Monday, December 14, 2009

It has been awhile

I haven't posted in quite awhile. I'm not sure why, other than I feel like I'm saying the same things over and over. We're still TTC and that has been disappointing. Last month, my period was 2 days later than normal. My cycles have been 28 days exactly since March. I guess I ovulated a couple of days late last cycle. I've been swamped with work and school, as usual.

We went to the cemetery and took a small Christmas tree and some other things out there. They have finally set the headstone into the ground. Eric went by there one day after work and saw that it had been done, but it still hit me hard. It is so permanent. This was the first time I'd been to the cemetery in quite a while. Again, I don't know why. I think I said it awhile ago, but I think I'm avoiding, which isn't good.

Eric and I picked a baby from the Salvation Army's angel tree online. She's 6 months old. I wanted to buy for a baby girl the same age as Sydney should've been. It was so hard to shop for this baby girl when I want to shop for my baby girl so much. I hoped it would make me feel better, but I don't know. I just miss Sydney so much. Last Christmas, I was so excited to think about having a new baby for this Christmas and celebrating her first Christmas this year. She should be here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Share Walk and Angel of Hope

We've had a busy couple of weeks.

October 24th was the Share Walk for Remembrance and Hope. It was a beautiful day, a little chilly, but absolutely gorgeous out. Eric, the kids, and I walked, along with a friend of mine, Linda. We, of course, saw many of our new friends from Share and Heartprints there. Here are a couple of pictures.

Sydney's balloons

The four of us

Balloons floating away

Then on Sunday, Nov. 1, we went to the Angel of Hope brick dedication ceremony. The weather had been awful all week, but it finally cleared up over the weekend so it was beautiful again. The ceremony was great and then we finally saw Sydney's brick:

If you can't read it (not sure how the picture will look on here), it says:
Sydney Granger
Feb 10, 2009
Fly Little Wing

The last line is from the song "Fly" by Celine Dion. It's on my play list. I love the song. It's probably my current favorite. Here are the lyrics:

Fly, fly little wing
Fly beyond imagining
The softest cloud, the whitest dove
Upon the wind of heaven's love
Past the planets and the stars
Leave this lonely world of ours
Escape the sorrow and the pain
And fly again

Fly, fly precious one
Your endless journey has begun
Take your gentle happiness
Far too beautiful for this
Cross over to the other shore
There is peace forevermore
But hold this mem'ry bittersweet
Until we meet

Fly, fly do not fear
Don't waste a breath, don't shed a tear
Your heart is pure, your soul is free
Be on your way, don't wait for me
Above the universe you'll climb
On beyond the hands of time
The moon will rise, the sun will set
But I won't forget

Fly, fly little wing
Fly where only angels sing
Fly away, the time is right
Go now, find the light

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sydney's Collage

Thank you to Franchesca at Abiding Hope Collages for Sydney's Collage.

Here it is:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sydney's candle

Tonight I went to my Glory Babies meeting and lit candles with my friend Jen. This is the candle I made for Sydney.

Eric also lit a candle at home.

October 15th

Tonight I will light candles in memory of Sydney and my other two early loss angels, as well as for the babies of all of my baby lost mama friends. I love you all and I'm thinking of your sweet angels today.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Our weekend

Last weekend, I hoped for an uneventful, relaxing weekend. That was not to be. On Friday night, Hailey seemed to be breathing funny--a little too fast, a little hard. I called the pediatrician and he said to keep an eye on her. Saturday morning, we woke up a little before 7. Hailey came into my room and she was loudly wheezing and really struggling to breathe. I freaked out and we headed to the nearest ER. They got her stabilized with breathing treatments and transferred her to one of our local children's hospitals. She stayed there for two nights, on oxygen, monitors, breathing treatments, steroids. By Monday morning, she was as good as new and we finally brought her home. She's going to have further testing to see if she has asthma or if this was some weird reaction to a virus.

Do you know how nervewracking it is to have a very sick child after losing a child? It was hell, to put it simply. I was terrified. I felt so vulnerable. The worst has happened to us--who says it can't happen again? I was a complete wreck, just trying to keep it together for her. I prayed over and over, pleaded with God to let her be okay, to not take another of my babies. I've had a hard time sleeping because I'm worried she'll stop breathing in her sleep.

When I had to be induced with Sydney, after the Pitocin was hooked up, the IV pump kept malfunctioning and beeping. Saturday morning in the ER, Hailey got an IV and the pump malfunctioned and started beeping. That totally set me off and I got really panicky and upset. There were so many moments in the hospital that I just wanted to scoop up my girl and run away.

Hailey is such a sweetheart. She told EVERYBODY we encountered all about her baby sister. During one breathing treatment, the first respiratory therapist asked her if she had brothers and she put up one finger. Then she asked if she had sisters and again, she put up one finger. The therapist said, I have a sister too, aren't sisters a pain in the butt? Hailey shook her head emphatically. The therapist said, oh your sister isn't a pain? Do you want to trade? Again, Hailey shook her head. Right about then, her treatment was done. As soon as she could talk again, she said, Do you know why I can't trade my baby sister? Because she is in Heaven. She died. The therapist looked like she wanted to crawl under a rock. At first, I considered shutting her up, but then as she kept going, I figured she deserved whatever Hailey said to her. I don't expect people to know we have a dead baby, but they also need to think about it before they run their mouths. Why would you even ask a 6 year old if their sister was a pain in the butt? That's just rude even if the sister in question was alive and well, IMO.

Monday, September 28, 2009

School days

When Hailey started school this year, I was dreading their first "family" assignment. The first graders do the same project every year. They get a construction paper house and you are asked to add pictures of your family. It wasn't a question to me of whether or not we should add Sydney's picture. However, Hailey was the one who had to get up in front of her class and present her house.

When the house came home with her, I asked her who we should add pictures of. She said, "Um, Mommy...and Daddy...and Christian, and me, and Tigger, Joey and Simba (The cats)...and Sydney!" So that is exactly what we did. I'm curious to know what the teacher thought. She was Christian's 1st grade teacher as well, so she knows us well. I wrote notes to both kids' teachers to explain what had happened and let them know that it might come up.

Last week, Hailey brought home another paper that she'd done in class. I don't really know what they call them. You write a sentence in the middle, then draw
pictures and add sentences in four squares around the page. This one was about family. She drew me in one square, then Eric and Christian (wearing funny brown dome hats) in another square. In the third square, she drew a baby and wrote, "I love my baby sister."

It warms my heart to know that they love her so much. But it also breaks my heart that they have to deal with this pain as well.

And poor Christian. His teacher is pregnant. That hit me like a ton of bricks when I met her at open house. She goes out on maternity leave next month. All of the kids keep talking about her baby and it upsets Christian. He mentioned it to his teacher one day. She got a note on the first day of school, just as Hailey's teacher did. She told him, "Oh, that's right, I'd forgotten." WTF, lady? Are you serious? I don't care that she forgot, but why would you SAY that to a child? Couldn't she think of something else, anything else to say to him in that moment? Even a "I'm sorry" or something. It amazes me that people can work with kids and not know anything about relating to them.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

For a moment

You know those moments when you are falling asleep and you're still half conscious, but also half asleep? I have had some of the strangest, most vivid "mini dreams," as Eric and I call them, in those moments. Two times recently, well in the last couple of months, I've had what I can only call a glimpse. The first time, I wasn't really sure what it was. I was dozing off on the couch one evening. As my eyes closed and I started to drift, I saw something in my mind. It was only for a moment and then it was gone. I startled awake and realized what I had just seen--it was a chubby baby upper arm. For that single moment, I saw a creamy white plump baby arm/shoulder. Her arm and shoulder. I tried with all my might to get back to sleep and see it again. I wanted to see what was connected to it. Nothing. It was gone.

The second time it happened, it startled me just as much. It was pretty much the same situation. I was completely exhausted and drifting off to sleep unexpectedly. For a moment that was all too brief, I saw her beautiful face. I saw her profile and she was sleeping. She looked so much like her brother, but also like her sister, and she had a headful of dark hair. She looked just as I imagined she might. And then the glimpse was over. I couldn't hold onto it for more than a moment once again. It hasn't happened since.

I sound crazy. Maybe I am. Maybe I'm having delusions. Maybe I'm desperate for any little thing I can hold on to.

Eric and I have been talking about our faith. We're trying to hold fast to our beliefs, we really are. It feels like God has forgotten us. I told him that I just don't have it in me to have blind faith anymore. I need some kind of proof, something that shows me that this world isn't a bunch of random events that have no purpose.

Since we've already established that I'm crazy, I guess this won't come as a shock. I think God is giving me signs. And they are coming from Facebook of all places. (I told you I'm crazy) There is an application on Facebook called "God wants you to know." You can click it once a day and it gives you some sort of little message. Mine are freaky accurate.

So this was the first one:
"Jaime got a message that on this day, God wants her to know...
... that tonight you can turn your worries to God, and have a good night's sleep.
You've been worrying too much about the future lately. So tonight, go ahead, put your faith in God, and just have a peaceful evening and a restful sleep."

Woah, weird. Pretty accurate--I sleep like shit these days and I'm always exhausted. But I figured, that's interesting, whatever.

Then I got this one:
"Jaime got a message that on this day, God wants her to know...
... that what you are most afraid of is where your greatest rewards are.
If all you had to do was wish for something and you would have it, life would be pretty boring, wouldn't it? God placed barriers between us and what we want, so we can enjoy interesting and satisfying lives. God hid our biggest rewards behind the highest barriers - our deepest fears. God wants us to face our fears, and hold ground in their presence, and let them go, and that's how we get out biggest rewards. What are you most afraid of? Say it, just start by saying it."

Er...hmmm...this one made me think.

Then tonight, I got this:
"Jaime got a message that on this day, God wants her to know...
... that you've been driving yourself too hard lately.
Sure, there is time to invest yourself fully into work, but there is equally important time for joyful resting. And for you, this time is now. What is the absolutely most wonderful little treat you can give yourself? Do it today."

That seems benign, right? Except today I had to take off work because Hailey was sick and I was feeling horribly guilty all day about it. I could probably be labeled a workaholic, to be honest.

I'm sure by now, you are raising your eyebrows and thinking, "This chick is NUTS, she thinks God is speaking to her through Facebook, I hope she can get some good medication." It is very bizarre that the very night Eric and I had that conversation, I got that first message. I'll readily admit that I'm no biblical scholar. Scripture isn't going to say much to me because I just don't get it. I can't readily recall pertinent verses. So if God wants to speak to me, Facebook is a really good place to do it. LOL

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The cycle begins

Tomorrow is my birthday and I've been dreading it. I'm not in the mood to celebrate, but that really has nothing to do with it. Last year, I had my last period before conceiving Sydney during the week of my birthday. So that has been the reminder and the point where I'll start hitting one year anniversaries of all the things that happened, culminating in her birthday. Sydney was conceived around October 4th. I found out I was pregnant on October 26, saw her for the first time on ultrasound on October 31...and on and on. It brings back so many bittersweet memories. I had no idea how happy I was then.

I'm trying hard to get myself together. I have been a complete mess for the last few weeks. I miss Sydney so much. I don't know how I am going to live without her for the rest of my life. I've been having major anxiety lately. Fortunately, it hasn't manifested in panic attacks again, but it comes in the form of total paranoia. I get these thoughts and visions in my head, always horrible things, of the kids getting hurt or Eric getting hurt and other horrific things. I'm seeing a new primary doctor in a couple of weeks and I'm going to ask about changing my medication. I was taking Effexor, which worked very well for me, but the high risk OB said he doesn't like it during pregnancy and I should switch to Wellbutrin or Zoloft. I've taken Zoloft before and after a while, it just stopped working. So I decided to try Wellbutrin. Effexor and Zoloft also control anxiety, but Wellbutrin does not. So I think I need to switch to Zoloft. I can't handle these awful thoughts and fears. I've had this problem to an extent in the past, but it is constant and uncontrollable right now.

I already got my birthday present from Eric and the kids. I didn't hint this time, I just told him, get me this. It is a Willow Tree figure called Angel of Mine. The description on it says, "So loved. So very loved." It is beautiful and I love it. This is it:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

In the sky

If there is one bright spot in this babylost world, it is the members of this community. I've had Sydney's memory honored in so many ways, from her name written in the sand on Christian's beach, to Lea's Angel Wings, and Bree's butterflies. The newest is Ashley's Babies in the Sky gallery. Ashley was kind enough to write Sydney's name for me and post it on her blog. Beautiful!

Friday, September 11, 2009

My psychic experience

I've been meaning to write about this for a while and got sidetracked. Ever since Sydney died, I've felt a strong urge to see a psychic. I put it out my mind for a while, but about a month ago, it started nagging me again. I searched online and came back to someone who stuck out to me when I first thought about it.

It was a very interesting experience. As we started, she only knew my name. Right away, she told me very true and accurate things. She told me that I'd had a recent loss of a significant female, then she told me that she saw a little girl around me. We discussed my children and Sydney came up. We talked about her and she told me that Sydney has dark curly hair and she's with an older female who crossed over already. Ever since Sydney died, I've believed that she is with my grandma. I know that my grandma would adore her and take care of her until I get there.

Those things alone probably wouldn't convince me of anything. But combined with all of the other things she said about my personality, my current personal and professional situations, and my kids, I believe it. I got a tape recording of the session and played it for Eric. He was a total skeptic, but once he heard it, he was really amazed too.

Things have been pretty calm for the last week or two. Once again, we failed to conceive this month. It's very frustrating. I'm still trying to decide if we're going to try this month. If I were to get pregnant, I would be due about a week or so before I was due with Sydney this year. I don't know if I can emotionally handle going through those same stages close to the same time that I did with her. But I also want to be pregnant again so badly, the sooner the better.

It seems like every time I turn around, I'm hearing a story about another baby or child dying. I'm so sick of it. Every time I hear about another mother losing her child, I feel like I lose my faith a little more. This world makes no sense to me anymore.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Honest scrap

Today I was given the Honest Scrap award by Isla's Mommy. Thank you, Melissa!

In order to accept this award, I have to name seven bloggers who write from the heart and then I have to list ten interesting things about myself.

My nominees must post this on their blog and leave comments for their 7 nominees.

My nominees are:

Kayla at Lewis Twins

Mary at Nobody Knows It But Me How I'm Missing Lukas

Bree at My Baby Butterfly Ella

Mia at Our Anencephaly Journey

Dawn at Inanna Journey

Emily at Mumblings from Troy Ohio

Lea at Nicholas' Touch

Ok, now 10 interesting things about me:

1) The first night that I met my husband, I knew I was going to marry him. It wasn't really love at first sight, but a connection and I knew it. He really annoyed me at first though, so I kind of hoped I was wrong and he'd go away. He grew on me.

2) I spent my entire high school career planning for college, grad school, etc. I went away to school, had too much fun, and left after one year. I attempted another year, still screwed up, and then got married. I finally went back to college when I was 27.

3) During my senior year of high school, I won first place in regionals and second place in state for a science project and presentation competition. I still have no idea how I did it because I am terrified of public speaking.

4) It soothes me to look up statistics on whatever issues are going on in my life. I can rattle off stats on weight loss surgery, incompetent cervix, preemie survival rates, PCOS, and more.

5) I graduated summa cum laude with my associate's degree in May of this year.

6) I am named after Jamie Lee Curtis. My dad had a crush on her. My mom chose to spell my name Jaime because she thought it was more feminine. My own grandmother can't spell my name after almost 31 years.

7) My most passionate topic is breastfeeding. I didn't breastfeed Christian. I tried and failed. I then read about the benefits of breastfeeding and became very outspoken. When Hailey was born, it took 6 weeks of pumping around the clock and trying to teach her to breastfeed before she caught on. She nursed until she was 3 1/2, then she self weaned.

8) I remember numbers freakishly well. I can remember any phone number that I have dialed. At work, I could often remember customer's social security numbers. If someone tells me to remember something that involves a number, I can do it. My memory sucks for anything else.

9) I hate the month of February. Crappy things always happen to us in February. Hailey was born in February, which was great, but she was 7 weeks early, I was very sick from pre-eclampsia, and it was a very stressful time for us. Valentine's day is always a disaster. Eric had a very bad car accident in February 2001. Sydney was born and died in February. We've lost two babies that were due in February. I do not like February at all.

10) I had weight loss surgery (Lap Band) on February 28, 2008, which is one good thing that has happened in February. In the first seven months after surgery, I lost 100 pounds, then got pregnant. Since having Sydney, I lost the weight I gained while pregnant, then gained 15 pounds back, and have since only lost 5 of those 15 pounds. I'm trying really hard to get back into weight loss mode because I would like to lose another 50-75 pounds.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Nevaeh Grace

Mia delivered her precious baby girl Nevaeh today. She had anencephaly. Nevaeh lived for one hour. Please pray for this family as they grieve for their sweet angel. It breaks my heart to know that another mother is missing her baby tonight. :*(

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Thank you, Bree!

It amazes me that even in the midst of their own pain, amazing women reach out to comfort the rest of us. This butterfly was made by Bree, Ella's mommy, and someone with a story so like my own. Thank you so much, Bree. This means so much to me.

Sydney's angel wings came in the mail from Lea. They are even more beautiful in person. Thank you again, Lea!

We finally decided on the inscription for Sydney's brick at the Angel of Hope. The fall dedication will be some time in October or November. I'm keeping the inscription to myself for now, but it is kind of funny how we came up with it. I told Eric, we have to do this. The order is due September 20 (my birthday) and I've been thinking about it here and there, but 3 lines of 15 characters each is hard. Yesterday I mentioned it to him. I started typing out some things, trying to get it down to 15 characters a line. He made a suggestion that was quite similar to what I was thinking. I said, well I was thinking of something like that and a certain song gave me the idea. He said, that song gave me my idea too. Weird, huh?

I feel Sydney around me a lot lately. It's a very strong feeling. Yesterday, we were outside and a beautiful butterfly was flying all around. It kept flying all around our front step, where we were standing. I see butterflies all the time now. I don't remember ever seeing them as often as I do now. They make me smile every time I see them.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Six months

It has been six months since my entire world was turned upside down and I was left brokenhearted, with empty arms and a grief that no mother should ever have to bear. Some times it is hard to believe that six months have already passed, but other times, I can't believe it has only been six months.

My beautiful girl came to me in my dreams again. This time, she was born early and was the same size and everything. The doctor tried this weird treatment of submerging her in a tube of fluid to develop her lungs, but it didn't work. I took her out of the tube and everything about her was just as I remember. The shape of her little head, with the dark coloring where hair was ready to grow in. The long fingers, arms, and legs. And that sweet face. I cleaned her up and dressed her in a tiny soft sleeper and held her. While I held her, she opened her eyes. I longed to see her eyes, but they were still fused shut when she was born. I finally saw her eyes. They were a very deep blue. She moved all around in my arms, looked at me, and at one point lifted her tiny head up off of my chest. Then I just woke up. I hate to wake up from those dreams. I long for the next.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I'm at this point where my grief seems to come in waves. When it hits, the waves are huge and I feel like it will knock me over. It seems like I can keep myself occupied enough to not feel the full brunt of my grief all the time, but then it just hits me, out of nowhere and I'm a mess.

We are quickly coming up on the six month mark. I really can't believe it has been almost 6 months. I feel like I'm losing some of the details of her birth and our time together. Sometimes when I think back, I feel like I'm outside of myself, watching what is happening. I miss my baby girl so much. My arms still ache to hold her. I wish I knew what she would've looked like today. She was a pretty good mix of Christian and Hailey, but it's hard for me to imagine.

I'm kind of mad at myself right now because I agreed to go out of town for work on Monday and Tuesday, the 10th and 11th. Every month on the 10th, I've gone to the cemetery. I didn't even realize until after I said I would go that it was on the 10th. I guess I'll go to the cemetery the day before. They still haven't installed her stone. I'm not sure when that will be done. I may call them to find out.

I have decided that I'm over this whole "don't talk about Sydney" thing that some people we know have decided is the way to handle this. If they can't acknowledge her, then I don't want them in my life. This isn't some phase or something I'll ever get over. I'm carrying on with my life because I have to, but that doesn't mean I'll ever go back to who I was before. If people don't like it, we can all agree to go our separate ways, whether I'm related to them or not. Eric posted a Facebook status to that effect and a member of his family actually commented back and said, "What do you want people to say exactly?" Are people really so clueless? Would she ask that to someone who lost their spouse, parent, grandparent, or anybody older? Would it be so hard to ask how we are doing, if there is anything they can do for us (like taking the kids for a couple of days to give us a break). I wouldn't dare dream of them asking to see her pictures, going to the cemetery, or talking openly about her.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

In my dreams

A few nights ago, something I've been waiting for finally happened. Sydney visited me in my dreams. It wasn't like I thought it might be, but she was there, alive and whole.

In the dream, I was pregnant. At first, I didn't realize that I was pregnant with Sydney. My dream self remembered all that had happened, it seemed. I thought, I'm pregnant, I'm going to have a baby soon, I'm 39 weeks pregnant, how have I managed to stay pregnant when I was 4 cm dilated at 20 weeks? It was then that I realized the baby was Sydney. I went out to go shopping to prepare for her arrival. In the car, I realized I hadn't felt her move. I started talking to her, moving my belly, trying to get her to respond. I thought, please don't let her be stillborn after all of this. Then she moved. She kicked and squirmed and my whole huge pregnant belly shook. It was so real, so vivid. I talked to her for so long, telling her how happy I was that she was there and how much I love her. When I woke up, I was so sad. I wanted to go back and live in that dream. I wanted to dream of going into labor and having her, to see her beautiful little face. I hope she comes to me again, in a way that I can see her and hold her.

I am not in a good place right now. Sadness and anger have taken over and I feel justified in both so I don't fight it. I am so angry with everybody around me. I feel abandoned and forgotten. Work is really hard because I am surrounded by other people now and have to try to keep it together. It is times like these that I miss working by myself. If I needed to break down, I could. A few days ago, we were all eating lunch and the TV was on. It was on Ellen and it was a repeat of her Mother's Day baby shower show. I ate as quickly as I could and went back to my desk. I was trying really hard to not cry and hold myself together. My boss came by and talked to me and then realized something was wrong. She kept asking me, what's wrong and I kept saying nothing, I'm just busy. She went to her office then called me in a few minutes later. I finally told her what was bothering me and started crying. At least she was sensitive to it and let me talk about it.

Nobody calls to check on me. Even when I do talk to friends or family members, they don't ask how I'm doing. They completely ignore the topic of Sydney. My grandmother (the dog funeral grandmother) calls every few weeks. She will ask me to send pictures. I haven't sent any since Christmas. She has never asked to see pictures of Sydney, so IMO she shouldn't get to see my other two kids or my nephew. I don't bring up Sydney with unwilling parties because they get obviously uncomfortable and that upsets me. I don't want her to be a bad memory. I want her to be what she is--my baby, a member of our family, a part of our lives. Apparently, according to some people, I'm not supposed to expect that out of others. Well I won't. If Sydney isn't acknowledged, they shouldn't expect us to want to be around them. I need my baby to be acknowledged and treated as a member of the family just as the other kids are. Why are the feelings of others more important than MY feelings? I'm tired of everybody thinking more about themselves than us. We are the ones who have lost our child. We are the ones who live with this pain while they pretend she never existed.

I wish I could crawl into bed and stay there. I need a break from life.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Angel Wings

Lea over at Nicholas' Touch has an angel wing memorial on her blog. She added angel wings for Sydney today.

Thank you so much, Lea! They are beautiful.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What was I thinking?

Today, my first baby turned 8 years old. This day brought about some unexpected emotions.

One of my birthday traditions is to watch the video of the kids' births. I realized yesterday that there was no way I could do that today. So I didn't. Then while we were out, Christian said, Mommy, we forgot to do something today, we didn't watch the video of me being born. :-\ I told him, next year, I promise. I felt so bad. I didn't realize how much that meant to him.

We spent part of the day at a local zoo/farm type of place called Grant's Farm. The place was packed and I swear, every family there had a baby. Every family except us of course. And I think probably 90% of those babies were girls. And then there were the little girls toddling around. As if that wasn't bad enough, on the tram ride (and you have to take the tram to get into the main part of the park) we were put in the first row, which is directly behind the area where they transport strollers. Right in front of me sat a pink stroller. At least it wasn't the stroller we bought for Sydney, but still.

We stopped on the way home to pick up a pizza and there was a little girl, probably right about a year old or so, with dark brown curly hair toddling out after her dad. It ripped out my heart to see that girl and know that I'd never see my own little girl toddling out of the pizza place behind her daddy.

The fucking universe hates me.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Walking with you--Naming our babies

Eric and I have very different tastes in names for our kids. Each time we try to agree on something, but I end up picking a name and he agrees to it. LOL We've picked several different names for each child, but we settle on it right before we find out the gender. Our firstborn is Christian Eric. We both love the name Christian and Eric is actually Eric's middle name (his first name is Jeremiah) and his dad's middle name. Our girl name then was Kaitlyn. When I got pregnant with Hailey, we first thought about using Kaitlyn for a girl, but changed our minds. I wanted the middle name to be Ann, which is my mom's middle name, and I didn't think Kaitlyn Ann flowed well with our last name. We had a list of about six girls names and we picked Hailey. Sydney had also been on that list.

When I got pregnant with Sydney, we discussed names a few times, but nothing was really sticking out as THE name to me. A week or so before our 20 week ultrasound, we finally picked names. Our boy name was Jackson. I really thought we were having a boy, which was the first time my intuition was wrong. We picked Sydney as our girl name, with two middle name choices--June, which is Eric's grandmother's middle name, and Sydney was due in June, and Alexis. I only wanted to use June if Sydney was actually born in June. I wasn't crazy about that, but the other two kids have middle names after family members. While we were in the hospital, we agreed that her name would be Sydney Alexis. I love her name. I love to say it, to see it written, or on things. There was never a moment for me when I thought about changing her name--she was always and will always be our Sydney.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Sometimes I wonder if I'm stuck in some kind of alternate reality. That in my real life Sydney is still alive and the real me is happy. But I'm stuck in this sad, painful Sydney-less world. It is so unreal to me that a tiny precious life can slip away and it seems like so few people remember or care, so unreal that it can't be true.

I've been in a really strange place the last couple of weeks, since Sydney's due date. I was pretty much ignoring that this is my reality. I feel terribly guilty for that. I don't want this to be my life. I want to be a normal, happy mom. I want all of my children here with me. I don't want to grieve anymore. I don't want to have to imagine what my baby girl would look like--I want to know. I hate this life, I hate this grief. I want my old life back, I want my baby back.

The last couple of weeks, I thought about Sydney a lot, but I let other things occupy my thoughts as well. I didn't cry. I went to a concert that I was really looking forward to and I had fun. I did have a couple of times where I thought, I should be home with my baby right now, not at a concert. But last night, I broke. Yesterday was Sydney's 5 month birthday. Five months since she came into my life and left it. We went to the cemetery and put out some new things. Then we went to Walmart to buy school supplies. On the way home, I was thinking about how Sydney should have been tucked into her little safari print carseat, dressed in a little pink dress, with a headful of soft dark hair, sucking on her binky while she fell asleep on the way home. It was such a vivid image in my head. I wanted that so badly. I didn't even realize until she was gone just how much I wanted that.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A new month

June is over, finally. It was a bittersweet end to the month. I was so glad to end the month, but then I realized, the month was supposed to end with a new baby in my arms but it didn't.

Sydney's due date went ok. After the kids got home from school that day, we reach wrote Sydney a note, attached the notes to pink balloons and then went to the cemetery to release them. We planned to spend some time there, but once the balloons were floating away, it looked like they were going to crash land. I think the notes might have been too heavy. I kind of freaked out, herded everybody to the car, and rushed down the road to see if they had landed somewhere we could get them. As we got down the road, I looked up and saw 3 of the 4 balloons floating away, together. I don't know what happened to the 4th. I hope it finally caught the wind and flew away. I don't know why, but I had a feeling that the 4th balloon was mine. That would figure, because it seems like I'm always alone now, but Eric, Christian, and Hailey have each other. :-\

The week since Sydney's due date has been really weird, emotionally. I feel shut off from all emotions--sadness, joy, everything. I feel numb. Maybe it is the aftermath of the heightened emotions of her due date. I feel like I'm ignoring my feelings. Maybe so.

I think I've gotten pretending everything is ok down to an art. I do it all day at work, otherwise it makes people uncomfortable. I have a picture of Sydney on my desk. My new coworker asked if it was one of my kids and I said, yes and before I could say anything else, she started talking about how that picture must remind me of the miracle it is that she's alive because she was so tiny. I ended up crying and told her that Sydney had passed away at birth. Then she felt crappy because I was crying and all I could really do was say, it's okay, everything makes me cry. Then I wandered away so I could cry alone for a few minutes. I can't remember if I mentioned it (because I can't remember anything anymore), but I recently got a promotion to the main office of my company so I've gone from working with one other person 1-2 times a week to working with 10 or so everyday, all day. I also try to act okay with most of my family, most of the time, and with my in laws pretty much all the time now. I don't think anybody really knows how I feel anymore, not even Eric. We've hit a really rough patch, he doesn't understand me and I don't understand him. As usual everything falls on my shoulders and I just can't manage it right now. I feel like I'm not worth the effort it would take for Eric, or anybody, to even attempt to show some sympathy and stop pressuring me about everything. When you tell someone repeatedly that you need them to do something and they don't even try to do it, it really seems like they're saying, You aren't worth the effort it would take to make you feel better.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Due date

Today is the day Sydney was due. I've never actually made it to my due date and I probably would've delivered well before now if this hadn't happened. But I know by this time I would've had a baby in my arms. For five months, my life was centered around this date, planning and getting ready, anticipating her arrival. So instead of cuddling my baby girl who should've only been a couple of weeks old, my arms are empty.

In 9 days, I will have lived longer without Sydney than I did with her. It is almost unbelievable to me that 20 weeks ago, we were so happy. We had just found out we were having a baby girl at our 19 week ultrasound. We were already buying little pink dresses and sleepers. We picked out her name and we were calling her that. I couldn't wait until June to see her and hold her. It is hard to believe that only 6 days after that wonderful ultrasound, our world crashed around us and our precious girl was gone.

I'm trying really hard to change my outlook. I am going to try to spend the rest of the day focusing on the good memories--seeing her on ultrasound for the first time, hearing her heartbeat, feeling those first flutters and then the kicks and squirms. I'm going to try not to relive the days leading up to her birth or the events of that morning. I'm going to try to think about the two precious hours that we had with her, how blessed I am to have had that time, and how proud I am of her for fighting so hard to hang on. I want to think about how her fiesty personality shined through even in that short time, how completely perfect and beautiful she was, and how it felt to hold her tiny body in my arms.

Today I want to celebrate her life, not mourn for her death. Her life was so much more than the two hours she had here and she deserves to have that remembered.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Reminder

I had a rough day on Friday and on my way home from work, I decided to go by the cemetery. I was there for a little bit and noticed that the flowers on another baby's grave had fallen out of the vase so I walked over and put them back. When I walked back over to Sydney's grave, I noticed a little butterfly fluttering around. It hung around pretty much the rest of the time I was there and then it went behind her headstone and flowers and I didn't see it again. It was really pretty. Its wings were purple on top and white on the bottom. I've never seen one like that before. I felt like it was a reminder to me that she is always with me and she's sending little things to try to make me feel better.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Another blow

Never say that things can't get any worse. I should know that by now. It can always get worse.

We decided to start trying to get pregnant again last month. Amazingly enough, last Wednesday (also Sydney's 4 month birthday), I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. I took another on Friday and the line was much darker. I had typical signs of pregnancy. I was anxious and trying not to get too excited. Then Tuesday night, I started to bleed. I hoped it was nothing and would go away, but by Wednesday morning the bleeding was quite heavy and I knew that it was over.

This just compounds my sadness. I really don't like February or June anymore. Our very first pregnancy, before Christian, was an early loss in June and the baby was due in February. Just like this baby. And of course, Sydney was due in June and died in February. I now have more confirmed losses than I have living children (there was also one other suspected loss between Christian and Hailey, but it wasn't confirmed). I feel like such a failure. Maybe I'm not meant to have another baby. :(

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Four months tomorrow

It is so unreal to me that tomorrow will be four months since my precious girl lived. I wish I could stay in those two hours forever. I remember holding Sydney and watching the clock, wishing time would stop and let me keep her alive. As time passes, I feel that much more distance between us, as if she stayed on February 10, 2009, and I have skipped ahead. Of course, using that analogy, I'm in June 2009 and everybody around me has moved on to 2012. I feel like I've been left behind to deal with my grief alone while everybody else has moved on.

Yesterday, we received a wonderful gift. The mamas on one of my message boards got together and had a star named after Sydney through the International Star Registry. It touched me so deeply that they would do that for us. I want to figure out how to find her star, so hopefully I can figure out what the coordinates mean and how to find them.

The resounding theme of this past month has been anger. I am so angry with almost everybody in my life for one reason or another. I am angry that people can't deal with my grief and make me feel like I am wrong for it. I am angry that they treat me like a child having a tantrum instead of treating me like a mother who has lost her child. I am angry that it seems like I am the only person in the world who really feels the depth of this loss. I am angry that I have lost my beautiful baby while so many others can have healthy babies despite mistreating their bodies throughout pregnancy or that they have precious babies just to abuse them. It is so incredibly unfair and I can't begin to understand it. I am so incredibly angry that my daughter is gone. I'm angry that I am supposed to be preparing for our new arrival this month, buying diapers and clothes and all things baby, but instead I buy things to put on her grave. I am angry that I feel forgotten, that virtually all of my (non-Internet) friends have not even acknowledged Sydney's birth or death, that 95% of the people in my life act like she never existed. I'm angry with my husband for spending the last four months putting on a facade of normality, which has only managed to make me feel even worse about being so broken by this. I am angry because other people get angry because I am angry with them.

I want to scream, I want to break things, I want some outlet for these feelings. Right now, though, I am so depressed that I just don't feel like fighting anymore. People can think what they want about me. I'm tired of doing things just to make other people happy. I've had it with being coerced into doing things I really don't want to do or being around people who just...suck. Why should I consider the feelings of people who crap on my feelings every chance they get? Why should I care if it is your birthday, graduation, wedding, party, celebration, etc., when you can't even pick up the phone and ask how I am doing or send a card or acknowledge that Sydney existed and that I am hurting in some tiny way? Why should I waste my limited time off work or spend money to come visit you or even pretend I give a crap about you when you don't seem to give a crap about me? I'm not doing it anymore. And if you're reading this and wonder if I'm talking to you, I most likely am. I'm tired of playing nice. I'm tired of everybody waiting for me to snap out of it or get over it. You can either accept my new reality or you can get lost.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Thanks a lot, Hallmark

Yesterday, I stopped in at my local Hallmark store to buy a greeting card. I needed a thank you card and those are located right next to the sympathy cards. *sigh* I actually started looking at a few of them. After Sydney was born, we received some very beautiful cards and I have to admit, I'm a card junkie. I love to receive greeting cards. I save them all. Somewhere I have birthday cards from when I was a kid. I've saved every single card my kids have received.

So as I'm looking at the sympathy cards, I picked up a beautiful one and noticed it was for the loss of a pet. I looked at the categories then and noticed that there were actually two cards for loss of a baby, then one for loss of a daughter, one for loss of a son, and one for loss of a child. However, I also noticed that there were about 10 different cards for loss of a pet. There are more cards to choose from to send to someone whose dog or cat died, but only FIVE cards to send to a person who has lost a child. What the fuck?

Is it worse, in the world of Hallmark, to lose a pet? Or is it merely more socially acceptable to express your condolences when someone loses a pet than when they lose a child? In my not-quite-four-month-old journey as a babylost mama, I've found that it seems this is the one thing people do not want to talk about. Maybe people think it is contagious. Or it's just too sad. Or they don't view the baby as a person worthy of their emotion. I think there are several family members of mine (*cough* Eric's family *cough*) who feel the latter is true. I've dealt with death before. My father, my beloved maternal grandmother, my paternal grandfather. I dread the day I lose my other grandfather or my mother. I can't imagine life without my husband. But my child--whether it was my baby girl who was only in my womb for 20 weeks or my 6 or 7 year olds--there is nothing more devastating to me. I can't imagine there is anything more devastating to any parent.

Maybe I'm bitter about pet loss. My living grandmother had a funeral for her dog a few years ago. Looking back, I'm pretty sure that dog was buried in the same kind of casket that Sydney had. We went to the dog funeral to support my grandmother, who was a mess over losing her dog very suddenly. There was a short ceremony and a burial in the pet cemetery at the groomer they used. The dog now has a full headstone that has his picture on it. When I called my grandmother to give her the details on Sydney's service, a private graveside service and not at a funeral home, she said, "Since you aren't having a real funeral, I guess I won't come in." She lives in Florida now (she lived here in Missouri when her dog died). She said that the airfare would be too expensive, she would be too sad because Sydney's funeral was on the same day as my grandfather's funeral 3 years ago, etc., etc. When I told my sister, she was livid. She said, "Didn't you go to her DOG'S funeral?!" Oh yeah, that's right, I did. I'd forgotten. Yes, travel would be involved, but my grandmother is not destitute. In fact, she's pretty well off. She could've come. But I'm not going to beg someone to do something they obviously didn't want to do in the first place. And she never even sent a card. Maybe when one of my cats dies, she'll send one.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


June starts tomorrow. I wish I could go to sleep tonight and wake up in July. Sydney was due June 26. I should be sittng here big and uncomfortable and 36 weeks pregnant. Instead I am 16 weeks into this never ending nightmare.

We had so many expectations for June. We'd really hoped to have baby in June. Christian was due in August and born in July; Hailey was due in March and born in February. I was really hoping I didn't end up with an April or May baby. I never imagined she would come in February. To me, worst case scenario was 24 weeks, a long NICU stay, and bringing home a small maybe sick baby. Never did I imagine she wouldn't make it. Never did I imagine this.

I was supposed to meet my beautiful girl in June. I was supposed to see her little face, hold her, and put her to my breast for the first time. But instead I will grieve her for the fourth month. I will miss her with every fiber of my being and I have to continue trying to figure out how to go on without her here with me.

Friday, May 22, 2009

It's there

Sydney's headstone is at the grave. It hasn't been installed into the ground, but it is in place, waiting. It is beautiful and perfect. It was so incredibly difficult to see her name on that stone. It seems to have pushed me to the brink of another breakdown.

I seem to go through phases with my grief. Some days, I'm ok. Well, as ok as I can be, functional, not crying constantly. Then something sets me off and it's downhill until I have a breakdown, have a bunch of bad days, then I work my way back to ok. I feel it there, so close, and I'm scared. What if this time it starts and doesn't stop? As much as I wish the world could stop, it can't. I have other kids to care for, a job, bills to pay, all of these responsibilities that I can't avoid.

Here are some pictures from today. A nice woman who was visiting her husband's grave offered to take a picture of the four of us. It's as close to a family picture as we can get. :(

Thursday, May 21, 2009

100 days

As of today, it has been 100 days since Sydney became an angel. These have been the longest 100 days of my life. I really don't even have anything to say that I haven't said a million times already. :(

The monument company called on Tuesday. They delivered Sydney's marker on Monday and the cemetery will have it installed by the weekend. We're planning to go there tomorrow evening when I get off work to look at it and take pictures. I have new flowers and decorations to take out too. I need to go pick up some flowers I saw that I liked. I've been buying artificial flowers because I can't get out there more than once a week, sometimes not even that often depending on the weather, and I hate thinking about dead flowers sitting there until I get back with new ones. I have an issue with dead flowers. I didn't want flowers sent to her service, I hated looking at the flowers that were sent to our house. They were pretty for a few days, then they died. It was really depressing for me.

Speaking of depressing. My mother in law and sister in law are involved in an animal rescue. They have a bunch of cats and kittens (one of whom we just adopted). A couple of weeks ago, a sick mama cat gave birth to her litter and all of the kittens got sick. We went to my in-law's on Sunday evening and they were trying to keep three of the kittens alive. Two had already died the night before. I ended up holding two tiny kittens who were barely hanging on, praying that they didn't die in my arms. They ended up dying the next day. I feel so sad for that mama cat. Do animals mourn like we do? Not too long ago, Inanna posted a link to this video, which showed a mama gorilla whose baby died. She carried his little body around for a week and openly grieved for her baby. I wish that no mother, human or animal, ever had to lose their child and deal with this grief. :(