Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Is it possible to be too optimistic?

Some days remain better than others.  I cry every.single.day, whether in 30 second bursts, a quick sob, or an all-out, fall to my knees tantrum.  I'm beginning to think I always will, because he'll always be in my heart.

It's hard to go through each day, knowing this is what has become of my life. This is not what I wanted. This is not what was supposed to happen. I'm supposed to be a mum with a little boy, carrying on obliviously in my day-to-day life. But I'm not.

So I have measures to cope with this stuff, so I don't find myself depressed. Because I easily could. I've heard so many people tell me (those WITH children), that they couldn't do what I've done (picked myself up, dust myself off, and keep on living). I don't know what to tell them.  We BLMs have 2 choices:

1) live
2) die.

#2 isn't an option of me, thought I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought it would be easier. To know I'm going to live my life, be walking around with a gaping wound for the next 65 years... It's exhausting, unimaginable, and daunting... But it's not an option. I would never, and could never do that to my family, friends, and most of all my husband. He keeps me alive. I live for him, for us, and for our future babies.

My husband copes by not really talking about Jack. We do, but it's in quick bursts, and then the topic is changed as quickly as it came on.

My coping mechanism? Copious amounts of optimism. I believe know we will have more beautiful babies.  I'm convinced it will happen sooner rather than later (don't tell me it won't, I'm well aware it could not...), and we will keep our next baby and the ones which follow forever. We've paid our dues, we've squared up our bill with fate. The next ones are ours to keep. Did I mention the forever part?

Part of this optimism, which is what I worry is stupid, is that I keep planning for these future McBabes. And not just in my mind....

All through my pregnancy with Jack, I kept an eye out for the perfect child-sized chair for his nursery. I wanted somewhere to take his photos on a monthly basis to show his growth from month-to-month. I wanted something which would eventually be a cozy spot for him to settle into and "read". It needed to be small because his nursery is small. Also, small=cute. 

I failed to find one to buy while I was pregnant, and actually forgot about it until last week or the week before (it all blurs) when I found the perfect child-sized arm chair, complete with matching ottoman at HomeSense. It is light blue with off-white/cream giraffe prints (matches our nursery to a T!) . This is the fabric:

Stretch Blue Taupe

So, what did I do?

I bought it. I brought it home with me, and put it into Jack's nursery. I confessed to my husband what I did and showed it to him as soon as he got home. I fully expected him to roll his eyes and tell me we have enough baby stuff (because we do). Instead he smiled, told me it was adorable, and hugged me while we looked at the nursery, stuff to the walls with baby stuff... Hopeful.

He did tell me I should probably wait on buying more baby clothes.

Great advice... Advice I had planned to heed until while out with a friend yesterday we stumbled into a Gap Factory store. 

And I left with 2 co-ordinating baby onesies. One blue. One pink. "If you think I'm cute, you should see my mom" on the pink, "If you think I'm cute, you should see my dad" reads the blue one. Good, now we're set whether we have a boy or a girl.  

I'd show you a photo, but I'd have to find my digital camera, which is a task for another day.

I couldn't help myself, I think a part of my being able to prepare for future kiddos is buying things in anticipation of them. Before you assume I've lose my mind since losing Jack, I feel you should know I did this long before I was pregnant with Jack, basically ever since my husband and I were engaged to be married.

To summarize, I'm crazy, and possibly way too optimistic. I'm aware this stuff could come back to bite me if we have problems achieving and maintaining a pregnancy (something we've never faced ourselves). But you know what? I have a whole nursery full of reminders of what has been and is no longer... The result of waiting until he was a sure thing... At this point, I need a little optimism to get me through the day.


Kelly said...

I can't tell you how many times I've almost bought an Easter onesie just because it was something I wanted to do for Adam, and I can't. I'm still not totally convinced that I won't. That probably makes me nuts. But since you know you're gonna have more kiddos (not sure if we are), you are not crazy. :) I LOVE the pattern on the chair. I probably would have gotten it too!

Molly said...

Good for you--You are such an inspiration! I am so glad you are optimistic! Being a worrier and a pessimist, I think it is wonderful that you still have that! I'm sure those around me would love for you to send some my way. Haha!

And you are not crazy for buying stuff. I am a pessimist and still buy stuff! :)

Kelly said...

P.S. I really admire you for donating Jack's liver. I was asked if I wanted to donate any of Adam's organs, and I couldn't. I remember telling the person that asked me that I wanted all of Adam with me. That's probably selfish, but that's how I felt then. I hate when people tell me I'm strong and courageous because well, I HAVE to be, but that really was a brave and generous thing of you to do. ((hugs))

LauraJane said...

Thanks ladies,

I'm glad you are both like-minded and don't judge me for doing this stuff... :)

@ Kelly re: liver donation. It was my husband's suggestion. We have talked about it before, however the context of the discussion obviously involved ourselves and not our baby. As soon as he asked our neonatologist about it, it became what we had to do. Initially they said no, because of his size, and the fact the specific strain of meningitis hadn't been confirmed so they weren't sure whether it would be contagious... My husband literally begged the neonatologist to find a baby who needed any/all of the allowable organs. Finally they cleared the infection and the process of confirming Jack was a donation candidate was confirmed.

That's not to say it wasn't hard, and I think about it every day. I worry about my poor baby getting cut open to retrieve the liver, knowing it is a HUGE incision across his beautiful belly... It really upsets me to think about it. Even the tests they have to do to declare your child brain dead, it's all horrific and we saw our neonatologist cry several times throughout our stay there, even after he confirmed Jack would be a donor because of his brain death...

I understand the need to want all of your baby with you. I truly do. It's not wrong at all. It's just all-around the worst thing I've ever had to deal with in my life. You know that, you did it too. I'm so sorry we're all connected by this horrible common thread. ((hugs)) right back at you. :)

My New Normal said...

I think optimistic is good.

Kelly said...

Yes, Adam had an autopsy. A mandatory autopsy (stay tuned for that post in my blog). I stupidly read about autopsies after he had his done, and I wish I hadn't. Completely horrific, and it just makes me sick. I hear ya 100%.

B. Wilson said...


I love this post. I just finished a post and actually deleted the Live or Die part of mine... though I wrote about the same thoughts. We have no choice. But dammit, life must go forward and we have to deal.

And that piece about squaring away our payment with fate, you bet! I sure hope that's all over-- of course then I have in the back of my mind all these other BLMs who have countless miscarriages paired with their newborn losses. Hate that reality very much but feel we deserve it.

Sherri said...

I love the optimism, and the fabric on the chair!! I'm praying for another 'McBabe' for you in the future!

Becky said...

I am new to your blog and really like this post. I hate hearing people say they don't know how I do it and that they just wouldn't be able to go on if they lost their children. You said it so well, live or die! Really what do people expect us to say or do?
I am glad you are being so optimistic. I am having a hard time with that since I tried to be so optimistic through my whole pregnancy even though my son had a severe case of spina bifida and I underwent fetal surgery to help him and he ended up dying just after.
I was buying tons of stuff as soon as I found out I was pregnant and even though Liam has died I bought more stuff to finish his nursery and really want to buy out the rest of my registry. My next baby can use that stuff, that's being optimistic I guess

New Year Mum said...

You write so beautifully... and you're right - we only have one option and copious amounts of optimism is a beautiful way to cope. The chair you bought sounds gorgeous and so lovely for his nursery xoxo

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