful.  I felt awful and ended up having a meltdown.

I can hardly trust any of my thoughts or feelings anymore because so quickly do they prove to be wrong.  Well, maybe not wrong, but they always seem to contradict each other.  You would think I was used to it by now, but it always surprises me.

Today, I should have stayed on the couch like I wanted to.  That is where I will stay for the rest of the day.