Monday, August 29, 2011

You Are My I Love You

I barely even knew him yet I already knew all of this to be true: 

Available (for free download 10x20) here.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My husband (on missing him).

My husband flicked through the photos saved on my MacBook, looking for video of one of his friends playing a terrible game of basketball. He clicked on picture after picture, searching for the photo from last summer as I played Angry Birds on my iPhone.

The clicking stopped, and I looked up, expecting to see my husband immersed in the video. Nope. Instead, he's entranced by photos of Jack. Photos of us as a family. Photos of Jack in his car seat. Jack in his arms, his eyes covered from the light.

My boys
"He always hated the light", he says, his eyes searching the screen for answers.

"I know. That's why I think he had it all along", I replied.

"They'll test for that, next time I mean?" he questions.

"Well, as I told you last week, there isn't a lot they can do... There really aren't any tests they can run.. It's all a snapshot in time, so there are no guarantees. The doctor told me I would be hard pressed to find any doctor who wouldn't run whatever test I asked of them, though...", I added.

"They need to test. This can't happen again" he tells me, matter-of-a-factly.

"I know"

"I just miss Jack. You know?", he asks.

"I know", I reply.

Ugh, I wish I could fix this for him, for us. For Jack.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

In another life...

We have always planned to leave Toronto. We are both the product of growing up in rural communities. The traffic, the squishy houses, the people of the city- they just aren't for us.  We bought our house in the burrows of Toronto in 2006. A year out of university (two for Scott), we just wanted somewhere to call our own. We wanted two bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen and a tiny yard. That's basically what we got.

We traded space and country roads and dark evening skies for the convenience of city living...

We bought our house with the intention of living here for 3-5 years, making some changes (and building some equity) and then move out to our dream home. I remember when we toured the house thinking maybe, just maybe, we could have one baby here, then we'd have to leave. We moved in as a couple of about 3 years, and will one day leave as a happily married couple with at least one baby, and hopefully another on the way... (Hopefully).

Over the five years we've lived here, we've replaced all of the electricity (we had knob and tube wiring throughout), we've dug out and finished our basement and added another bathroom. We tore out our 1950s kitchen (complete with gold-flecked countertops), and most recently I renovated our main bathroom. And yes, I do owe you photos of my bathroom renovation, but I'm awaiting the arrival of the shower curtain I ordered on Etsy before I show you the final shots... It's come though, hopefully. ;)

Our plan, once we found out our family would be expanding to accommodate baby Jack, was to stay put until the fall and then look to relocate out of Toronto. It would all suddenly be worth it- commuting would be worth it when we had a little man to come home to in the evenings. We would need more space for all his things and stuff. We wanted somewhere he could run around, and stretch his legs. Mostly we wanted to live near my parents so our daycare would be, um, free.

stock photo, to show you what a couple outside of a house looks like.. ha
So many hopes and dreams and wishes for a little boy.

My parents live on about 3/4 of an acre of land in the country. For years now they've debated buying a lawn tractor in lieu of the push mower they currently have. Our next door neighbour growing up was named Jack, and he had the patience of a saint. We four children would line up for our turn to sit upon his knee as he went up and down his garden. In retrospect, it's apparent we were easily entertained, but my goodness did we love it at the time. My mother is notoriously cheap, so she always talked my dad out of buying on, reasoning he was getting much needed exercise by walking. This year, for Christmas, mom gave dad the tractor he's always wanted. She cried as she told him he was only getting it now so  Jack could sit upon my Dad's knee and have tractor rides, too.

I remember when we were in the NICU, promising Jack that if he were to pull through we'd buy him a doggie. We promised him cars when he was old enough to drive. We promised him a big yard, with a pool where he could learn to swim. We promised him no curfews, that anything he could ever want would be his. We would have, too. Anything.

Without Jack here, we have no reason to relocate. We talk about it a lot. We look a lot. But it's not worth it just yet... It's not worth commuting to the country and a pool and a dog if there's no one there to make it worthwhile.  We find houses online all the time, and I visually move into them. I think about how I might decorate it, where I'd place furniture, pictures, which stools to buy for the island bar in the kitchen. I think about children's rooms and what it might be like to hear the laughter of our future children ringing throughout the halls. I dream of a craft room full of washable paints, and crayons and paper, of well-read books strewn about the floor. I think about how I'd like to have two kids share a bedroom with matching double beds, falling asleep while telling ghost stories.

Our current dream house
I plan all of these things, show the houses to my husband, and we agree we love it.

But then we wait. We wait because I'm terrified of making a big change in our lives which may come back to bite me in the ass. What if we buy a house with the intention of filling it with children, and we never can? What then? How would I feel about our dream house if I couldn't fill it with my dreams?  We make vague promises to look into it more seriously when I become pregnant, and one by one these houses sell and another family moves into them and lives these lives... I wonder whether they know anything of this life I've led... Whether they are newlyweds with the hopes and aspirations of filling the rooms with kids, too? Why do they get to be so happy and never worry about this stuff which now permeates my dreams?

Don't worry, looks like our stock couple from before DO have kids... Thank goodness! 

It's so hard letting go of so many dreams for the "right now". Just as I know I have to let go of my desire to "control" everything when it comes to trying to conceive our next baby, I know I just need to sit back and let things happen. There are a million houses out there, each one offering a version of what our life may be like one day.  One day, when the time comes and we're ready, the right house will be there. A house which can offer us something to look forward to again, somewhere to tuck our baby in at night... The promise of happier tomorrows.

For now, these houses are a glimpse at a life that should have been, but never was able to. All these dreams for him, all these things we wanted to give to him.. Perhaps in another life. Perhaps for his brothers and sisters.

Damn I miss him.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Doctor's Appointment...

I had an appointment yesterday with a pediatrician at the hospital where Jack was born.  The last time I was there, I was waiting for the ambulance which would take Jack in his isolate to SickKids...

I had to go to the L&D floor, and check-in at the same desk we checked-into the night I was in labour with Jack... I walked through those same doors, peering to my left when I pass Pediatrics where Jack was treated (and, I believe, ultimately died). I could see the nurses' station where I stood crying while they worked on resuscitating my little man.

It was just 7 short months ago that my life changed.

Being in that hallway again was hard. It was overwhelming. It was horrible. I cried- a lot.

Finally, I entered into the pediatrician's office, blubbering (just as I intended not to do).

I spoke with the doctor with the intention of finding out what we can do next time to make sure next baby outlives us. Extra tests, ultrasounds, physicals... whatever it takes.

We went through my history, or rather Jack's. We talked about Jack's grunting noises, and established they were perfectly normal newborn grunts, and not a sign he was gasping for breath.  We talked about the timeline of the onset of his sepsis... We were told (while at SickKids) he likely contracted his strain of Bacterial Meningitis (E-coli-based) through someone not washing their hands and handling him.. The who/what/when/where/how was always an unknown. But then she told me she had a theory as to what might have happened.

And it's all my fault.

When I was in labour with Jack, after they'd broken my waters they had difficulty keeping track of Jack's heart rate.  He had heart rate accelerations as well as decelerations, and they had me lay on my side to ensure they could accurately monitor his heart rate. I did that. They had to insert a heart rate sensor to the top of his head to monitor several times as he kept wiggling his way out of the sensors. It kept detaching. So they tried again, and (apparently) broke the skin on his head. That's our entry-point...

And the virus? Apparently it exists in the vagina. As in, my baby may have gotten sick because of bacteria found in my vagina... And he died several days later because of it.

I don't know what to do now.

The chances of this, are so slim-to-none it's unbelievable. And it's just another theory... Nothing has been proven... And people have these sensors all the time, and everyone has bacteria in "there", so why did this affect my baby? Why us?

And so while I don't really think I'm to blame (because, who knew my vagina was so toxic?), I do feel bad about it. Like what if I'd elected to have a c-section from the get-go (can you even do that?), would he still be alive? I couldn't really have opted to forgo the sensors, because who knows whether that would have resulted in a live baby- they're there for a reason, right? I can't really think about the "what ifs?" for too long, because there's no going back to change anything, no matter how much I wish it were so.  Oh how much I wish it were...

And at the end of the day, there are no suggestions for what to do next time around with out second McBabe or the ones we hope will follow. It's such a fluke, I'm told, and I'm at no increased risk for this to happen again than any other momma, just because we've experienced it.  I can have cultures run on baby when we have our next one... extra exams, extra appointments should I wish for it.  I was told there was little chance of anyone turning down any requests we may have considering the anxiety which will surround the birth of our next baby.

I will be having a c-section, no more attempted vaginal births for this girl. Not even a question in my mind...

It's not like having a boat load of new tests would guarantee anything. Nothing will, but I wish I had something...

Blech, I really don't know whether I feel better, or worse, having had this appointment. If there had been many suggestions, I would feel like I failed Jack in not asking for them to have been run before he arrived... But there's nothing left to "fix", either, and that leaves me kind of helpless.

I hate that.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Things I Know For Sure

Seven months ago today, I gave my baby boy one last, tight hug, kissed his face, and handed him off to the nurses preparing him for his donation surgery.

That moment is ingrained into my memory forever.

No matter what happens from here on, nothing will ever devastating me to this extent again.  Because even if this happens to me again, I will never again have the innocent thought of "all babies live". Never.

Here are the things I know for sure:

1) I love this man more than life itself. I without him.

Why yes, he does always wear his hat to the side like a punk.
2) I miss this little guy more today, than yesterday. More tomorrow than today. Forever missing him in a way which snowballs.
When he was a fresh little guy. I think he looks like Scott here. Those lips though? All mine :)
3) I still can't believe it.
4) Clomid, round 2. I cheated and started it on CD2 this month since I'm sick of waiting forever to ovulate. Whatever, I'm a rebel. 

5) Clomid gives me hot flashes.
6) Clomid makes me sad. Like I cry all the time, and I don't think it's just because I'm sad, though for sure that's part of it.  
7) I'm implementing a new rule: 
   a) You can't announce your new (grand)baby to me if you didn't even bother to let me know it was on
       the way.
   b) You probably shouldn't include me in a group email where you write this is "the best year of [your]
        life... Babies are such miracles". 
   c) If you do this, I will give you a snarky reply. You can expect this.
8) I prefer to be passive aggressive when people disappoint me.
9) A lot of people disappoint me. I think my expectations are too high. Or I thought too much of people, or whatever.
10) This really got to me. It's taken me a week plus to pull my shit together. At the heart of the issue is my biggest worry: He didn't matter. He doesn't count. People have forgotten. 
11) This has got to get easier.
12) I just miss him.
Dear Jack,

You know I miss you. You know daddy misses you. I like to think of you as a happy little guy up there, especially after the psychic told Lisa you were.  I bet you are very handsome, just like your dad. Daddy and I missed you very much in NYC, and very much wished things were different and you were with us.

You will always be my baby. You will always matter. You will always count. I will love you from now until long after I am gone. I will never forget you.

Love Mum.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tales from a Psychic

A month ago I had written on Facebook about how it much we missed our sweet boy at 6 months old. It was 7 months ago today Jack was declared. It's so hard to believe it... I don't think I will ever believe it, really.

I post a little status update on anniversaries, and when I find a particularly meaningful quote. I've already cleansed about 1/2 my "friends" from my list since I don't want to become the person people look-up to see if their life is still a mess. blech. I actually have my Facebook profile locked, so no one can comment on my page. I don't think I could handle people commenting, and I especially couldn't handle it if they didn't comment, either. You can't really win with me, it seems.

People tend to send me private messages on there because I can still receive those. I prefer it this way, kinda like how they have to actually think about messaging me, rather than just blurting things out mindlessly on my wall. I think some of the less-tech "savvy" people think I can't receive messages, so sometimes I get emails instead

My sister sent me a message back on July 1st, letting me know she had received an email from my cousin in London England. She forwarded me the email once I got home, not wanting me to get it while I was at work... Good thing too.

Hello Laura,

I just wanted to say every time I see you hurting like this; my heart breaks a little more for you both. 

There really are no words that anyone can say that will ever make any difference to how you feel. I wish I could help you a little, I do know only a tiny bit how you feel. Only my mum and my partner knew, but I lost a child at about 12 weeks, very early on, so I never got to know her or bond with her the way you had with Jack. I feel you are such an amazing woman and Jack is with you all the time, he was and is indeed one of the most very special angels ever. You will have a family one day very soon and Jack will always look over you all. 

I wanted to tell you about a psychic I saw in February this year and she told me I had a little girl called Charlie with me and that she was always with me happy and playing. I didn’t tell anyone that I wanted Charlotte as a little girl’s name. She also told me that our Nan is looking over us and the children. 

She asked me who Jack was, I froze and said nothing to her, she told me he was new to their world and that he was an exceptional child and even though he had passed recently, had the love and confidence of a great soul. He apparently ran in, giggled and ran out again. 

This lady knew things, lots of things that were true and it has made me feel a little easier, knowing they are with us, even if it is in spirit only. I really hope that this message does not upset you; this is absolutely not my intention. Sending lots of love and big hugs everyday.

Lisa xxxxx

I read that and was in tears. My little 7lb baby, a little boy? A great soul? A chaotic, funny little guy? And he's happy? And comfortable, and he's okay? He sounds like trouble already (and, if anything like his father, would have been exactly that had he grown here on Earth). I'll take it. I think, more than anything, I worry that he suffered here on Earth. I know logically he did, as he would have had headaches and light sensitivity from his virus. My singing to him must have been painful (and more so than my husband claims it hurts him)... It gives me comfort to know he's not in pain.

I don't really know whether I believe in psychics. I believe there are people who are exceptionally intuitive and people who have gifts and are enlightened... I've met with psychics before, and now of course I wonder if they knew all along because nothing they said ever came true... So either they were terrible psychics, or they were making shit up to hide my future from me. Either way, right?

But I have a friend who goes a few times a year to a psychic she trusts and has seen for a couple of years now.  They talk about her trouble with men, and she tells my friend she should enjoy her life right now because her future husband is a couple of years away... But reminds her these things are subject to change based on how she faces life and the decisions she makes... My friend finds this exceptionally helpful in calming her down when she starts to get anxious... I guess reminding her that this stuff is "in the cards" for her... It's almost like having a life coach or something... I don't know that I believe you can communicate with "the other side", a la Rita May Brown...

But I do like the idea of a glimpse into the happy life we will have with out children "on the other side" one day. So, why don't I call? Because I'm extremely anxious that the psychic will tell me we will never have more children. Because there's nothing worse that anyone could say to me right now other than those words... I've already heard, "your son has no brain function", I'm not ready to hear "you'll never have more babies".

So, I'm curious... Ever been tempted to call a psychic? Anyone have any "fortunes" to share, or misfortunes for that matter?

Monday, August 8, 2011

New York, New York

So, where was I? Oh right, here.

We had arranged a coach bus to bring us from the airport to the hotel, and finally got into the room at 1 am...

Not my photo. It's from here.
We got bumped up to a corner room on the 16th floor, which would have been great for the views... If not for the fact our view was of other buildings, and not pretty or iconic ones, just boring brown buildings.  #Fail.

No matter, we were exhausted and after a long hot shower wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed and pass out. In our haste to flee Toronto, we hadn't eaten anything other than the free cookies Porter offers in their lounge (which, while delicious, do not a dinner make). We decided to order room service and I enjoy a delicious turkey club while Scott had a burger. YUM. Like for real, delicious. Couldn't have been happier at that very moment.

Anyway, this was waiting for us to crawl into:

 Actually, to be honest, I had already gotten into the bed, freaked out and realized I didn't take a photo for "the blog", jumped back out and threw the chocolate back on the bed. Of interest, the chocolates were consumed each and every night, and not by this girl... My husband is a scavenger, true story.

You guys, this bed was a freaking dream- the pillows felt like clouds of air, and the duvet does too. Delightful. I didn't even get bitten by bedbugs, which of course, was my fear staying in NYC. Yesssssss.

Fact: Sometimes Instagrams aren't as cool as I'd hoped...
Saturday we work up refreshed and Scott and I busted out to grab coffee in the morning. He asked me if I was nervous to meet Molly. Was I anxious for this? And was I going to spend the whole time crying? I mean, she's a stranger, right?

But at the same time, not.

Because this isn't a stranger. This is some I've read about for the past several months. It's someone who I share my most intimate details with *ahem, as well as all of you lovely blog readers*. Someone who is there for me when I am at my lows, and is there when I'm at my highs. She doesn't mock me when I pee my way through OPKS and pregnancy tests every month (I'm addicted...).

In many ways, she's been a better confident than many of my real life friends because she gets it. Those darkest moments? She has them too. This girl isn't a stranger, she's someone I genuinely care about.

When we arrived back at the hotel lobby she was waiting for us. Molly wrote about our meeting here, including our anchor-themed breakfast joint. I'm including some photos since she's adorable and sweet and so southern (y'all).

Don't really know why my hair looks like this... But Molly's cute, so there's that.
She more than exceeded my expectations. I was a little nervous we might have nothing to talk about, but we had tonnes to discuss- our favourite topic? Our little men, and just how much they are missed. There are so many strollers in NYC. So many.

So my review and recommendation? Molly is great. I felt like I'd known her for years. It wasn't just meeting her, it was more like being reunited with her. It was fun. :)

After we said our goodbyes, I headed back to the hotel and napped until Scott returned from his shopping. That boy can shop! His arms were loaded with new runners, some causal shorts, socks and some shirts. He was gone all of 2 hours. ha!

Then we headed out to Century 21 to do a little shopping.

Not my photo either. But I felt the same way this girl did when I was there last year

I picked up a pair of Seven jeans (my first non-maternity jean in more than a year. boo hiss), a few shirts, and a skirt. It was kinda slim pickin's. I actually found myself standing in the kids section at one point, holding various onesies, trying to decide if I should buy them... I didn't, reasoning I could buy everything I want once I'm pregnant again... No worries, grief crosses borders with you...

Scott found another 2 pairs of shoes (white sneakers and a pair of dress shoes), more t-shirts, and other stuff dudes need. He has no problem shopping... At all.

We had tickets to go see Rent in theatre, Off Broadway. It was phenomenal. I even saw a tear squeak out of Scott's eye. It was probably the best show I've seen ever (and I seem to have wracked up quite the list!). We weren't sure about where to for dinner, and I was still hurting from the short sleep the night before so I bargained my way into to heading back to the hotel, and... you guessed it, ordering room service. I ordered something else, but Scott ordered the turkey club I had eaten the night before. Delicious, yet again. We were in bed by about midnight... Sleeping at 12 in NYC, shameful, really. ha. :)

Saturday we woke up again and walked to Macy's a few miles away. My feets hurt. But I'm a trooper like that, so I whined very little quietly.

I basically bought out the LaCoste inventory in my size. Here are some of my purchases...
my purchases
Scott bought about 6 "casual" cotton dress shirts. He's convinced these shall be part of his new "look". This is apparently very different from the ironed dress shirts... ha. :)

We then headed back to the hotel to get ready for our comedy show in Greenwich Village. I had done some research and decided on The Comedy Cellar, a legendary comedy stage which has seen the likes of Tina Fey, Robin Williams and many other starts through the years... I had made online reservations earlier that week just in case. We checked in with the guy at the door and were told our table number. We quickly discovered we were front row centre. Awesome.

Our view from our wee table:

No flash photography during the show, so this is all I have to offer...
We got the guy next to us to take our photo:

We meandered through the streets of Greenwich and the buildings belonging to NYU. So darn pretty. So much prettier than my university. Then my feet hurt again and we flagged down a cab to take us back to the hotel where I proceeded to wash away my evening with a delicious chocolate martini in the W lobby:

The next day we got up, had breakfast at the hotel (yes, we ate there again). I stole this photo of my husband who hates when I do just this:

Then we got back on the airplane and come home.

It was so good to be away. Can't wait to go back!

I feel like NYC is "our" city. We were there last year just before we conceived Jack, so of course I'm hoping this brings us good luck for our next cycle (because, for the record, this one is a no-go). I hope to make NYC an annual event.

And don't think for a second I didn't think about how much I would have loved to all of this with a baby.

What's your favourite city to visit?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

NYC or Bust!

First, just wanted to say thank you for all the sweet comments on my last post. It means the world to me to have so many people supporting us, and I feel even better knowing that many of you feel the same way as I do. I was worried I was being irrationally sensitive about the matter, and I truly thank you all for being just as (if not MORE) angry at the situation as I have been.

And in the interest of being entirely honest, I have been in a downward spiral since last Tuesday when this all happened, to the point where I cried (repeatedly) at work about it all. Big, fat, ugly tears of grief which haven't shown themselves consistently since the earliest of days. Only now, days later, have I been able to gather my shit enough to function without tears streaming down my face.

I've come to a bit of a conclusion.  Wanna know what it is? It's pretty simple: I'm done. I'm so done with trying to put energy into a relationship which clearly can't be sustained. Because she doesn't get it, and never will. And while I've been in hysterics about all of this, she's been able to carry on with her day-to-day life, likely never this a second thought. So, I'm done. There's a saying about this stuff, right? With friends like that, who needs enemies?

So, thank you, for making me realize I deserve more than this. I think I already knew this, but to know you all feel so passionately about it, and have in fact offered to maim her on my behalf, well, it means a lot.

<<end rambling appreciation here>>

So, New York. Before I tell you what I did there, I have to tell you about how we almost didn't get there... Yes, you read that correctly.

Scott and I had plans to fly out of the regional airport here in Toronto (Porter, for anyone who lives here) on Friday July 29th at 9:30pm. I knew it would give us enough time to get home, get packing, grab dinner and then to the airport which is only about 15 minutes away. The perfect plan. So I raced from work, got my nails done, and arrived home by 6:30. I was just starting to think about what to pack when my husband's Blackberry alerted him to a new email.

"Please note the following changes to your flight: Flight #whatever has been cancelled. Your tickets have been changed to Saturday at 11:00am"

Insert: WTF faces exchanged between my husband and I. What of our hotel reservation? Most of Saturday will be spent traveling, the whole point of flying on the Friday night was to wake up in NYC... And what about meeting Molly?

Being the consummate business man, my husband called the airline and we were told the following:
Flight cancelled due to weather in NYC (which, once we arrived, couldn't have been more similar to the perfectly normal weather in Toronto...)... Flights entirely booked up. There would be no compensation for my hotel room. There would be no nothin'.

I took over from there and spoke to a supervisor. You know when you can just tell someone doesn't genuinely care about your situation? That was this guy. He also couldn't stop coughing into the phone, which is a big pet peeve of mine. So my husband had the genius idea to ask about attending the airport to be on standby. We we told not to bother, that this practice wasn't encouraged and there were several people on the list before us. Basically, the response couldn't have been more of a "F you" if it tried.

I started emailing Molly and telling her it may not happen... That we may not be in there in time for our brunch on Saturday. Being the amazing girl she is, she told me anyway, anyhow, we were getting together. I always knew I liked her. :)

So, after getting off the phone my hubby and I weighed our options:

  • stay, do nothing, and wait for flight tomorrow
  • go, try anyway, and hope for a flight out of the city.
It took us no more than ten seconds to decided to throw our shit into our suitcases and bust out of there (forgetting dinner, my flatiron, mascara, and only taking 3 pairs of underwear in the process).  We told them we had a wedding in the morning in NYC, and needed to be on that flight (only a 1/2 lie, really). We were added to the list,  and were told we were #4 and #5 on standby for the last flight out. But with a plane which only seats 72, and 65 people having already arrived and checked luggage, our chances weren't looking all that great... Every person who walked to the check-in was another mark against us possible getting on that plane... People, I was chewing through my fresh manicure and pacing anxiously.

There was another couple waiting on standby a few feet away, and finally, the customer service rep approached both couples and had us come check our luggage in the event we could get on that plane.. People 1 & 3 on standby had left! We were in!

Scott and I were super thankful, and happy even though we were seated separately from one another on the plane.  Beggars can't be choosers, right? :)

So, with that, we were off.

And, to add some suspense, I'm going to taper off here and write more tomorrow. Ohhhh, drama...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The One Where I Fall Into a Spiral of Self-Pity

From Pinterest
I had planned to write about how exciting NYC is and how I can't wait to go back (next year, perhaps). I was looking forward to writing about how amazing and fun and beautiful Molly is (because, well, she is). I was pumped to write all of that until something happened last night which has sent me into a spiral of sadness, making me cry more than I have in months.

But to give this story a little context I have to go back to a couple of months ago when I met this friend for a sushi lunch. We were chatting about her toddler son. She had just finished telling me about how her son was being an asshole about one thing or another and I kinda made a comment about how funny it is that kids do these things and yet we still want more. All of a sudden, her face went very straight and she told me she was definitely having more. And soon. She was, in fact, 5 months pregnant.

At that moment, I kinda already felt like I had be blindsided. Here she was, sitting face to face, with no thought of how fragile I might be, telling me she was 1/2 through her second pregnancy. It took me a back a little bit, and I was able to gather my shit enough to congratulate her and her husband and son. And I was genuinely happy, if not slightly jealous (because lets be real: I'm not yet pregnant, my son has just died, and I am trying my very best to feign interest in a "normal" life). Then she announced the kicker- she had conceived the night she got the phone call from me letting her know Jack had died.

And I may as well have been smashed in the face with a shovel. Why tell me that? I am smart enough to (instantly) do the math in my head, and had already figured that out. But the exact night... And you had the desire to tell me this?

So now, I'm not only blindsided, but I'm reeling in what should have/could have been and thinking about how at the very moment Jack's life was ending, a new one was forming within her womb.


We were only partially though our SUSHI lunch and I didn't really have much of a choice but to keep sitting there, pasting on a fake smile, and asking the shit load of questions you're supposed to ask about someone when they're expecting (I suppose I could have abruptly ended our lunch, but I'm not really that kind of person. Wish I was, but I'm not)... When lunch was over, I called my husband, sobbing from the car. He told me to cut her out of my life, because who needs a friend who would do that to you.

I spent the next few days checking with mutual friends to see if they knew. And they all did. Every last one of them had known for months and no one had told me, thinking it was her place to do so. She waited until she was half way through her pregnancy to tell me about her new baby, and waited to tell me in person.

I think a heads up should have been in order, right? A hint from one of them, but mostly a quick text or email or whatever so I wasn't so shocked to find this shit out in person, right?

Anyway, that's my little gear-up to where we were facing up to last night. We've emailed a couple of times since, but haven't seen one another.

Last night she announced she had finally discovered that her new baby was a boy. And I am genuinely happy, I clearly love little boys (:: sincerely hope this sentence doesn't bring unwanted visitors to my pretty little blog...::) I send her a note on Facebook congratulating her.

Then about 15 minutes later she calls me. We chat about the news, we chat about work (we work for the same government agency), we chat about NYC, etc. Then, I ask her if she has thought of baby names...
She tells me they're getting stuck with a baby boy name. There's one they like, but they don't know whether to use it or not. I think you know where this is going...

"I really liked the name Jack as soon as you named yours Jack. And well, we wouldn't name the baby Jack because that's your son's name. And I love the name Jackson, but it's too similar.. But would it bother you if we named him Jax?"

Again, shovel to the face. I am physically feeling light-headed, and tears start forming in my eyes.

Me, "um, well, no, I mean, it's not my son". 

Her, "Oh, I'm so glad, because we just love it. My sister-in-law has dibs on the name Jack because that's her dad's name, and if we could name ours Jax, then we'd get it first".

Honestly, all sentence structure and ability to make small-talk vanished. We finished up our chat a few minutes later and I dissolved into tears. I went into the den where Scott was playing video games, and told him what had just transpired. His face hardened and he told me, again, I should cut her from my life. He told me to tell her that if this was some strange competition- she wins. She has fucking won already. We surrender- white flags and all.

Because of course, how could you?

I chatted with a few friends who could not believe this was the name she was thinking of.  Insensitive, inappropriate, out of line were all terms used to describe her.

In all honesty, I cried for a good 4 hours on-and-off last night. And finally, I couldn't take it anymore.

I sent her the following message on Facebook:

"I don't know what to say right now.

I hate that I'm even writing this right now. But I have to get it off my chest because I'm hurting, and I feel like I owe it to our friendship to be honest.

I'm really hurt. I've been crying on and off since our conversation tonight thinking about whether I'm being irrational. I don't own the name Jack, I didn't invent it, my Jack wasn't the first and won't be the last. But that you would want to use such a similar name, at this point only seven short months after my Jack was born, is something I can't comprehend.

I guess what I'm left with is that if Jack were alive, you likely wouldn't name your child Jax, and yet because Jack died his name is up for dibs again. Out of the thousands of baby boy names, that you came up with a name nearly the same as Jack breaks my heart. 

I don't know where to go from here. If you name your child Jax, I don't know that I can ever meet him, which is horrible. I just think saying his name is too similar to what I should have.

But this will be your son, so obviously you have the final say. Obviously. I just wanted to lay it out on the line so you know where I'm coming from. It all kinda took me by surprise, and I wasn't anticipated it and in all honestly was a little shocked and possibly still am.

So that's kinda where I am."
She replied a hour or so later with this:

"Laura, I am SO sorry. The name is off the table. Thank you for being honest. There was a part of me that knew it was a horrible idea. I guess -the more we watched the stupid tv show... the more we liked it (and the character). Hope I didn't break your heart."

? The name Jax is from a cartoon? You put me through all this agony for a cartoon character's name?

So, I guess this is resolved then.

Or is it? 

Where can I possibly go from here?

The damage has been done, I still feel like a piece of me has been carved off and I have an open wound. And she rubbed the salt in, and then tried to rinse it off- with vinegar. 

Baby, it burns.

Monday, August 1, 2011

7 Months Old

Sold out, but from here.  The script is made from tiny stars. Love.
Dear Jack,

Today we would have been enjoying time with you, at seven months old. I have no idea what that would look like, my dreams won't let me go there. I still haven't dreamt of you.

Baby boy, you are so loved. You are so very missed. You would have been an amazingly smart little boy, I just know it. I cherish the time we had together, just you and I. I am so happy you spent time alone with your daddy too.

So missed. So loved. So wanted. So always on mummy's mind.

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