October 15th...what is it? It's a couple weeks before Halloween, of course.
That was all it was...until I became a member of the dead baby club.
Don't feel bad if you don't know it, like I said I didn't either until a few months ago. October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Yes, we have a day of our very own. It's the least we deserve. Actually, I believe the entire month is dedicated to us, but it's mainly recognized on the 15th.
I wanted to say something special, something magical, but I've got nothing. I can tell you I'm still sad, that I'm still angry. That I cry every other day on average. I can tell you I want my son back, how cheated I feel for not having him. But, of course, this is nothing new & it's all things you should all know by now.
But this is my blog & I can't say it enough.
I miss my son. I'm angry. I'm sad. I cry every other day. I want him back. I'm pissed that I've been cheated out of having him. I'm jealous I know nothing of what he was going to become. I'm sad that I never got to hear his cry, his laugh, or even see his eyes looking at me with that lovely newborn expression that says "who are you & where am I at?!" when you hold them the first time.
I'll never forget the silence in the room when he was born, you could hear a pin drop until Angy announced "it's a boy." Even then, when I knew he was gone, I hoped for a cry. I hoped it was all wrong. But he never cried. They weren't wrong. And, on that day, we became dead baby parents. I know, saying "dead baby" isn't the greatest sounding thing, but there is no way to say it nicer & still express the horror. Think you hate me using the term? Try living it.
When talking about this upcoming day I wanted to do something special like I said earlier. I wanted a way to remember him & have it mean something. But I can't do that. Again, I've got nothing. And it's early, we've still got time till we hit the 15th, but when I started thinking about this I couldn't go to bed until I wrote this. Otherwise I would just stay up all night thinking. Anyway, as I said, I wanted to find something meaningful when talking about this day, something to explain how I currently feel. But then I realized I had something.
I do not want my son to just be thought of as a dead fetus. It's bad enough the only real proof I have of his existence is a certificate that says that, I don't want everyone else to think of him like that. So I went back to my old blog, to a happier time. When we still believed things in life would work out, when we were on could nine about our healthy baby. If I died tomorrow, I wouldn't want everyone to sit around talking about how I died all the time, I hope they would have better memories of me than that, things that made them smile. So, as I said, I went back to my old blog & found something that makes me smile, something connected to Joel. Today, I share that here.
Before we get to that, know that this date effects you. If you are reading this, you know someone whose suffered this unimaginable loss. So don't think you've not been touched & that day has nothing to do with you. If you have anything to do with me, it has something to do for you. So I ask you, on October 15th, take 10 seconds to think about us, to think about Joel. And through that, think of the rest of us in this horrible club & the children we've lost. Do it for me, do it for all of us. I don't claim to speak on behalf of everyone whose ever suffered a loss, but I do know that I want my son to not be forgotten, to not be mentioned only in a whisper to behind my back to let other people know about our loss. He's not a dirty secret, none of our children are.
I have had pain in my lifetime that I couldn't explain, that I couldn't put into words. Adam is often driven nuts by my inability to explain how pain feels to help diagnosis me. But this pain, I have a name for this pain. My pain is my son, the one I'll never get to see grow up. The one I never got to see wake up. That doesn't explain the pain to people who haven't experienced it, but for those who have, they know the pain. For those of you who haven't, you'll never be able to understand. And I hope none of you will ever come to a point in your life when you join our club & know this indescribable pain. But I promise that if one day you do join this club, you aren't alone. And I know I'll be there for anyone who needs me, & I know alot of people feel this way. Remember, you aren't alone in this misery, we're here will you. In person, online, in spirit. And, again, those who aren't in this club with us, please remember us. And please remember our children. You may never see them, but we carry them with us everywhere until we take our last breaths as well.
And now, let me enjoy some happier times...
Making a baby is the easy part...
Making room for the baby?
Not so much.
I remember when we were house hunting. We thought this house was huge, it was even a 4 bedroom house. Really, 4 bedrooms! Two full baths! Holy shit, lets move in!
Then we did. Then we realized "we have alot of shit." When this oopsie baby showed up, know what I was dreading more than anything?
Labor? No, it ends after a few hours.
Getting fat(ter)? No. Or should I say nom.
A newborn? No, they just sleep, fear toddlers.
One of my first thoughts was "where the hell are we going to put everything?! And how the hell are we going to clear out that spare room?!"
Maybe we just aren't classy, but we have a junk room. Have since we lived together. A place Adam puts all his clothes, so I can have a closet all to myself that I just usually stack my clothes in front of. Stuff that we don't have anywhere else for. When we had Jules, I made Adam move his comics to the basement. Big deal there. With this baby? We were going to have to be married & share a room so the baby could have his own room.
These are the things you give of yourself for your children, your space & your stuff.
So I gave Adam the task of going through his clothes, some of which he had since high school. He wasn't sure what he should get rid of. That was easy for me, most of it. But if he needed help, I suggested the 1 year rule. Anything you've not worn in a year, donate it if it's in good shape & toss if it isn't.
Please note, as a woman I don't follow that rule. I'm still clutching my favorite pair of American Eagle jeans because one day I won't be pregnant anymore & I may fit my ass in them. I haven't worn them in 2 years & have lost hope that I ever will, but what if I hit the lotto, get tons of plastic surgery, & need a pair of jeans that actually make it looks like I have a butt? so see, I can't toss those. But Adam? He should just toss everything. And, to his credit, he did a really good job.
Of course I'm sure you're asking, really, how bad could it have been? Really bad. And I took pictures to share with you our epic battle of the junk room.
The plan was actually simple. Clear out room. Move large dresser into Jule's room since it matches his crib perfectly. Move smaller dresser that matched the new crib & changing table, paint room, put together crib, & sort through clothes. Doesn't sound hard. I know it doesn't.
First, we had a crib. Had it for months at my parents house because my mom insisted I get it back in like November. We finally allowed it into our house around Easter. It sat there for a few weeks like this...
I'd hoped it being in our way downstairs would hurry us up. It didn't.
Here is the room that we were trying to turn into a baby room.
Bad isn't it? Now, that was once Adam start going through things & it was a work in progress, but really I won't lie, it looked like that for some time. Or at least as equally bad in some form or fashion, just all the clothes weren't out in the way. And I wondered why we could never find things.
On top of having a crib, we have plenty of other stuff. For example, the cow bedding...
Part of me thought it was girly. But I didn't give a fuck, I love me some cows. I've bee preparing for a cow room for like my entire life. See?
Fully stocked on cow items.
I was also fully stocked on matching outfits for the boys. That's the great thing about being a breeder with kids close in age, you can dress them alike!
My sons will one day hate me, that's just an example of the many matching things they have. Of course the new baby will hate me no matter what, because his clothes consist of mainly manly outfits like this...
I think most of the clothes for this baby make him look like he should be on a ship somewhere. He has many items just like this, so again, my sons will hate me. I'm just sad things like this didn't come in Jule's size.
Of course, as I was taking this picture I encountered another "WTF?!" about my house. I looked up & saw this in the closet...
I guess they made that room with a popcorn ceiling & used a machine gun to apply it. I love that it's not only on the ceiling, but the wall. And even the lighting fixture. Really, my house was flipped by jackasses. Oh, & a 90 year old man. One of the guys who did this house knows my Aunt & she bragged a while back that this guy had his 90 year old father come stay for a week here & there & he was the one who actually did most of the work for our house. What a way to treat your 90 year old father. And it explains why I'm convinced our house is held together by caulk & nothing more. Even parts of our trim are attached to the wall with the stuff. It's impressive really.
Anyway, we had some fun finds in the junk room. Most of it junk really. We even found Adam's valentine to his grandma from when he was like 5...
Yes, I saw that picture before I got pregnant. Before we even got married even. I think he's turned into an upgrade since that picture, but it doesn't say much for his choice in women that he wanted his grandma to be his valentine, does it?
Eventually we moved stuff out. To where, I don't know. I don't care either. I refuse to make putting things in places my job, it's Adam's. So it'll be my own fault when I can't find any of my stuff I'm sure. But we finally put together the crib, which I actually forgot what it was suppose to look like...
Of course, my fancy crib is just fancy enough to not let you see my crib skirt we paid extra for. And I had to turn the bumpers around because I couldn't see the cows because of how the crib was made. So now my baby will have cows staring at him. What a comfort.
Here you can see my fancy hand made curtian...
And when I say hand made, I mean I paid $25 at Target for it, then cut it in half because it was too long. But I cut it & used magical heat tape on the end of it. Be impressed by my handy work.
And of course, we have cows...
Ignore the stoned looking cow hamper. It was a cow, therefore it matched. I can't help it smokes pot.
Of course the best part of the room is that this kid has the best view in the house...
The house across the street! Ignore the dirty window. I'm pregnant & busy. Our kid will get to see all the action. I'm jealous he has our official peaking window. And it's awesome, because this is the window you can crack just a bit & hear all the commands the cops are yelling out as they arrest someone. A few weeks ago they threatened to drag someone out & pepper spray them! I tell you, it's awesome.
I also had to show off my handy craft skills by creating name letters for the babys wall. Because all babies are suppose to have that. Why? I don't know. It's in the rule book though.
Of course I just found this hysterical. Not sure why, but "its nar" randomly showing up with funny to me. It was late I'm sure & I'm pregnant, leave me alone.
Here is the finished product...
Oh, um, the baby has another new name. After Kidney-Gate 2009 I wasn't a fan of naming my child after someone who died at a young age in a tragic manner, so Heath had to go. So we went back to Joel, which I liked better all along. Kept Tristan. So Joel Tristan it is. Because, you know, you can't read the letters in the picture above.
Of course it can't be easy because I'm doing it. As I was using the hot glue gun to glue the ribbon on, I burned myself. And I took a picture, because I want people to pitty me. So please, pity me.
The cow just looks humored.
After this, I started to sort all the clothes I'd went through, washed, & neglected until they were as wrinkled as possible. Sort in my world is hard because I'm picky. I started out doing two piles. The first are clothes that cost more than they should & go on hangers....
The other pile of clothes that are for the house & go in drawers...
Now, this is confusing to Adam & he hates it. Of course I can't blame him, it's confusing as all hell but it's how I want it. For example....
You'd think the above are of 2 similar items. WRONG!!! The one on the right goes in the drawer. The one of the left gets hung up because it has a "Gymboree" tag in it, which means I paid too much for it. You'd think a onesie is a onesie, but you're wrong. And not only do you separate them by nice & not so nice, but by size. And then by length (short or long sleeves, for example). And if you disagree, don't tell Adam. Just go with my system here. Pretend that everyone is as control freak as I am about things like baby clothes.
As I go my piles expand. Like this...
This is the pile of crap that doesn't go in the new baby room. It included a paid of Jules shoes, some of his clothes, a book, a couple paint rollers, a hanger, & one of Adam's socks. I'm sure my son had a hand in that. Good news is that he puts things in the hampers. The bad news is that he puts EVERYTHING in hampers. Or the trash. Or in any container really.
I continue to sort & find this outfit my inlaws got for Jules when he was born...
He never wore it because it reminded me of a Chucky doll. Seriously, who wants to dress their kid like Chucky? Maybe because he came from my womb they just assumed he'd be evil, I don't know.
But you know what I hate more than Chucky outfits? Baby socks. Seriously, they are awful. Anyone who says they are cute & adorable either don't have kids or have something wrong with them. Baby socks are little, go missing easy, & go everywhere. When you wash & dry them, you open your dryer & like 10 pair shoot out at you. And somehow, they multiply. I swear, I started with 5 pairs of socks & when I turned my head it turned into 100 pair...
And because I'm easily distracted, I took this picture. Can you find the two Ollies?!
Of course, eventually, it was all done. For the most part. The clothes are up, the room is painted, & we have a bunch of crap as decoration. Look at what a good job I did...
Please note that I hung the letters all by myself. I think it was the first time in my life I ever used a hammer & nails. Then I threw up some fancy peel & stick dots. They are suppose to be removable, but they lie. Good thing I like them. The dots also went on the other wall....
Ignore the crap on the changing table, babies love hammers, nails, etc. Those will go in their real place. Eventually. Maybe. Hopefully. And if not, when the kid is like 8 I can make him take them to the basement. And if he gives me any lip about it? I'll just do to him what I did to OJ the kitten...
Seriously though I thought this was cute, he was playing with me or something. When I took this picture, I thought he was under the crib playing & could come & go. About 15 minutes later I realized he had been trapped for like 2 hours. I guess after I put the letters up I moved the crib pack in place, he was under it & I trapped him. He couldn't get out until Adam came & moved the crib. So he wasn't playing, he was begging for his freedom. Oops.
So yeah, there is our fancy room. I have no idea where all the stuff from the room went, I have to share a closet with my husband (very weird, let me tell you), & I still have a blister on my finger from that damn hot glue gun. Funny that someone who is going to go through natural childbirth at any moment is bitching about a blister on their finger, don't you think?
I'm now 38 weeks pregnant, btw. So between today & 4 weeks from now, I'll have another baby. Isn't it scary to think about? Ok, maybe that's just me. At least now we have a place to lay the baby where he won't get stomped on by cats, toddlers, etc. I just have to remember to get that hammer out of the crib first...of course I have no idea where I lost the scissors in that room. Now it's scary to think about, isn't it?
Obviously I found scarier things did indeed exist in this world.
Joel is loved. He may have never been able to physically know it after his birth, but he was loved. He always will be. I may not believe in a god, but I do believe that while Jules doesn't have a little brother he can play with & grow up with, he does have a guardian angel out there somewhere. We all do.
So...think of us on October 15th. Us meaning Adam & myself, along with other parents who will have a hard day on the 15th. While it's nothing directed related to him like his birthday, it's still his day, the day for all of our children who didn't survive in this world. And I'd appreciate anyone who took the time to even think about us all for a moment on that day. And if you have kids, give them an extra hug for the ones we can't give our son.