Sunday, September 25, 2011

International Bereaved Fathers Day

(Previously known as International Babylost Fathers Day...not sure why the name changed...I like the "Babylost" adjective personally because that is a descriptive term SO many of us use in this community...If any of you know why Carly changed the name, please explain. I'm just wondering is all. Regardless, I think it's a wonderful thing that she has made this an international holiday. xoxo)

Today, in remembrance of all the babylostfathers I know personally and all over the world, I share this photo taken by Carly Marie along with a poem. You are all such amazing fathers in the way you honor your precious babies through living your lives to make them proud, supporting your wives, and finding your way toward hope in a time of darkness. Please do remember that you need support too, that you deserve support, and that many people care about you and want to honor your baby's memory along with you.

It must be very difficult To be a man in grief. Since "men don't cry" and "men are strong" ... No tears can bring relief.

It must be very difficult To stand up to the test. And field calls and visitors So that she can get some rest.

They always ask if she's alright And what she's going through. But seldom take his hand and ask, "My friend, how are you?"

He hears her cry in the night And thinks his heart will break. And dries her tears and comforts her But "stays strong" for her sake.

It must be very difficult To start each day anew. And try to be so very brave- He lost his baby too.

"A Father’s Grief" By Eileen Knight Hagemeister

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Really, God? You let these women bring home healthy twins?

My anger is flaring up these days. I just want to say, w...t...f? Why were these two women able to birth and bring home (or, in one case, birth AT home...) two healthy twins only to cut their lives so short? Any time I say to myself that I must not be LUCKY enough or SPECIAL enough to be a mother to living twins, I'm going to remind myself of these stories...These women certainly are NOT special people. They certainly weren't "deserving" of twins, any more than I (or any of you) was UNdeserving. There's no deserving or not deserving, special or not special, it's just the toss of the dice, I guess. I've been thinking a lot about how loss is not evenly parceled out, and I will write more on that later. But articles like these, they get me to a whole new level of angry. You know what else they do? They affirm to me that there IS NO "PLAN". That THINGS DO NOT HAPPEN FOR A REASON! THERE IS NO REASON FOR THESE SAD EXCUSES OF HUMAN BEINGS TO HAVE HEALTHY TWINS WHILE SO MANY OF US WANTED OURS WITH EVERYTHING IN US AND WOULD HAVE BEEN CARING COMPETENT LOVING PARENTS TO THEM IF GIVEN THE CHANCE TO HAVE THEM BOTH HERE WITH US ON EARTH. WHAT COULD THE REASON BE TO JUSTIFY HAVING ANY OF THIS BE PART OF A PLAN? I need to stop before I say something that really pisses someone off. I think these articles speak for themselves, anyway. They speak to me, "This world is chaos. Complete and utter chaos."

Monday, September 19, 2011

Remembering Madison

I decided to share my remembrance images here as well as my FB, as I've realized many of you aren't on FB and won't see them. This is an image I edited for my friend Heather. I remember when we first met through the twin forums, discussing our pregnancies, our diets, our plans, what twin books we were reading, and all the anticipation, anxiety, joy, and excitement about what was to come. Neither of us at the time knew the unexpected turns both of us would be forced to navigate on our paths to becoming twin mamas. I am so glad that we stayed connected. Thinking of her precious Maddie today and hoping that Heather is surrounded by love and peace as she navigates this time of celebration and mourning. I just know that Jack, her survivor, feels twice the love from his amazing mama.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pink Bear, Blue Bear

Did that really just happen??? Did I REALLY just have to sit and listen to a woman talk about her boy girl twin pregnancy for over a half an hour? Oh, and did I mention that her boy girl twin pregnancy was SIXTEEN FREAKING YEARS AGO?!?!?! How is that even RELEVANT? The people around her weren't even asking her questions or prompting her or anything; she just kept flapping her jaw as if she couldn't stop or couldn't think of any other topic worth talking about.

Does the universe just HATE ME?!?!?!

I have very good reason to believe this woman knows very well about our loss. We know mutual people. That is all I’m going to say. And yet she sits at the same table I’m at, of all the tables in the room, and proceeds to gab to the people sitting with her about her pregnancy that happened almost two decades ago…!?!??!

Blah blah blah blah blah. Really?!?!

Did she just NOT know? And if she DIDN’T know, why does she feel the need to go ON AND ON about her pregnancy like she’s a freaking celebrity for a half an hour + ??? Is she OCTOMOM? Does she want an award?

And if she DID know about my loss…I just don’t even know what to say to finish that sentence. I am going to hold myself back, since I do not know who will be reading this. And in my mind I am going to tell myself that she really didn't know, because any other scenario makes my blood freaking BOIL. But omg.

I know this sounds incredibly narcissistic, but I can't help but feel The Universe is flipping me the bird yet again. Twisting the knife yet again. Saying, "Why don't you just go kill yourself already? Don't you know, I'm trying my best to egg you on? Why don't you just give UP already instead of taking my insults OVER AND OVER?!"

I had to leave the party after only an hour, because I feared a very public meltdown.

Did I mention that today had already been an incredibly difficult one for me? As in, BEFORE listening to this women flaunt her twin "superpowers"?

Just ask my husband.

He’s the one who found me sitting on the floor of the nursery, sobbing hysterically, rocking back and forth, clutching a pink teddy bear in one arm and a blue teddy bear in the other.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

He's been gone longer than he was here.

How the hell can it be that this little person who I think about the first thing when I wake up in the morning and the last thing before I lay my head down at night has been GONE longer than he was HERE? For weeks, it's been this way. But I haven't written about it. I still don't think I should, but here I am. I don't have much to say about it, but I can't post about anything else without at least documenting this simple fact. This very simple fact that my adult brain is struggling with so. I can't believe he's been gone that long. In the early weeks, the thought comforted me, that soon we would hit this milestone and something would lift somehow. Now that it's here, it's not comforting, it's excruciating. I don't want to be this far away from him. I want my son. I want him back. How could someone who is such a big part of who I am be gone longer than he was ever here? I'm beyond sad. I know I'm not saying anything new, but the 9 month mark has really taken its toll. I've reached new lows. It's like I feel the anger, but it's buried so deep it won't surface, it can't surface, so it just builds quietly behind my smiles. I'm a robot going through the motions with a subtle hope lingering that one day I will be glad that I kept going through the motions when all I want to do is literally give up. On everything. Nothing makes sense anymore, and I question every single decision I've ever made - not just during my pregnancy but my entire life. So that is where my mind is at - wondering who the hell I am, how I got here, and whether or not this is where I should be. Maybe I was meant to be living an entirely different life. Right now, I'd take it. In a heartbeat. I can't stand myself or this reality. And if there is no "plan", and thus no way I could be "meant" to be living a different life, well I want one anyway, because this is just too freaking painful and I am a shell of a person. And I am having trouble, what with how chaotic and scary and random life seems to be, with seeing anything that's not directly in front of my face, with seeing anything in terms of long term. What's the point in believing in anything? What's the point in having any goals? If we have no control anyway why even bother? If we could get hit by a bus tomorrow why the hell watch what we eat today? What's the point in ever doing anything good or moral or ethical? People drink and do drugs and pop out healthy full term babies so they can go on to beat them or neglect them, while countless others endure multiple losses of perfectly healthy babies that they loved and wanted with everything in them. I can't believe I didn't see the lack of balance and symmetry in the world, but now that it's in my face, in full view, I can never go back to feeling loved and safe and protected. I don't know if I will ever trust anyone ever again. I put my faith and trust in many different places - in God, in my family, in my husband, in myself, and in my doctors - and nobody could make sure I brought home my two perfect babies with me. It's the worst betrayal, to trust others with something as precious as your children, and to have them die. How the hell did this happen. How the hell did this happen. How the hell did this happen. I can't even bring myself to type question marks, that's how robotic I've become. I can't bring myself to sob and scream these questions, they just play on a permanent loop in my head in the background like horrible elevator music. So here I am. Typing, typing, typing. Going through the motions. Because they tell me one foot in front of the other, one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time, one second at a time. But I don't know if I can trust anybody anymore, so how do I know they are telling me the truth when they say it will be worth it to get through the days a second at a time? And even if I do survive this, who the hell will I be when I come out on the other side?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Facebook Post

So, I know I don't have to give any of you a reason to hate FB. You already do, right? What's there to like about logging in and reading about everyone's seemingly shiny happy perfect lives while we mourn our babies and wonder if we'll ever be "normal" or "okay" or even functional? Sounds like a blast, right?

Oh, but maybe what we can do is start posting about miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss! Then we'll be spreading awareness, right? Sounds like a plan. Except you get one or two "likes" from women who have lost babies themselves while the rest of the world posts what organic ingredients they used in their dinner that night or how excited they are about learning how to crochet a bikini so they can be "grandma-chic".


But I will be the first to say that I don't give a crap; I've already lost enough. I'll be jiggered if I have to delete my FB account too...I know in the grand scheme of things, having a FB page means next to nothing. Because for the most part, that's true. However, my FB experience has evolved over time, and I need it now more than ever before, and it means more to me now than it ever has. Part of that is because I am involved in two baby loss forums on FB, and I find it incredibly healing and therapeutic to post and read comments and help maintain these boards. I have met some of my closest friends (Hi if you're reading this!!!) through FB group pages like SOBBS and CLIMB.

And I DO like the awareness I can spread, even if only one person notices...To me, that's making a difference. Just today I posted this along with many of my FB BLM friends, "September 6th is Stillbirth Remembrance Day. Stillbirths tragically strike 1 out of every 115 pregnancies. In the USA, 26,000 babies are stillborn every year. That's approximately 71 precious babies every single day. Remembering all the babies lost to stillbirth today and everyday." It felt good to post that, to be bold and brave and talk about something so taboo.

I also have an Elias album on FB, where I post photos of gifts people have given to me in his remembrance and images with his name. I find this album to be very comforting when I am having a really bad day, and I love getting the message across to others that I not only want but NEED for my son to be acknowledged, that I need him to be remembered, and that I welcome them to speak his name and send me little things that remind them of him. I don't mourn him alone; I don't remember him alone. Anyone who sees that album gets the message loud and clear, and in a way that in and of itself is a way of spreading awareness.

I also honor my son by "paying it forward" to others when I can by making remembrance images in honor of their precious babies. I hope the images end up in their own remembrance folders on FB and that they may be inspired to make images for others and keep it going. I keep a calendar of remembrance dates and honor them by creating or editing an image; then I upload it to my BLM folder and tag the person. When I hit "publish", I feel I am spreading awareness, because those checking their newsfeed will see a pretty image created in memory of a stillborn baby and realize that this grief needs to be spoken and that healing takes time. I don't do the images by request; rather, it's something I do when I feel the inspiration hit and feel the desire to honor our babies and the friendships built through our losses. I always say that our friendships are planted from our common experience, but they grow to be about so much more than that.

Needless to say, I love my BLM FB friends, and if any of you ever want to connect with me there, let me know.

However, FB, you're really pissing me off lately with these "This day in 2010" posts. I mean for freaking real, why don't you just take a machete and thrust it through my broken heart and then twist it? My day to day life isn't already painful enough; let's PILE ON the agony by reliving all the hope I had a year ago and thinking about how STUPID I was to think I would actually come home with two precious babies.

Just so you all can wallow with me, I will share my post from a year ago. I wrote this post at a time when I was getting really frustrated with coworkers who kept telling me, "Just relax! Everything has been going so well; you have nothing to worry about!" because at times I would open up about my anxiety, which is to be EXPECTED from someone who has had a prior loss and someone who is carrying multiples!!! Friggin' idiots. So anyway, I posted this a year ago today to get my point across to people that when they would say things like "Stop worrying, things have been going so well!" all it did was make me feel like they were discounting how difficult the pregnancy had been for me thus far. And boy, I hope God wasn't saying "I'll SHOW those people a real pregnancy complication!" (I know God doesn't work that way, but oy...I get shivers reading these posts from last year..And then I just want to curl up in a ball and die...)

THIS YEAR IN 2010: "One of my good friends recently said I was doing a "great job" with my pregnancy... And you know what? I am. I’m sitting here taking stock of it all, realizing that we are only a few weeks away from the 3rd trimester. And we have come a long way. I know some acquaintances refer to my pregnancy as “uncomplicated”, but those of you who know me better know that we’ve been through the scare of “threatened miscarriage”, two ER visits due to bleeding, an ER visit due to suspected PPROM, severe morning sickness that wouldn’t respond to the strongest medication, trouble gaining weight (extremely scary when you’re carrying multiples and at increased risk already of preterm birth), and GERD that went undiagnosed for weeks. So you may say that’s uncomplicated; I say that I am proud of every week these babies stay put, and as we are only days away from viability, I am celebrating. : ) I really have so much to be grateful for. I thank God every single day for these two little miracles."

And it's true. I prayed my ASS off. Not because I necessarily expected God to "listen" and answer my very specific prayers that my babies would be born happy and healthy but because I truly was just so overwhelmed with love and gratitude to have them in my womb. I was so overcome with emotions - love and joy - at times that I would just sob, and my husband would say, "What's wrong?!" and I would say, "I just love them SO MUCH, and I want them to both be okay SO BAD, and I'm just SO LUCKY to have them, and I don't know what I've done to deserve such amazing blessings in my life!"

I hadn't yet learned that "blessings" aren't about deserving or not deserving, and that tragedies aren't about deserving or not deserving, either.


Just to add insult to injury, I read people's responses, mostly saying how PROUD they were of me (so apparently now I'm just a big disappointment), but this one killed me: Someone had the nerve to comment “You are doing wonderful, but remember having them is the easy part, feeding clothing and educating thru college at a State supported University in today’s $ is north of 250 k each. Xoxo.”

I couldn't MAKE this sh*t up if I tried.

My response? “There has been little that has been easy about this. I know we will have challenges and the expenses are going to be huge, but I will be so grateful to have them and that we made it through a rough pregnancy that I will not take them for granted! Even through all the future hurdles. It’s just changed my perspective on everything.”

I didn't need another LOSS to change my perspective or learn to not take things for granted; my lesson has already been clearly communicated, LOUD AND FREAKING CLEAR!

Again with the love hate...FB has served to remind me that I DID appreciate things, that I DIDN'T take a damn thing for granted, and I need to be kinder to myself for that...I was a good pregnant mama...And yet FB has reminded me that I was SO DUMB in thinking that I had already been through the worst of it, that nothing could possibly go wrong once we were past viability and better yet that 28 week mark.

I am not deleting my account. But oh, is it tempting.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Gothise? Should I go private?

When I check my stats, why are so many people reading my blog from a site called Gothise? If you are here from that site, could you tell me how you found my blog? Is there a link on that site to this blog, and if so, who is sharing it? I am not on Gothise, so I am really confused. Please if you have any insights share them here. I will make my blog private if I feel it is being shared inappropriately.