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.