Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why I need a house keeper.

People say stay at home mom's don't need a house keeper. Part of my "job" is to cook, clean, & do laundry. I disagree with that. I keep the kids alive & happy, that's my job.

My word as to why I can't do it myself not good enough for you?

How about pictures?!

Laundry fail.

Photobucket

What's that, you're asking? Dental floss.

As a mom, Jules was playing with dental floss. I floss, sue me. Anyway, to keep him from doing who knows what with the floss or wasting it (seriously, I floss), I put it in my pocket.

Then, as a mom still, I was holding Blair. Then he peed on me. A penis, if not correctly placed in a diaper, will pee where it wants. Today, it wanted to pee on my pants. OK.

So I changed pants. Then, later, I did laundry. But I didn't remember my floss.

Which leads us to...well, this.

Photobucket

My floss container is almost empty. It was brand new. So that tells you how much I had to cut free in order to dry the clothes. Damn me for flossing.

So fuck all of you people who think I should be cooking, cleaning, & keeping the kids alive all day. I can only multitask so much. Facebook & the kids keep me too busy to worry about that other shit. I'm getting a house keeper who does laundry & dishes.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Some answers.

Hi, everyone!

Thanks for the questions/comments. I will be getting to work on the longer ones soon, but I figured I'd share some stuff now, just because.

From Missy..."I l like to make up words? Got any doozies?"

Hi, Missy! I don't have time to make up words, but I constantly try to make up new ways to through out the word "fuck. Does that count? I have taken calling multiple penises "peni," though how often do you talk about multiple peni? Not since like college at least, right? Right.

From Michelle..."I'd like to read about your life prior to being married & having children, such as where all you have worked. I'm a SAHM and think it's interesting to find out what other SAHMs used to do before they had children."

Hi, Michelle! Before I was married & had kids, I drank alot. There was more to me once before, & I'll be sharing that in a upcoming long blog. Yay! I love talking about me.


From Megan..."I want to know what is going on with your family now. Is everything back to being good or is it still weird and how did it all start and all of that. And what is the deal with your in laws? I'm nosy. And I hope you feel less worried soon."

Hi Megan! Now I'm worried I spelled your name wrong since I already closed the comment window. Yell at me if you have another a, e, or an i in there. Or like a q or something. Never know anymore how names are spelled.

But back to your question...my parents, they are weird. They've gone back into "things are cool" mode. I've gone into survival. Keep peace, be civil, but limit interactions as much as possible & get the hell out of town in the next few years. That's the only way to make anything better. I avoid the drama, I refuse to be a part of it, I did nothing wrong. And even though I'm civil, I'll never forgive them for letting me lay in the hospital, post surgery, Blair in the nursery have breathing problems, me crying on the phone to my dad & him not coming to the hospital. They think they love me, maybe they "love" me, but at the end of the day it's never going to be a genuine relationship. Of course things are also weird with my extended family now, they've all decided that I'm the one who causes drama & apparently stalk me online to try to figure out what I mean by this or that, like on facebook, & then gossip about it. I don't feel like I really have anyone to depend on. That sucks, you know? But we'll be fine. We (the husband & I) get shit done & take care of ourselves & our kids. Be nice to have a safety net, have someone you know you can call & get help from or be there for you, but when Blair was born it proved they weren't. In a way I'm happy it happened, all drama aside, because at least now I know for sure. I can't say it's in my head that they treat me like this or act like this. Kinda makes me feel...right.

As far as the inlaws...oh my. The short version is that they never seemed to like me. Once we were engaged, it was over. I can go into story after story, but it's pointless, so trust me here. Things continued to be bad when we were married & after I had Jules. Very weird, very bad, very awkward. The husband always thought it could work out, but I knew better. After I got pregnant with Joel, they were awful. Didn't want to talk about the pregnancy, & when Adam finally blurted that out his dad told him he didn't consider our kids family anyway, which really pissed Adam off. He & his mom went back & forth in emails for a few weeks, but it just got worse. It turned into, basically, telling Adam I'm an awful shrew & he should get me in line. He communicated with his dad from time to time, his dad never asking anything about the pregnancy, even when I was due or what he was. It wasn't until the night we found out Joel died, I told him to call his parents. They jumped back into "everythings cool" mode. Things weren't cool. A final blow up was between Adam & his sister, finally with him hanging up on her after she complained that at Joel's funeral I wasn't social & welcoming enough to his family. They were told never to contact us again. They still attempt, like they had UPS deliver a package to Adam's WORK for Jules birthday. Sent that back. Oh, he also had an uncle who emailed us, making fun of Joel's funeral & blaming me for his death. His extended family hasn't made contact, minus one Aunt who implied he should just let it all go for the sake of family. She also had already forgot when Joel was born...just over a year after it happened, she couldn't even guess what May 28th was. Cold day in hell before I ever see them again, or let my kids around them. I don't even know if they know Blair exist. And that's fine.

If you'd like to read the loooong version, here are some links!
A blog about when I found out that while I was in labor with Joel, shit was being talked.
The night the final fight went down.
A post about the great email making fun of our dead baby.
A fun one! I burned a book. :D

And the husband wrote about it, too.
Here is a long winded version of issues with his family.
And here is a post you can actually read the lovely email from his uncle.

From Tara..."What is one of your favorite childhood memories? Tell us a list of your favorites, color, smell, activity, food.. Tell us a list of your dislikes."

Damn Tara, you're nosey! :b Oh, hi, btw. This is depressing, but I have no favorite childhood memories. Seriously. I've sat here for 10 minutes, trying to come up with something. But really, are you surprised? If I ever do think of one, I'll share it. I like the color pink. I like anything that smells clean. Living with kids & pets, it's not a smell I get to enjoy as much as I did before kids & pets. My favorite activity is sitting on my ass. I also enjoy laying down. I enjoy most things with my kids, minus shopping. I enjoy having sex with my husband. I also enjoy writing. It's something I can do while sitting. I also love shopping at Target. My favorite food is No Rules Pasta from Outback. I'm a big fan of chicken. And cheese. And bacon. Put those things today & I'm in heaven. I also like potatoes. I dislike more things than I could ever list, but I'll share a few...ranch dressing, mayo, people who are assholes to their pets or kids, cheating, lying, smoking, camo tarps, crack houses, & all of my ex's.

From Elizabeth..."I'd love to get some tips on becoming a Crazy Cat Lady, and since I believe you said that you have 318476513543 cats in your home I'm hoping you can help me out."

OH YES I CAN ELIZABETH! I can't believe I never thought about a cat blog. I HAVE SO MANY! I'll be blogging about them soon! WITH PICTURES!

From Nichole...I wanna know about your crazy ass neighbor! Just started reading ur blog and love it:)

Thanks & welcome! I feel famous, which is lame of me. Anyway, she's a fucking nut. There is the camo tarp post that you can check out, if you haven't. She's been pretty quiet lately. Minus a couple weeks ago she came home at like 2am & started yelling at my dog, Murphy. Which was odd...because Murphy was in the house asleep on the couch until she started yelling, "shut up Murphy!" Then she went outside & barked. She's got a new man from what we can tell, so hopefully getting laid is cheering her up a big. But there is ALWAYS spring time...

From Michy..."I, for one, would welcome stories about your cats, because I love kitties. (I'd better, we have 14!) Oh, and include pictures! Umm, do you like nail polish? What is your favorite dessert?"

Hi! It's not often I find someone as fucked up as I am. You have 14?! I mean, we have had that many at one point. I think the highest number we had was earlier this year at 16. As I said, I'll totally make a cat post soon. I do like nail polish, but I also like ripping my nails off. I've been chewing my nails off for so many years, it doesn't even hurt anymore. It's really embarrassing, but apparently not enough to make me stop. And my favorite dessert is any. I'm chubby, I don't turn down much. Besides exercise.

From Becky..."Yay, I get to contribute. I just realized I hadn't read your blog in a while, although your Facebook comments make my day. I second the post about the before you were a SAHM. I love when other bloggers post a whole section on their "how I got together with my man" story. It's cute to hear how people remember falling in love and starting their lives together. Plus, then you get to bash all the stupid things your mate used to do."

Yay, you enjoy my facebook? I really do try to update with things I think people would enjoy. Of course I also post things just because. I'm weird like that. Anyway, along with the "before I was a SAHM" post, I'll add the husband stuff in there. I'll tell you about how I stole him from some other girl & all about the hilarious email he sent me while he was dating both of us & wanted to CONTINUE to date both of us. Hilarity, it will ensue.

And finally...

Angie says this..."Hey, I'm suuuuper new, in fact this is only the second post I've read. Since it's been two months since our son died, my husband and I are hoping to completely sleep through the holidays this year. No tree, no lights, no presents, no nothin. Although we will be decorating Aiden's grave site with a tree. And my husband had the sweet idea to write out wishes/dreams/hopes and wrap each one for Aiden. I want to know how you and your husband survived your first holiday season after your baby died."

Hi, Angie. I'm sorry you're hear, I'm sorry about Aiden. I think your idea is beautiful. I would try to hold onto any sense of normal for the holidays that you can that you enjoy. Easier said than done, I know, because you rather just lay in bed & die. Even though you feel like your life has ended, it hasn't, & don't feel guilty for it. Something else, in my experience, that is easier said than done. You'll never be the same, but don't totally shut things out. It was different for us, since you didn't mention any other kids in your comment, because we had the other little boy. We did Christmas for him. We were also still riding out the shock from Joel's death & the shock of getting pregnant again after my husband had a vasectomy reversal (in case you didn't know, my husband was fixed about 4 weeks before Joel died, then got un-fixed a few months later so we could try for another). So we had stuff to distract us. But it still sucked. We got Joel an ornament. Nothing dead baby related, but just a boy's first Christmas ornament. I just wanted one that was, well, normal. I didn't want it to be something that reminded me he died, I wanted to focus on him existing & what life he did experience. We also did Angel Tree gifts. Salvation Army has trees with kids who are needy that you can buy for. We always do it, but I'd always tried to pick an older kid. That first Christmas, I picked kids who would have been the age of Joel at the time. Made me feel better to buy for some kid who would enjoy things Joel would have enjoyed. As for getting through the holiday itself, it sucked. I mean, sure, we were happy to have our living kids but it still sucked. And we still felt like crap & like something was missing. And we both wondered what we would have been doing if Joel hadn't died. The first year was the hardest, every holiday you were missing "baby's first." I wish I could tell you something magical to make you feel better or some way to make it suck less, but I don't think it exist. You'll get through it because you have to.

Thanks for the brainstorming, peeps. Now I have to go try to take pictures of 12 cats. This should be fun.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Give me topics.

Stillbirth. Stillborn.

Say those words, or just one of them, several times. In your head if you wish, it's an odd thing to start chanting.

As I look through things, trying to look at stillborn topics, it's dawned on me that it's the most insane word. Who came up with it?

Anyway. That really isn't the point of this post, just my random thought of the night. Well, it can be, it's up to you peeps.

I've hit a writing wall, a blah if you will. But I'd like to write something. Something uplifting, or something depressing. Your choice.

So this is the submission post. Leave a comment with what you'd like to read about. My husband, my marriage, my family, my kids, my dead baby, baby deaths or things surrounding them, my political views, my cats, my crazy ass neighborhood, or anything you can think of is possible. Maybe you want just want to know my opinion on something, I'm mouthy so I'll give it. Shit, tell me something you'd like to see me try to cook & I'll give it a shot. I really have no shame, it's sad really.

I've noticed a few more readers following lately (AWESOME!), so I'd like to please them.

So, you, reader...what would you like to read about?

Give me your ideas. If they require a short post, it's fine. If it ends up being a long best, even better. I'll do a few if I get a few. I may combine them. Just whatever works. Leave your name, I'll give you a shout out! I'll pretend that's a cool thing to get.

Don't leave me hanging, peeps! You got questions & request, I've got nothing but time.

Comment now.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Iz have a sad.

I apologize in advance, this is going to be a rambling blog. I'm not sure where it's going, I'm not sure if I should warn you it'll be long or short. I'm not sure how depressed or desperate I may end up sounding in it. But I do know that, as much as I joke about it, I'm not jumping off a bridge anytime soon or anything, so no one panic! And though I'm blah, I'm not nearly as bad as this post may make it seems, so again, no one panic!

I'm sad.

Yeah, OK, no shit. I get a pass at that, right? I've been through alot.

But boy, am I sad.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with my life, my peeps, & everything in it. But the things that aren't good...boy, are they shitty. And they make me sad.

Now, I have a psychology degree. I have psychology syndrome...I read it, therefore I have it. I still remember a professor telling us, as we looked through our DSM, that "you'll think you have all of this...but you don't!" That was good enough for me to keep denying my crazy! So I always take those things with a grain of salt, like I know I'm sad & I worry alot, but that's normal. We're all sad. We all worry. I just had a baby, I'm hormonal. It happens.

But at what point is it a problem? At what point am I abnormal? The term normal is pretty subjective, but what exactly makes abnormal?

I'm sad. I make sure to make that word funny looking because just typing sad doesn't cut it. And, again, that's pretty damn normal from what I've been through.

I worry that my kids will get kidnapped. Like, not just a little worry like every parent has. I have complete stories in my head about how it'd go gone. I hate leaving my house for more than a few hours because I'm scared it will catch fire, I can see my pets dying in the fire, burning to death. Shit, I can't even wash laundry without checking everything well, just in case a cat is in it. I picture cats dying in my washer. I turn the oven on & I picture something being in there dying. Even when I check, I imagine opening it after it's pre-heated & finding something dead. I think about people breaking into my house & killing me in front of my kids or hurting them. I worry.

I know all of this is irrational. Really, I do. But shit, it scares me. Sometimes I worry until I get a headache. I worry until my chest hurts. I worry.

I'm sad. I'm sad over so much. I'm sad that my husbands family sucks. I'm sad about things with my own family. I'm sad that I'm not allowed to be sad. I'm sad that my son is dead. I'm sad that I feel like a failure at times & I'm not even sure why. I'm sad that I can't make everything work out how I want it to. I'm sad. I'm sad that I worry. Then I worry because I'm sad.

It's an evil cycle.

I convince myself that I should do this or that. Then, in the middle of it, I don't care anymore. I don't want to deal with it, I don't want to do any part of it. Depending on what it is, I get too worried to go through with it. Again, some of this is normal. But, again, how much is normal? And is this really me or am I convincing myself something is wrong because I know the signs of things more than random people off the street do? Or maybe I'm worse off than I even realize because despite my knowledge of things, have I ignored & avoided all the signs for so long that now it's so bad that I can't help but to see it all in front of me?

I've always had, uh, issues. I use to have an issue with numbers. I'd count every & any thing. If the count of, for example, words wasn't a number I liked I'd sit & restructure it to hit a number of words I liked. Not just my words...written words, other peoples words, lines in movies. There was really no limit. I've gotten better over the years, I don't do that anymore.

Now I just worry about my cats catching on fire or my kids having something terrible happen to them. How vivid or in detail are those thoughts? So vivid & detailed that it's disturbing to me, that I can see it happening. I make myself stop & go on with life, I can control it well like that. But is it normal to even think these things?

Basically, I've always been crazy. But when does crazy turn into crazy? And is this as good as it gets?

Sad thing (just sad, not sad) is that really I just fell like "well shit, I'm crazy, that makes sense, I'm going to quit everything & just accept that I'm a crazy person! Yay, crazy!"

I really just don't know what to do with myself. And I don't really care. I just don't want to have to do it. Does that make sense? I mean of course I want to take care of my family & spend time with them...but much past that? Nope, not at all. I feel like I'm lazy, that's all that rings in my head. I can't believe how lazy I am. I was always told I was a lazy kid. Seriously. I was a chubby kid who was too lazy to exercise. I got bad grades because I was too lazy to do homework. But I wasn't. I was so sad back then. I didn't give a fuck. I wanted my life to end at some points because things were just so bad. I don't even think like that now, but the lazy remains. But I wonder now, is the word lazy just a shitty label I was given? Maybe I should have received some sort of help back then. Maybe I'm ruined because I didn't. Maybe I would have been happier if I hadn't just been labeled lazy. Maybe I wouldn't be sitting here now, in shock of how lazy I continue to be when I'm not actually lazy but just depressed instead. Maybe I can't be helped. Even if I can, it's sad to think I've wasted 30 years of my life being sad.

I think Joel's death just gave me something to grasp onto for the sadness. Finally, I have a reason. Maybe because of that it continues to hit me as hard as the day we found out he died. I could say all of this impairs my daily functioning, but truthfully I've never functioned without something going on. I have no idea what it's like to not have some sort of impaired function, I've adapted to live with it. I hate to admit I'm too sad to function like I think I could if I wasn't. It's a shameful thing to admit almost. Of course I think that goes back to my fear of the lazy label. I don't want to say, "Hey honey, I want to drop out of school & never leave the house because I'm sad." Things like that are usually met with a pep talk & dismissed as me being tired or frustrated. Which they are, in part. But the big part is that I cannot convince myself I need to do it. Well, I know I need to do it. But I cannot gather the effort needed to do anything. And that, it seems, makes me lazy. And that shame & embarrassment comes back. It's bad enough knowing your parents think you're a failure and/or lazy, you don't want people you love to think the same. I feel bad enough about myself & things I've done or not done, I don't need people to join in.

I want to be OK more than anything. But, truth is...

I'm not.

Just admitting this makes me worry. And it freaks me out because now, even though I'm thinking it's time to do something about it, I figure if I decide not to people will stay on my ass about doing something to help myself. But I fear help isn't going to, well, help. And my insurance believes that only 20 appointments of help will be more than enough, so after that point guess whose got to foot the bill? And that just bring more sadness & worry.

I really don't know what I should do...what I should want. I'm not even sure what more I should say. Maybe I'm just lazy or worthless. Or maybe I'm crazy. Or maybe I'm beyond help. I just wish I knew for sure.

I'll be OK. I just have to figure out how to get there. And whatever I decide to do to get myself on the best track I can, hopefully people can accept & not judge. People including me.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Even more October Madness...what happens when babies die anyway?

So you're walking around, can't see your feet, your back hurts, & you're getting ready to go through endless pain to bring a human being in this world any day now after waiting 40 weeks. People tell you to think about cute baby toes & fingers, that'll get you through the pain. Besides, hours of pain is nothing compared to a lifetime with your baby!

But folks, someone has to draw a short straw. And in May 2009, I did just that.

What then you ask?

Simple! You get to do the exact same thing as the person across the hall who gets to take the living baby home.

That's right folks, you get to go through it all. Only you have now added this whole emotional "why me, I want to die" aspect.

With Jules I was in labor for 24 hours. Loads of fun. I figured an induction would be just as long this time around. I was wrong.

It was 26 hours, so longer.

I walked my pregnant, but not really pregnant anymore, ass to labor & delivery. Oh yeah, you read that right. I'm pregnant with a dead baby & I get to go through all of this in labor & delivery. I get the hospital issued gown. I get to answer questions about my pregnancy. But at least I don't have to answer questions about taking my baby home, right? They make a list of my belongings, just in case anything gets stolen. Yep, I'm there to deliver a dead baby & I may get robbed. Fabulous.

People ask you about autopsies. And funeral homes. People go over how your baby may or may not look. Let's just be graphic here...your baby may look perfect, like they are sleeping. Or they could end up looking deformed, they can have tears in their skin, they can also be peeling. Sorry for the graphic mental images, but when I found out Joel was dead I googled "what do stillborn babies look like" for answers. I was scared. I couldn't really find anything. So now, if someone googles it, maybe they can find this. Sorry if you're googling this.

Anyway, you get IV's. You get bloodwork. You get some people who ask if you'll try for another. Yes, seriously. You'll hopefully get drugs. Lots of drugs. You will get to push. You will feel everything, you will hear nothing. I went through 26 hours of hell, & really the fun is just starting. Though I do have to say my hospital was pretty hands off. Previously, I'd have to ask permission to go to the bathroom or deal with nurses wanting to check me all the time. This time though they pretty much let me be. And that was a good thing, because I didn't want to deal with any of that.

Know what happens next? You get sewed up. Oh yeah, you still get tears since you pushed out a baby. You can also get hemorrhoids. And your milk will come in. Because even though you baby dies inside of you, there is no switch flipped off in your head. Your body is ready to take care of a baby. As another dead baby mom without any living children once told me, for her, it was like she spent 9 months preparing to be a mother & then nothing. All these things you're ready to do, deal with, things you prepare for...it's gone.

After that, the grief parade will start. I'd tell you how that went, but I paid no attention. Why? Because I had chicken strips. Never, in any hospital stay, have I eaten the food. But on that day? Those chicken strips were awesome. And fries, can't forget the fries. They'd also sent me several packages of any type of sauce ever needed for chicken strips. It was really nice actually. I remember wondering if they called for a tray & told them I was a dead baby mom, it felt like they put extra effort into condiments & if I worked in a kitchen I'd feel the need to do that for someone. So, as people came in & held our dead baby, I nom'ed. I ate like I didn't have a care in the world. And really, compared to 48 hours before, I really didn't. The part of the physical pain & the worry was gone & over with. So I ate my chicken. It was one of the top 5 meals I've ever had in my life.

Eventually, they will want you to get out of bed. So I did. And I showered. And I sat on the floor of the shower crying for most of that. I can kinda see my feet at this point, being not pregnant allows that. Instead, the once pregnant stomach is left with stretch marks that itchy & is complete with a nice jello feeling if you touch it. Other times I didn't mind this, but there was a reward for that jiggle previously. This time, not so much.

Night fell. I did more of asking "why me?" We'd picked a funeral home, on the entire basis of it listing "infant services" in their ad in the yellow pages. We are in our 20's, you think we have a "favorite" funeral home or something?

Now here is where it gets weird for me. Because I know he's dead. Duh. I know our interaction is nothing for him. But it's all I've got. And the worse thing is knowing what will happen once he leaves our room. A morgue. An autopsy. I know that telling someone "go ahead & take him" is basically saying (excuse the bluntness here) "take him to the fridge until the doctor gets his scalpel ready." And I knew that meant never seeing him again. And one of the most painful things, even more painful than we were told he was dead, is the memory of him being wheeled out of that room the next morning.

After that, I sat in the bed. Hooked to IV's. Numb & wanting to leave. My mother in law & sister in law came in. Talked about old times, work, joked around...& there I sat. I stared & read the posted across the room by the sink, the poster I read no less than 1000 times before I went home. A hand washing poster. It was a hand, of course, & said something about "the five most common ways to spread infection." This was my special room, all baby stuff had been removed before I was there. So, instead, just several signs telling me how to wash my hands were up.If I didn't know how to wash my hands before, I totally do now.

Before I'm allowed to make my escape, I have to sign off on paperwork. One form talked about what I wanted to do with "the remains." That's some scary shit right there. You check the wrong box & nothing good can happen. So I made sure to clearly label & sign the right box, telling them to release him to the funeral home. The next batch of paperwork I get to sign, while Adam goes & runs us into some debt at the cashiers office (yes, they wanted paid THEN for things, walked in the hospital with no debt, left with a few thousand in debt), is the form that tells me how to take care of myself. I have to check off that I know & have been told this & that. I could skip the parts about infant care, thankfully. Though I did still have to sign something that said I knew not to hold anything heavier than my infant. Thaaanks.

I get dressed to leave. Oh, that's fun as well. Because, even though you have no baby, you just had a baby. So you still need maternity clothes. That's just salt in the wound, let me tell you. After that, I sat in a rocking chair while the husband carried things out to our car. We finally get to leave. And make the long drive home with an empty car. Minus sympathy flowers of course. No talking, there is nothing to say. Come home & take care of things, because nothing at home has stopped. Flowers to water, pets to feed, pools that needs chemicals dumped in. And I waddle around, trying to do my normal routine, because I need something normal in my life.

We ate pizza rolls, fruit, & veggies for dinner. The pizza rolls from our trip home. The fruit & veggies were from our grief food in the fridge. People caring for our cats & dog, some of the husbands co-workers, were nice enough to put stuff in our fridge while they cared for the pets. Of course, the irony here is that the same day we found out Joel was dead we'd been talking about grief food. Seriously. We were talking about sending something to our friend Dawn whose son had an accident. Adam mentioned he thought people sent food of sorts, I told him grief food was awful & I was not about to send our friend veggies.

I don't believe in karma, but I guess I should believe in jinxing myself.

Jules finally came home. He cried when I tried to get him to be around me. He'd always been a daddy's boy & being away had totally thrown him for a loop so he was whinny &, well, miserable in his own way. Then I cried, because it felt like the living son wanted nothing to do with me anymore. Sure, that was an irrational thought but so many other things that made no sense had already happened so why not just throw in rejection from the toddler, too? The rest of the night I watched Headline News. Over & over. Taking percocet after percocet. Curling up on my left side against the old purple quilt we have & some pillows, just staring through the TV in the darkened living room until just after 5am when Adam came up & asked me if I wanted to come to bed. I said sure, but only so he wouldn't worry I was going to keep taking percocet all night.

The next adventure would be planning a funeral a couple days later. Thankfully I managed to get out of bed for it. And find clothes, that weren't maternity, that fit. Adam, being an english teacher, made the poor guy at the funeral home re-write the obituary over & over for comas & semi-colons. We paid for a death certificate, which I was happy about because I had previously told Adam we may get nothing. I knew we didn't get a birth certificate. Some places didn't even do death certificates I found. So I figured we'd get at least that. Afterward we went driving. I'm not sure how or why we ended up driving around, but we did. And we got to sit behind a school bus since it was time for school to be out. We watched a little boy run out of his house, his mom follow behind him, as he raced down their sidewalk to the bus where his brother, who wasn't much older, came down. They walked arm in arm up to the house. There might as well have been a neon sign pointing at them & someone with a megaphone yelling, "since your baby died, your other son will never have this!" We then picked flowers out at the florist. And a $50 stuffed animal, just because. Fate worked out that to look at the funeral arrangement books, we had to sit in the new baby section of the shop. Yes, seriously. We were surrounded by "congrats!" balloons & baby items. I wanted to take one of those plastic floral card holders & jam it through my eye. Or both of them to at least blind me if it didn't kill me. Sitting there picking out flowers sucked more than picking out an urn. Seriously.

Later on in the grief, I got to pick up Joel's death certificate. That day made me regret I actually didn't stab myself in the eye at the florist.

First off, we didn't get a death certificate like I'd get if I fell over dead right now. It's a "fetal death certificate." Lovely. I looked at it in the car & then again at home. I couldn't stop staring at it in disappointment. Because you see, I'd hoped that at least in death, somewhere, he'd be recognized. But nah, that can't happen. There is a place the doctor signed his name, the doctor who claimed to have delivered the baby & got paid to deliver him, but he actually didn't. The exact thing he signs under states "I certify that on the date above at the location above, the fetus was born dead."

Something about "fetus born dead" bothers me. When I say "something" I actually mean everything.

Next up I noticed that I'm listed, Adam is listed, the hospital is listed, "unknown" is the cause of death, what funeral home he went to & that he was cremated is listed, the date is listed, the fact that he died during pregnancy & not during delivery or labor is listed, hell even the place he was cremated is listed.

See anything missing?

No name. He's just a nameless, dead fetus that was born on May 28th.

And that's all I got. I get no birth certificate. I know that's a hot button topic. I've seen that people fear giving a birth certificate when someone isn't actually alive crosses the lines of defining where life begins, & therefore turns into an abortion debate. I'm prochoice, I think anyone should have a choice.

My choice was to be pregnant & have a baby. My baby died, but I still had him. My feelings come down to the fact that I'm selfish & feel like I deserve a piece of paper that says I went through pregnancy & childbirth. Give me something & call it a fucking stillborn certificate, or even a delivery certificate. I don't really care. But as I talked about earlier, I still went through everything as if he was alive & I think I deserve something. I've seen the argument made that people don't get why it matters, it doesn't make the child come back to life or anything. No it doesn't bring him back & no it doesn't make anything better, but it's something. And when you've got little, you'll hold onto anything you can.

We spent the rest of the summer in denial. Doing what we could to keep busy. Doing things to our house. Going into even more debt for the husbands vasectomy reversal. And drinking. Because at a certain point, all you can do is keep going. And that's what we did. I've been asked how we did it, & it's really that simple. We had to.

We are now one year & 4, almost 5, months post dead baby. And really...it's gotten better. Still sucks. Still cry. But it's better. It continues to change my life & how we do everything. We had some family pictures today. After I found my clothes, helped Adam with his, & picked Jules & Blair's outfits out, I got to sit down & clean the tarnish off of Joel's contribution to the family pictures.

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Those are Thumbies. Expensive, real life set in silver imprints of Joel's hand & foot prints. I mean, I guess they could just be any random hand or foot print, we really wouldn't know, but I'd like to think a company isn't ripped us sad people off.

Of course, like I said, we'll hold onto anything we can.

And, for the rest of my life, I'll hold onto the thing I can't have. That's just how it works.

And that, my friends, is what happens when your baby dies. A part of you dies, too. But you'll be OK. Because you've got to be eventually.

Happy October 15th, peeps.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More October Madness: Helping someone with grief.

I've seen & heard it asked...different people, with different connections to dead baby parents. Someone has a friend. A person has a cousin. Dead baby disease, sadly, runs rampant. We're always adding new members to this club. Anyway, it's always been asked, "how can I help them?" or "how can I nudge them past this?"

It's easy really.

First, invent a time machine.

Kidding (but if you got one, send me a message). But really, it is easy.

Be there.

Oh yes, it's that easy. Just be there. Be you. But be you for them. Don't say or do what you think you'd want if you were in their shoes. Think of them. I'll explain more about that shortly.

You see, we live in a world where people want to fix things; say something to make a person feel better. We want to give advice. We want to fix it. I appreciate it, really, I do. But you can't. Unless you have that time machine I talked about before. So please don't try.

Here is a list of things that, for me, I did not appreciate:

Now is not the time to spread the word of your god.
Believe it or not, not everyone believes the same as you. I know, I know. Sit down, cry a little, regain your composure & come back to reading. Are you ready now? Good. Telling me that my baby was in the arms of Jesus doesn't help me. Fuck your greedy Jesus, I want my baby back. Telling me god has a plan for everything also doesn't help. Again, sit down, I don't believe in god personally. I think it's great if someone else has something to hold onto & believe in if they choose to, but I choose not to. Telling me that someone I think is a fairy tale has a plan doesn't help. Please, don't try to save me or change my mind. It will not be anymore well received than when the Mormons knock on my door. Which leads me to the next one...

Do not say or do shit to make yourself feel better.
Yeah, you feel bad. You want to make that feeling go away. So you decide it's a good idea to write me an essay with bible quotes &, uh, sections or whatever you call them that you feel backs up your theory. You aren't doing that for me, you're doing it for you. So you can feel like you've done something, so you can feel good that you've helped me. Well, you haven't. You're sleeping better at night, go you! Aren't you a special snowflake?! Me? I'm still crying. My parents wanted to bring us take out after Joel died. I didn't not want it. I don't want your pity food, I don't want to see you look at me like that. If I want to be alone, please respect that. You don't know what's best for me. Please try to remember that.

Do not look on the bright side.
There is no bright side in my world, especially right after Joel died. Don't smile at me & tell me how great I look. I look like someone who isn't brave enough to jump off a bridge. And don't tell me how I already have children, living children. I love my kids, including the dead one. And he'll never get to know it, never get to grow up & know it. My living children aren't Joel. Don't tell me at least I never got to know him. I kinda did. And honestly, it kills me that I didn't get to know him, even a little.

Do not ignore it.
Don't make my dead baby the elephant in the room. I had people who, even an hour after his funeral, try to avoid the topic. When someone else dies, are they ignored? If your mother dies, do you pretend she never existed? Your father? Your spouse? Of course not. Which brings us to my biggie...

Don't forget him.
I'm still hurt by people who forgot Joel's birthday. I'm sad for him. I'm sad for me. He happened. Don't pack him away & never speak of him again or acknowledge his life. Again, would you do that to anyone else in your life who died? No, it's never too soon to mention him or acknowledge his birthday or death. Just like it's never too late. Please don't forget him.

Don't try to nudge me back to who I was.
Hi there. I'm the new me. Hopefully you get use to me. I look like me, act like me alot, but I'm damaged goods. Some days I'll be sad for no real reason. Some times I'll just get emotional. Little things can trigger this, be understanding. Do not try to fix me. If you're unhappy with how I've dealt with things or how I'm not acting, you should go away. The person you knew & loved has had something happened that changed their lives, that forever changed them. I may be nothing like the person you once knew, or I could just have moments where I'm different. Either way, be understanding. Nothing, minus that time machine, will ever correct that. If you really feel like you can't deal with the new me & the fact that old me will never be back, please bow out of my life. It'll cause less pain than if you try to "fix" me.


Don't gossip about it. If you have questions, ask me.

Know that saying "good news travels fast"? Bullshit. Bad news travels more than anything you'll ever know. Suddenly, the 2nd grade teachers cousins wifes next door neighbor knows someones nanny who heard about what happened. If people mention it & you know, tell them my son died & leave it at that. If they want more info, suggest they ask me. Chances are, unless you heard it straight from me, the story isn't exactly 100% on the nose. And if you heard about it, mention it. Don't wait until I'm forced to bring it up in small talk. Then I'll feel like an idiot. And I'll wonder what you heard & if you're giving that look. The look of sadness & pity, mixed with awkwardness while trying to hide it with a smile.


Don't think I'm weird.

Unless you've been through exactly what I've been through, you don't have a right to think I'm weird. If I choose to blog about it, let me. If I choose to search my medical records every other week just to look for something, anything, let me. If I'm online on support groups or I'm not friends with other moms of dead babies, it's fine. If I have a picture of my baby, don't think it's odd. Do not decide what your comfort level is & expect me to stay within it. This goes back to my earlier thought of not thinking everyone would do as you think you'd do. First, you never know what you'd do in this situation. Sure, you think you know, but unless you are in it you will never be sure. I thought I knew, but I was wrong. Secondly, don't decide what's good for the goose is good for the gander (I really wanted to use that phrase for some weird reason). OK, fine, you wouldn't do what I'm doing. Good news, you have that choice! If your baby dies or has died, you can decide what's best for you. Don't pretend to know what will work best for me. If you think I'm an obsessed freak with emotional issues, unless I'm a danger to myself or someone else, is there really harm? Which leads me to the last one...

Do not be an asshole.
Seriously. If you have to stop & think, "should I..." then chances are the answer is no. Remember, you can always say or do something later. But once it's out there, you can't take it back. And everything said or done wrong stays with me...forever.

Up next, a special titled, "My baby has died, what next?!"

Monday, October 11, 2010

The missing days...days 9-11

Life has been busy. A baby shower with old friends, then a meet up with new friends. Then a Monday where I did nothing I was suppose to. Not bad really. Well, some minor drama, but nothing worth moaning & groaning about...at least not now.

Day 9 - a photo you took since your loss.

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I posted this online with the caption, "everyone wave at the crazy lady."

The real caption should have been, "Hi, my baby died 3 weeks ago & all anyone can fucking say to me is how they can't believe how well I"m getting around, which makes no sense since I didn't die, though I kinda wish I did, of course there is still time. Why the hell are we having a cook out? Whose fucking idea was this? Is my zoloft ready yet? Because I need it. Stop looking at me like that. How? You know...like THAT. Like you want to give me some pep talk, but aren't sure where to start. Trust me, you're right, you have no idea where to start. How about this...leave me the fuck alone & stop watching me like I'm a dancing bear. Yes, I just said fuck. Go fuck yourself if you don't like that, I'm damn near 30, married, have kids, & just had a funeral for one of them, I can fucking curse if I want to. Fuck off."

Sadly, there wasn't enough room for that caption.

Day 10 - a photo taken over 10 years ago of you and how it makes you feel seeing it now.

I'd like to do this, but sadly I don't have access to any of my past. Weird, huh? Not that it would give me some uplifting story, it may just make me want to jump off a bridge again.

Day 11 - a photo of you recently and how it makes you feel seeing it now.

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Blair was a hairy monkey with a heck of a nose. Thankfully, he grew into it. Despite the family bullshit, nothing that day was ruined. So take that people who try to ruin things. :b I also feel weird knowing what a hell of a year it'd been. It was 4 days after the one year mark of Joel's memorial service that The Blair was born. And for the first few weeks, I was waiting on him to die, too. Thankfully, I've gotten over that. And my scar healed quite nicely as well. :D That's something else, as not pro-csection I am, I don't regret that at all. I'm not going to become one of those people who tell people, "a healthy baby is all that matters, who cares how they get here?!" but I know for me, the c-section was a good decision. Of course, a c-section with a living baby following a normal birth with a dead baby, well, it's hard not to improve on that feeling of complete & utter misery.

I also feel like that cross placement in the picture is creepy.

Family pictures with Valarie Decker this week, woohoo! She made Blair look as cute as humanly possible in pictures, so I'm sure I'll come out looking like Hedi Klum. Right, Valarie?! Right!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day 8 of 30

Day 8 - a photo that makes you angry/sad.


This one, my friends, is easy.

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Still can't believe this happened to me. But I think that's pretty common.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Day 7 of 30

Day 7 - a photo that makes you happy.

This one...this was hard. Because I actually have many.

So, here are a few.

Pink elephant.

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No story, just like it.

I've made out with a dolphin.

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Dolphins are a bees knees.

So is Jules.

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I'm unsure how I remember Shannon's wedding.

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Because we were waaaaasted.

My BFF was the big winner at Price is Right!

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And then we lost her car. Or it was stolen. Who knows.

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We didn't.

My little guy.

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Despite my bad times, I have alot of happy in my life. And my peeps rule.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dead baby judgment .

Since October is dead baby month, I figure I'll do a few ultra depressing blogs that I've put off. Here is one of those.

A new interwebz friend mentioned that she'd delivered her baby early because of a bad diagnosis. Person shall remain nameless because, well, it's not my business to share with the world (even with you, peeps) if she doesn't want to. In telling me this, she mentioned that she didn't tell many people because basically alot of people judge their decision but she felt OK telling me.

I'll admit, at some point in my life I thought "how can someone do that, not even give the child a chance?"

Now? Not so much.

If I had known Joel's outcome, what would I have done? I would have carried him & hoped I was told wrong, that he'd be fine. I'd settle for him opening his eyes once, or taking a single breath. Basically, I'd take anything over what I got. Even when it'd been confirmed several times that he was dead, I still held out hope for life once he was born. We know that didn't happen.

So how can people do that, choose that? Even if you know your child will die, maybe die before birth or within hours of birth, why not give them a chance? Why not get what you can with your child? Because I sure as hell would want anything I could get.

I'm selfish. And I'm not brave.

Don't get your panties in a wad, if you carry to term I don't think you're selfish or chicken. But for me, I could never do anything but wait & see. And hope. Because I'm not brave enough to let go of any hope & maybe my child would suffer because of the decision that I didn't want to make.

Not a single one of us dead baby parents are selfish, & we're all brave. It's just different for everyone. I can't imagine choosing to induce early or abort. Just like I can't imagine knowing in advance my child will die & continuing the pregnancy, knowing how it ends. Just like I'm sure the people in those two groups can't imagine just finding out their baby is dead without any warning like we experienced.

People who go that route do not love their babies less than I love Joel or my other kids. They don't miss their kids differently. But I see message boards or websites just ripping people to shreds. The people who carry to term look down on the people who don't & I've even seen it said that those people don't love their children. The people who don't look at the people who carry to term like they are selfish assholes to put a baby though whatever pain may occur.

Who the hell am I to decide who is bad in this situation? Who am I to look at someone else & think that their child mattered less to them? If they opt for labor & delivery, is it easier for them? Do they experience some amazing, pain free labor? No matter what they opt for to end the pregnancy early, do we really think people don't cry or miss out what might have been?

The truth is that we're all dead baby parents. We were all cheated. And we're all damaged by it. No one deserves a medal for not ending a pregnancy early at the news of a bad diagnosis. We all deserve medals for surviving the death, no matter when or why it occurred. We all deserve to grieve. We all have enough judgment as it is...I'm sure people wonder why I got pregnant again or wonder what I did to cause my baby to die. We all have enough of that in our lives, we don't need to do it to each other.

So consider me a dead baby safe place. If your child died, by whatever means at whatever time, I'm sorry. You don't deserve it. And I'm sorry. I'm sorry you went through whatever you went through. We all have our stories, our painful looks back at the death of our children. Those flashes of memories, & wondering how the hell we made it through that awful experience.

There aren't alot of people who know what it's like to experience this type of death. There is no need to categorize people into groups. Be there for & watch out for all of us, despite how the death occurred. Pain is pain. Don't judge it.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My dead baby is in a cabin in the woods, who knew?

How's that for a subject?

Tonight Adam asked if I wanted to do a visualization he had to do in his grad class tonight. Golly gee, sure!

He props me up in some uncomfortable position with proper posture. Turns the lights out & makes me close my eyes.

Now, my first thought is that he's going to use this chance to grab my boob or something, so I'm on guard.

First I Have to do some stupid flex & relax various parts of my body. Finally, he tells me to imagine I'm walking on a road alone.

I would never walk, much less a road alone, but whatever. I picture myself on an open road like out in the dessert. I don't know why, but that seemed to make sense. In movies that's what you see. He then tells me a country road with a trail or path. Shit. Gotta imagine trees. I also wouldn't go into a forest, but oh well.

He told me to walk the path until I come to a clearing, where a house is. A random cabin pops up because there wasn't one at first. I felt like I was in a bad kids show at this point.

He tells me to go into the house.

Fuck no, I don't want to. I'm not going into a strangers house in the woods. But he makes me, after I nod "no" many times. So I do. I look around the house, he then tells me to take the stairs.

WHAT STAIRS?!

Jeesh. So I have to pop stairs into this house. I go up them. I'm on a landing, which I didn't imagine until he told me but whatever. He then tells me to open the door.

I figured it'd end there, so I was going to be a smart ass & tell him there was nothing behind the door because the damn stairs & door weren't suppose to be there. But, of course, he doesn't go that route. Nope, we can't do that.

"Walk into the room, look around...now, find something special to just you. Pick it up. Take it out of the room, down the stairs, out of the house, up the path, & back to the road."

As soon as I hear that I should find an object, I get tears in my eyes & feel like a fucking freak because I just imagined finding my dead baby, not dead fyi, because who does that?

Afterward, he ask me what my object was. I tell him "my dead baby" & he tells me he had the same thing. He also tells me how the professor said not to do this with students because it can be very emotionally upsetting.

SO HE TRIES IT ON ME?!

Jeesh. Have I said that yet? Jeesh.

So now I want to throw myself off a bridge. Good times, good times.

And after this, I realize I'm on day 3 of forgetting to pick up my zoloft refill. Yeah, I know that stuff last like 2 weeks before you get it out of your system, but on a night like tonight I feel the need to double dose. And when I remember this, I blurt out "oh man!" which reminds me of Swiper from Dora the Explorer & that's a whole separate issue I'm sure.

If you're asking yourself, "shouldn't she be over this by now?" you should promptly go fuck yourself.

It's October. You may know that it's the month of Halloween & whatever random days on observed in this month, but it's dead baby month around here. I have a interwebz peep whose son, Jack, died. Her blog is here. She posted an entry about 30 Questions for 30 Days. It's 30 questions for the month of October. I'm not dedicated enough, nor do I really have things that apply to all 30 questions, so I'm going to do a few of them. Since it's now the 3rd in my part of the world, we'll go with this one.

Day 3 - a television program that helped you either get through hard times or that moves you.

Are there wrong answers? Because I bet I'm the only person with this answer.

Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.

Hear me out here, please.

I was very pregnant with Joel when hislast Late Night aired. Being a hormonal pregnant woman, I cried. We often joked that Joel would come late & be born during the first night that Tonight Show with Conan premiered. Well, that didn't happen. Instead, he died. And at some point after he died (at this point I don't even remember if it was before or after Joel's service, though I'm thinking it was the Monday before, the same day we planned the service), it came on. And it gave us something to do, something to look forward to. And we laughed as Conan took his first audience on a tour, went in circles, & bought them all gifts at the Dollar Store. I'd post a clip, but NBC likes to pretend Conan's Tonight Show never existed. I remember nothing about that show besides the intro where he ran across the country to a Cheap Trick song (Surrender) & that tour & the "circle!" chant. It's also known as the only hour during that time I didn't think about throwing myself in front of a train. And I think that was the first hour since I found out Joel was dead that I didn't want to just, well, die.

So thanks, Conan, for giving me something to do but plan my own demise.

Oh, & since NBC hates Conan but I wanted to add a clip, I looked this one up. This was the one Conan said on his last late night that he'd want shown if he died & they could only show one clip.

Everyone watch & LOL alot because this was almost impossible to find (at least a decent copy was). Damn you NBC.

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