Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dead baby birthdays.

I'm a big party planner. It's rare I have an excuse to throw a party, but I do believe in going on out when I do have an excuse.

When Jules turned one, it looked like a prom at our house.


And he gorged on cake.


And I just add this picture, because I think it's adorable & makes me want to cry in my current mood.


Life, as he knew it, was fabulous.

About now I would have already had things in motion for Joel's birthday party.

There are lots of things like this...


They don't make a banner for what I need.


Not that's it's the first angry shitty day, but the first that's banner worthy.

I have a hard time wrapping my head about his "birthday." It's also listed as his day of death, but that's not really true. We knew he died on May 26th, he was born on May 28th. So actually, things shouldn't just say May 28th, they should say "May 28 2009-May 26, 2009" but I guess that would seem like a typo. Personally I feel like this entire event in my life is one huge typo, but we all know that.

Different people mark their childrens days differently. Some do nothing. Some throw a party complete with cake. Others, somewhere in the middle. Personally, I think all the options suck, as I'm sure they do. No one wants to have to pull something together to mark the day of a child dying.

Personally, I want to have some attention whore get together & sulk. I want to get a cake, just so I can write, "this blows" on it. Then, after the cake, I want to go burn down the perinatal office I blame for Joel not having a chance to live. Everyone acknowledges, in passing of course, that this has been sad & even hard. But I'm pass that this is sad & hard point. I'm at that point where I'm bitter, angry, & want everyone else to be bitter & angry with me as well. I think it's great that so many families can pull together & make some beautiful celebration in their childs memory. Me? I can't. The only thing I can pull out of the entire experience is, as I already said, bitterness & anger, on top of traumatic memories of the entire situation, not just him but the craziness we dealt with from people after the fact.

Though I gave an example above about what I'd consider a good way to celebrate, I really have no idea what I'm planning on doing, if anything, around his birthday. I don't want people to think it's odd that we're doing whatever. I'm sure some people think we should be over the entire event, due to the time passed or the fact that my Eggo is preggo again. I don't want people to look at me sad. I don't want people to have another excuse to say stupid things about how he's in the arms of Jesus where he should be. I don't want people to go on & on about Blair because they think that'll make us feel better. I don't want people to stop by with gifts for Blair since it'll be close to his due date. It was bad enough people bought Christmas gifts to Jules at Joel's funeral (yes, seriously, 6 months late & at a funeral), but I really don't want another Joel day turned into a day for whoever or whatever else.

Of course, worse yet, I don't want people to forget. Part of me wants to do nothing so I can bitch & moan when people, besides baby loss people of course, don't acknowledge the date at all. I'm selfish, so not only do I want him not forgotten, but I want people to say, "wow Jess, this time last year you were going through something awful emotionally, including 26 hours of labor only to go home with a baby blanket. I'm sorry your life sucked so much then." That sounds weird, but I'd actually appreciate those words & say, "Thanks, it HAS sucked!"

So I have no idea what I'm doing. If I'm doing anything. The clock, it's ticking & tocking, I need to make some decision & then make plans if needed. At 3am I come up with things I think will be nice, but by morning I realize it's just the ambien talking to me as I drift off into la la land.

I mean, what I want is really fucking simple.

I want opening gifts & happiness.


I want more opening gifts & to be confused, as I usually am anyway.


But I'm a big girl (and I'm not referring to my cup size for once), so I know things don't happen like you want or plan.

And as a really blunt way of ending this blog, I'd like to once again announce that I really cannot believe this has happened to us, that we've had to live through it, & that this is forever going to be a part of our lives. I can't believe I'm going to spend the rest of my life missing someone I never got the chance to know. Yeah, it sucks.

And my insurance battle is still going on, btw, if you'd like to participate. I just got a letter today telling me my insurance is frozen (meaning they will pay no current or new claims, & if I or an office calls about my coverage, we'll be told there currently is none) until I sent a statement promising them that I have no other insurance coverage. Fun. Oh, & even when I do that I'll still be subject to the audit they are having statewide in the summer where we'll have to provide about 25 sheets of paper proving we're all related & entitled to health coverage. It's dated a couple days after my rejection letter. Lovely, huh? Maybe that's another building I can talk about burning down on the 28th of May.


  1. I've seen bloggers who put on huge events for their baby's bdays and then others who've tranquilized themselves and stayed in bed. There's no right or wrong way to get thru the day. I didn't want to be around family or friends bc I didn't want to be disappointed or hurt if someone didn't come or said the wrong thing. Like you, I wanted it to be Ella's day and not about anyone else. Your heart will speak to you and you'll figure out something that feels right (as right as it can be).

    Would you be willing to share an example or some things you'd like stated in the letter. I'd love to write one, but like I said have a hard time composing anything these days.

  2. dorothygaleislostApril 21, 2010 at 8:52 AM

    Bree is right - just listen to your heart. Every year I have thought about doing something big - I end up doing something small - and then I hate myself for not doing "enough". There is no right or wrong answer. ((((HUGS))))

  3. option 1 - have you got a favorite movie that makes you cry every time? perhaps you could watch that every year. every kind of lost orphan type christmas one will do it for me every time. close the curtains and pull out the shitty day cake. option 2- outdoors springtime picnic, just the 3 of you or if you feel up to it, some family and friends. you'll know on the day if you want to be indoors or outdoors, if you want to be around people or just your immediate family or on your own. don't put any pressure on yourself to do anything. it sounds as though you are already coping with alot. i'm nearly at the three month marker and have absolutely how i will get through the one year anniversary and birthdays. best of luck and warm hugs, anne xxx

  4. I agree with everyone else Jess, there are no right or wrong answers. Just know that there are a lot of people who will be thinking about you. I agree that it sucks beyond words, and you *should* be celebrating the first year of Joel's life, not the tragic day that it ended up being. Thinking of you, sending you lots of love and good vibes.

  5. Do whatever you want and screw everyone else! If you want something big do big and if you want something small do small. We all know it isn't fair that they can't be here to celebrate their bdays.

  6. I won't echo everyone else, you already know what we all agree on.

    I like the idea that Anne gave, the three of you doing something simple. Nothing elaborate..cause I could only imagine that when it came to the point of doing'd probably just feel the need to be alone.

    Regardless of what you decide to do... we won't forget. We will all be thinking of your family on that day. We love you and your family, every single member(even your ass load of cats) and we support you.

  7. That ass load of cats comment always makes me laugh. :)

    Still not sure what we are doing. We're bad at this, which I think is pretty normal in this situation. My cousin's wife, the therapist, is coming over Wednesday, so I'll get her input. She's smart & has a heart & I trust her, so hopefully she'll have an idea or at least push me toward something.

  8. I came across your blog through Aunt Becky (LOVE) and am so happy to have found you. We are coming up on our "shitty day" 1 year anniversary on May 14th. Everything you wrote in this post is EXACTLY what I have been struggling with. I want everyone to remember and acknowledge but not necessarily be hanging out while i mope ALL. DAY. LONG. Thanks for sharing your story and journey through this whole thing.

  9. I just found your blog after trying to figure out how to care for abandoned kittens that were a day old, one died and the other is 8 days old and doing well. I was so shocked and sad to hear you lost a baby too:( My precious Eli was born 17 weeks premature to my 18 yr old daughter, and lived 12 weeks. It is a gut wrenching time and we weren't able to look at the pic's either at first but now I treasure them. On what would have been his first birthday the NICU nurses came over and we had a rememberence cake with butterflies, and alot of alcohol. We sat on the deck and exchanged gifts while enjoying the Gulf breeze, course then I cried for 2 days and stayed in bed. But, no matter what you should always do what you think is best and feels right for you and your family. We are now approaching another anniversary of the day he grew wings and I'm already stocking up the wine for that day. We will go out to the same spot on the beach and toss out the same roses we did a yr ago and laugh, cry and try to get up the next day. I appreciate you sharing your story <3



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