Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fits and Bursts.

Feels like this storm cloud is following me around
My grief arrives in fits and bursts.

I no longer cry uncontrollably for hours on end. I cry for a few minutes. I read something particularly sad and I tear up and make a strange moan escapes from the back of my throat.

I do not have him. I can not have him back.

I cry in fits and bursts, passionately, angrily, for mere minutes at a time- sometimes only seconds.

The birthday party yesterday was great- my friend Holly is the best hostess I've ever seen in action. Always has an assortment of candy and other "bad for you"/delicious stuff to nosh on.  There were a few triggers there for me. I'm very conscious of the fact that the last time there was a gathering at her place was New Years Eve, and I was in labour thus unable to attend.  I remember Scott begging me to just go for a little bit, and we'd drive home the same night- he wanted to see his friends. I wasn't sure whether it was real labour (it was), or whether it was the on-off again kind of labour. I said no, and we stayed home, counting contractions on the computer instead. Good times ;)

One of the pack has a 10 month-ish old little boy who is cute beyond words. That baby didn't bother me, as Jack wouldn't have been that big yet, and wouldn't have been as "with it". But that baby crawls, and he sits up, and he burrows his cute little face into his momma's neck while he laughs. Jack can never do that.

One of the guys there just became a 2nd time daddy- this time to a little boy. We chatted about him, and the effort it takes to sooth a newborn. The baby is like, 8 days old. My mind instantly flashed back to it being the point at which we lost Jack... I wanted to scream, THAT'S WHAT WE'RE MISSING. But I didn't, because that would be weird scary.

The biggest trigger of all? Another couple there who became parents to a little boy just a couple of days after we had Jack.  She isn't someone I knew very well a year ago, until we found out we were both expecting a few months into our respective pregnancies.  We started e-mailing one another about our symptoms, and pangs, cravings, and purchases. We compared notes on baby monitors, debated stroller options, and shared horror stories we had heard of labour.  We compared doctor's visits, our feelings, and how our husbands were handling and adjusting to all the changes. Truth be told, I really enjoyed getting to know her on this level as there are only a few of my friends who have children. We had plans to get together with our babies, and get to know one another more. I was really looking forward to it.

But now? Now she has a sweet little guy at home, while I have an urn, and empty nursery, and memories of the best (and worst) time of my life.  I can't relate anymore. I wish more than anything I could, and that we were discussing our babies sitting up (I have no idea if they do this at 5-ish months old, not even the faintest concept), and our battles to have them sleep through the night. It's hard, because in losing Jack, I feel like I lost a friendship. And it's not really her fault so much as it is my own, pulling back from a friendship as a defense mechanism to protect my heart and my mind. I'm SOO, SOO happy to know her baby is healthy and happy, but I can't help but feeling like I've been left at the starting line. Awaiting my turn. Again.

It just fucking sucks. Plain and simple.

And to rub salt into the wound, I am on CD46, 24 DPO, and have a gigantic BFN looming over my head. Not just one, about 15. :(  I've spoken to my doctor and she thinks that despite positive OPKs to the contrary, I didn't ovulate. FML, this has never been my situation.  I have never NOT (double negatives... to coincide with my 15 negatives...) had my period on time (except for when I WAS pregnant), which would suggest I ovulate on the regular, no? So, here I am, frustrated, pissed off, and feeling very much angry that I've found myself in this situation.

>>Here's where I insert that I know there are people who have it A LOT worse than I when it comes to fertility. We are 3 months into our attempt to conceive #2, and I'm already on absolute edge about it. I.CAN.NOT.IMAGINE how hard it must be to keep going through this stuff, and so I'm hoping you let me vent without thinking I'm a bad person. xox<<

I called my OB in a fit last week and begged to be seen ASAP. That appointment is this coming Thursday.  She returned my frantic calls (and three messages) and agreed to put together the necessary paperwork to have blood drawn so we have that information available for our appointment later this week. I had my blood taken on Friday morning. The silly nurse stabbed me and missed my veins TWICE before switching to my left arm as I had initially offered... "Oh, you're right. You do have small, deep veins"... Me, "this isn't my first rodeo". GAH. 

Anyway, if the testing comes up how she assumes it's going to, I'm moving onto Clomid to force my bod to ovulate. This can't happen soon enough. The idea of going around, and around, and around again is too much for me to bare right now. I'm so glad she's in agreement, and so happy to have her on my side while we deal with this. I'll update you all once I know more. :)

So, that's what's going on for me. What about you, whatcha been up to? 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Birthday Cake

Today I'll be attending a 30th birthday party for one of our friend's. Thirty, when did I start getting so old?!?!?

I'm in charge of the cake, since I love decorating them. This one is a vanilla with buttercream frosting and a Tiffany blue fondant on top. YUM

It's a little shiny because I added water to it to "seal" the cracks

It's supposed to look like a mechanic's shirt, but it ended up kinda just looking like a man's dress shirt... I didn't have food colouring to make the shirt navy, and cheated to save some time by purchasing the pre-mixed fondant... The patch on the chest will have his name on it, but I'm waiting until the last minute to do that so it doesn't smear.

Another view...

Not too worried that it kinda just looks like a dress shirt- I don't know what I'm doing, and beggars can't be choosers (this means YOU, Holly!). It's a little lumpier than I would like, but that's the cake's fault (which I also made), because I don't like to chop off the top to make it flat. It makes it too hard to keep the cake out of the icing. ;)

Scott's not coming with me, as he purchased tickets to the theatre for his mom for Christmas... He's seriously pissed he's not coming, would MUCH rather spend his day with his friends... Obviously the tickets were before anything happened with Jack, and when he was interested in spending MORE time with his family, rather than less as it stands right now. Poor guy.

I have more to write, and will do so tomorrow. Working + writing is kicking my ass, so I've clearly increased one to the determent of the other... I've decided to let you all in on what's going on with me, and my currently (WACKY) life. Hope the sun is shining where you are (it is here, despite the forecast!).

xox,
Laura

Monday, May 23, 2011

Que Sera, Sera

One of my very favourite home decor/lifestyle blogs (MakingItLovely.com) posted this print she created  for her little girl's room. It's an interpretation of the lyrics of "will I be be pretty, will I be rich?" from the song Que Sera, Sera...  Here is the link to her post about it, where you can find the free download of this print she has made available.

I, in turn, interpreted it as perfect for BLMs... For future Rainbows... For Rainbow nurseries... "Whatever will be, will be. The future's not ours to see. Que sera, sera"... <--  So freakin' true.

Ps. I have a collection of prints I've saved in my bookmarks folder for future McBabe nurseries... This is one of them now! :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I just miss him.

I don't have much to say these days... Not sure why.  We've put our bathroom work on hold for the moment, can't find the motivation to put any more effort into it right now- good thing we have another! ;)

It seems work truly is the ultimate distraction.  I've been there 2 weeks already- time sure does fly when you're having fun working.  It hasn't stopped me from missing him though, and it hasn't stopped me from crying.

Friday was hard, and I'm not sure why that particular day exactly. Maybe because Friday was leading up to a long weekend here, or maybe it's because working is becoming kinda routine... Not sure, but either way one minute I was fine, and the next I was sobbing at my desk, unable to catch my breath. It's all just incredibly unfair. I miss his gorgeous little face.

All I can say, over and over again, is that I just miss him.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Survivor's Guilt

You can read this sad Gorilla story here. But don't. Because, well, it's sad.
A baby dies. A mother cries. A family buries it's baby.

So unexpected, so unfair, so unnatural.

I dreamed a life for Jack, one which he'll never experienced. We bought hockey jerseys which bare our last name for the little man who would never wear them. We bought shoes he'd never walk in, and bear suits he'd never wear. A life for him was planned out, dreams of sports, and giggles, of schools, marriage and babies of his own. Then the impossible happened.

I feel guilty that I couldn't protect Jack, even though it was some tiny, microscopic germ that got him and there's nothing more I could do. I wish there was more I could have done, I wished I could have told him I loved him over and over. I mean, I did, but it seems like there would never be enough time to say this, even if he had lived to be 1000 years old.

I carry a lot of guilt within me. I feel guilty about wanting another baby. I feel guilty for wanting the life I wanted before we lost him- to continue to dream of a little boy who will hold my hand because Jack can't. I dream of little girls with ribbons in their hair riding tricycles on the driveway. I fantasize of Christmases where our hearts hurt but aren't broken. Of mother's day where I can hold a living baby in my arms, of catching my husband making goofy faces to elicit a baby giggle. To celebrate 1st birthdays, rather than mourn the loss of a little boy who will only ever be 8 days old.

Any mother worth their name would give their life for their child. Sometimes, illogically, I wish it was me who died. I'm not old, but I'm not young either. I've had a good run at things, and I've had the chance to live. Little Jack didn't get a fair shot at life, his was over when it had barely begun.

There's a lot of guilt to be the one left standing after tragedy. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. It hurts my heart to dream of other McBabes when Jack was our dream just a few short months ago. To know I have to give up on this "version" of our dream to live the version which will see us with more children.

I feel so badly that Jack never got a chance. That Jack never really lived. It's so sad to to be the one surviving, to live because he couldn't.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

On being lapped

Since losing Jack, I feel like we've fallen behind in our lives. Or rather, our plan for our lives.

See that white car? That's us.
I thought we'd have a baby by now (which we did, but I mean I thought we'd have a baby HERE with us, occupying our time with his cries, his giggles, his needs.) We had agreed to consider selling our house this summer/fall and had planned to move to a bigger house in the country. Move nearer to free daycare for Jack (read: my mum!) and get settled into a new house as I planned my return to work for next winter. 

Instead we have resumed our pre-baby life and have fallen back into our old habits. We both wake up at the last possible minute and head to work. No need to wake a sleepy baby or build extra time into my morning to drive to daycare, nor prepare baby bottles... I come home and I don't get to read stories, draw a bath, nor snuggle. We don't need to move houses now- we don't need space. The point at which we were "supposed" to be right now is still another year or so away. We have another year+ until we need the room, since we have no little one to outgrow what we now have.

And we'll never be right "there", where we were in those few days we had a healthy son, just as we'll never be the old version of us again. We'll always be slightly sadder, and a couple steps "behind". Even when we have another, I'll always be thinking where we should be, and who we should be. And missing baby J.

While I was pregnant, I remember being thrilled to find out some of my friends were pregnant shortly after us. We planned future play dates, and agreed to enroll in baby massage and yoga baby stuff together... But this was not to be.  And so now, as I watch their kids grow thanks to the marvel that is Facebook, I can't help but feel like I was lapped.

I was pregnant before them, gave birth before them, then said goodbye. They gave birth and are now experiencing things I've never done.

It's not enough that I've lost my little boy, but I feel like I've lost my place in the world of mommy-dom. I don't fit there- I can't relate to that life I wanted so badly but only briefly tasted. I don't know what it is to comfort a teething baby, to have your child's gummy mouth form a smile, or to be genuinely proud of your child's first step or hear the sweet sound of their first word. It's weird to not have a way of relating to those who still have their children. I don't have experiences beyond a few days with a healthy baby. 

One of my favourite ladies had a sweet little girl 5 or 6 weeks ago. I remember in the months following Jack, and leading up to her baby girl, giving her tips for preparing for childbirth, breast feeding, and diapers.  I was the expert... Even though I had lost Jack, I had experienced the same things she would soon experience, but only to a point. A week into the life of her baby girl, she had already lapped me.  Now she's the expert, as my knowledge could only extend to my circumstances. I have no new knowledge to impart.

I begrudge no one. I'm so happy she is happy and has her little girl with her.  But it's just such a strange feeling, I was ahead of her, and now I'm behind. I was the more experienced, now I am far less experienced than she.

And I realize in the end, the race is only with myself and not with anyone else. It's a race against the goals I had set for myself, of where I thought I would be at this point in my life.  It's making the best of things, adjusting strategy according to the cards which are dealt. In the real game of life, it's all about rolling the dice and playing your turn. For better or worse, blindly tossing the dice.

We start out in the same direction. Me, with a head start. But I take a left, they take a right. My path permanently deviate from theirs, and loops back around to the starting line just as they cross the finish line. Like a maze with no end... 


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Le Tired

Whew, I'm so glad that's over.

A week into work, and I'm so damn tired. I'm assuming it's because I wake up at 7am, yet don't tuck myself into bed until 11pm or so... Could also be because I'm used to sleeping from midnight until 9 or 10am- this week has been a rude awakening.

The tiny, crevices of my mind play tricks on me and try to convince me it's an early pregnancy sign... I was exhausted when I was pregnant with Jack. I would tuck myself into bed soon after getting home from work and nap the evening away, awaking only to eat roasted chicken subs from Subway, then going back to bed and sleeping through the night. I feel like I could do that now, but I realize that I'm going through a huge adjustment. Back to work. Back to my "new normal". Back to life without my body, where some people aren't even aware I ever had a baby.

I caught the eye of a girl I used to walk to the train with on Thursday, she's aware I was pregnant and going on maternity leave. But I haven't seen her since I've been back, and she doesn't work on my floor. We have no mutual friends. I saw a puzzled expression on her face, and I know she must be dying to ask me why I'm back... I'm not sure she'll like the answer.

I'm have a hard time wrapping my head around living in this moment and not letting my days get away from me. It's May 14th, I'm 4 months after Jack, I'm 29 years old. I keep flashing back to where I was a year ago with a little babe in my belly. It also flashes forward to a year from now when I hope to have another little lady or fella in my arms. I get excited, caught up in the "what's yet to be"'s. Then I remember it's not my first pregnancy, that I've done all of this and planned all of this before. That I've done everything right, and yet everything is so wrong.

Grief can be completely overwhelming at times.

I have Jack's photo as my computer background (it's this one), and I find myself clicking off the documents to stare at his cute little face and body. My eyes move from his chubby cheeks, to his long skinny fingers, to his knee caps. I'm obsessed with his little knee caps, all bent and tiny in the photo. I wished I'd kept him naked more, so I could have explored his gorgeous pink skin more. To have pressed it to my body for warmth, I can't really figure out how all of him fit inside of me... But it was winter, and he hated to be nekkid... His father's son... I look at his knee caps and think how I should be looking forward to him crawling in the next few months and to him skinning his knees as a soccer player. But they'll only ever be tiny little knees.

Sometimes I think I can feel him with me. Not a floating around me "spirit" but I can sometimes feel the weight of his head on my shoulder, the heat of his skin radiating onto my body.  But how can i have sensory memories that I barely established? I yearn to feel that again.

I want to give my husband another baby. He deserves it, possibly more than I think I even do. I've said it a million times before, but he is just such a great dad.  He has so much love to give, and I think it's only been multiplying since we lost Jack. I know when we see a 2nd line on a pregnancy test he's going to be so, so thrilled. And we'll be so scared. Scared to open up our hearts and minds to love another little one, with no guarantee that baby will be coming home with us. It's such a mind fuck. Happy & sad, co-existing. To WANT to risk getting our hearts smashed up all over gain. It's a giant leap of faith, to know what it's like on this side and being willing to put ourselves out there again with the hope of having a different outcome.

Hope you're all having a good weekend.

xox

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

4 Months gone.

My mind is running a mile a minute...  Please forgive me for the rambling/all over the place-ness.


I can't believe it's been 4 months since I last held, cuddled, and kissed my little boy. Since I smelled his sweet smell. Since I changed his adorable butt.  A third of a year has passed- I still can't figure out why and how we're here. My mind flashes back to when I was in labour, and how I tried my best to remain calm, reminding myself I had a whole lifetime to meet him and get to know him.

4 months further away from him. Away from that super-raw grief, but also away from him. Since him. Life without him. This isn't a life I want. I had just met him, I barely knew him. I wanted so much more than this for him. And for us.
---

Work is going well, but it's also kicking my butt. I'm so tired by the time I get home that I just want to walk in the door and straight to my bed like I used to do when I was pregnant.  Instead, I come in and prepare dinner. We eat then I shower and we watch tv for a couple of hours before we go to bed. I don't know why I do this when I wake up exhausted again the next morning. I assume it's just because I'm trying to stretch out the hours I'm at home, as the days seem so long. Tonight I'm going to bed as soon as I hit publish on this post.

While at work, my mind is busy. I've already put Jack's photo as my screen saver. I have a copy of his foot and handprints at my desk. I'm paranoid about it though, that it might somehow get damaged. So, I enclosed it in a ziploc bag and taped it on the wall of my cubicle. I'm anxious the fire sprinklers will come on and then that copy of the prints will be gone. I realize this is irrational, and the likeliness of this happening is slim to none.. But we all know how people like us don't like statistics.

---

One of the ladies at work came to speak to me today. She had a stillborn 21 years ago. Her son, Kyle, had a cord accident when she was 35-ish weeks pregnant.  A year and one day later? She had her second son and then two years on a daughter. I asked her how she can deal with it, and she confirmed time makes it easier, but not better. She still questions why this happened to her.  She looks at her kids and wonders why she couldn't keep her first.  And I wonder why I couldn't keep mine.

She didn't cry when she was speaking to me, which was astonishing. She still has good days and the not so good days. 21 years later, and it still stings. She's a very sweet lady, and spoke of of her life has been enriched by this experience. She loves harder. She loves deeper.

Kids, one of the common factors in most people's lives. Whether they have birthed one, cuddled one, or loved one. To lose one, well, the world is backwards.

And yet most of you reading this have done just that, and lived to tell the tale.

---
Dear baby Jack.

Your mum misses your chubby cheeks. I would give anything to touch your skin, rub your back and smell your feet. I wish you were here with me, cooing, and holding your head up on your strong little neck. Your daddy misses you like CRAZY, and wishes so much he could do all the things he had dreamed of doing with you. He had a good cry this week because he's really missing you and longs to try swaddling you again. You would probably be too big for a good swaddle- that is crazy to me.

Neither of us can believe it's been 4 months since we last felt the weight of your body. We miss your cries, your grunting, and all of your crazy noises. I miss your eyes looking into mine, or gazing around the room. I even miss when you rolled your eyes, as if to say, "stop staring at me, weirdo".

Mummy loves you and wishes so much you could be here with us, instead of watching us from Heaven. We miss you little guy and think of you every day.

xox,
Mum.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I went back...

I'm heading to bed in a minute because I am t-i-r-e-d. But I wanted to say that my first day back at work wasn't THAT bad. I had a few "why are you back so soon?" questions on the train this morning, but managed to avoid responding with anything involving the words "my baby died".

The gang at work was happy I was back, and I had my fair share of pitiful looks and a few longer-than-usual hugs (not that I generally hug these people, but I hugged them goodbye before I started maternity leave, and so this time it was a longer, sadder hug). I cried a few tears, and managed to make some more senior people I work with cry too. score. ha.

Jack's name was spoken, and people expressed feeling a connection to him as I had referred to him by name while I was still pregnant. I thought that was very touching. He's mine (well, ours). But it is nice to know his impact was greater than I could even have imagined.

I will write more later, but it's bedtime for me now. Tomorrow the novelty might have worn off and I will hate work once again, but for today it was a good one.

Thanks for the well wishes and the happy birthdays too. :)

xox

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My First Sign (?)

Today is Mother's Day in North America.

A day to celebrate mothers and all they do.  We BLMs consider ourselves moms, and rightly so.

Yesterday, my birthday, was hard. Harder than I ever expected. I don't think I've cried that much since first few weeks. Literally on and off all day, hard to catch my breath crying.  Last year, knowing I was newly pregnant and considering that 2nd beautiful line and a confirmation test the best birthday gift ever. Smugly looking forward to my first Mother's Day and birthday with my baby.  I wish I had an ounce of that innocence left.

To backtrack, and make sense of what I'm about to tell you, I should mention we keep the door to Jack's nursery tightly closed.  We have all his stuff in there, and I'm always a little stressed that the cat with claws will get in there and claw (or throw up on) the carpet or the upholstered chair and ottoman I bought a few months back for Jack's siblings. So, the door, always closed, preserving his stuff and his smell.

Just a few minutes ago I decided I was going to make breakfast (hashbrowns and chocolate-banana pancakes for Scott, hashbrowns and greek yogurt with fruit for me).  I walked into our dining room, off of which is the nursery (it makes sense in person, sounds weird when I describe it) to admire our new pot lights which my brother installed this week & weekend.

The door to the nursery? Askew! It was open a few inches, and the door was "locked" in place by the closet door inside the nursery. Had the door been open any more, the cats could have gotten in there, but the way it was open meant they couldn't. So weird!!! The nursery closet is kept close because it is stuffed full of his car seats and a bunch of diapers...

Weird, right? I like to think (and I never have before), that maybe this is Jack sending me a Mother's Day sign after seeing how hard my birthday was for me. I realize that's weird, because he was a baby and couldn't even establish eye contact for very long. But it brings me comfort to think of it that way. I honestly can't think of any logical reason for the doors to be open- no open windows/drafts, or anything. My brother didn't touch anything in the attic on that side of the house, and he was gone well before we went to bed. The doors can't be opened by the cats touching/pushing on them. It's all around strange.

So, Jack it is. Call me crazy, but I can't explain it any other way!

In a Nutshell...

From today's PostSecret:


So damn true.

Mother's Day- hope it's not as sad as you have anticipated.  

xox

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Birthday, My Baby Boy

I'm 29 today...

I'm not feeling very celebratory this year. Not like last year, when I had everything in the world to look forward to. No one could have anticipated this would is how it would all turn out.

I got up early this morning and had a shower so I could cry in there without waking up Scott, nor my younger brother who is over installing some pot lights in our house. I used Jack's Burt's Bees body wash and closed my eyes, breathing in the smell I quickly learned to associate to him. Yummy baby.

I still can not believe this is my life.

So daunting to think, to know,  I may have 70 more birthdays. Each without him.


I don't want them. I want him. I want this.


He is mine... I will miss him forever. Including today, and tomorrow, and in all the days yet to come.


Sometimes I worry that maybe I don't know just how hard this is going to get. I wonder if it won't be THAT much harder once I have another baby, and discover how very much I am missing. That I have yet to realize the very extent of what this lost life will mean. It's one thing to think I know, and another completely to truly know.

And for comparison's sake, I'm including a photo of me (and my sister Jennifer) when I was about a year old.

Meet my exact replica:

Okay, that's it for today. I'm going to go try to make some semblance of happy out of my sad little weekend.

xox

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Year Ago Today

A year ago today I had a sneaking suspicion I was pregnant. I was actually 18DPO (WTF was wrong with me for not checking sooner, like SERIOUSLY). Now? I get about 5DPO and I start peeing  furiously. I've told you I'm a psycho, right?

I used my cheapy internet pregnancy test, and it gave me one of these:

Isn't that a gorgeous second line? :)

My husband, who is apparently quite skeptical of me and my shenanigans, made me go buy a drugstore test to confirm what I already knew to be true:
It confirmed, I was indeed Inangerp pregnant... Victorious!
I still have that First Response Test. It's in my husband's bedside table drawer, has been since we lost Jack. Before that, it was proudly displayed on our dresser. Gross? I don't care!

I remember telling Scott I was pregnant after the store-bought test confirmed it. He couldn't believe it. Our very first month of trying- 3 months after my surgery and we were officially expecting. I think we both thought it would take many more months than this before we got it right. In retrospect, I know we were extremely lucky to conceive Jack right away. Sometimes, I wonder if it was too lucky, and not meant to be (which I guess it was, in the end).

We decided not to tell anyone for a while, though I almost immediately disregarded our agreement as I dropped him off for a Cinco De Mayo party that evening and called my best girlfriend in the world to tell her about the "No Vacancy" sign handing in uterus.

We didn't tell our parents for weeks, until we were nearly out of the first trimester. You know, in case something went wrong.  They were both thrilled with it, my parents very keen on becoming grandparents for the first time... :(

Next time (oh, there will be a next time), I don't know what we will do as far as letting people in on our secret. I kinda think at this point we'd tell our friends and immediate family, but swear them to secrecy.  I don't want *everyone* to know right away, as I think (some stupid) people might think all is well in our world once we have another little bundle to think about... We all know that is NOT the case.

When we finally told our families, my mother in law told everyone (including my BIL- yeh, thanks MIL) as soon as we'd told her. Can not keep a secret if her life depended upon it... At the time, we knew keeping it quiet until the first several weeks had passed was the best idea after all.  On the other hand, I think it would be healing for some our families to know shortly after we do so. I think that will stop them from worrying about us the way they do...

So, that's what I was doing a year ago. Reveling in the joy of what was to come, and what was to be of us in the coming year... I so wish I could have warned that Laura of what would be a year on. That she'd be a shell of her former self. She would be incredibly in awe of, and in love with her husband... That she would give birth to a gorgeous little boy only to say goodbye days later... Poor Laura.

When did you tell in your pregnancy? Has experiencing this loss changed this for you the next time around?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Flogging my guts out...

It was just four months ago that I had my little boy. Another few days and it will have been four months since we lost him. The in between time is generally hard for me- four months ago we were getting released from the hospital after his delivery, and we were happy, luck people...

So, I spoken about how I've been occupying my time. It's not all glamourous around here, I'm not ALWAYS online shopping yes I am.. I don't always go on Etsy and Banana Republic shopping binges yes I do.

T-minus 6 days until I'm back to work... Really excited about that...

I've told you I've been working on my bathroom renovation for the past few weeks, and I'm finally going to show you some photos so you can see where my aggression goes... I'm not done yet, I'm actually not even close. But, I've made some progress and some is better than nothing, so here goes.

I don't have a true before. Trust me when I say it was gross.  Not like, dirty gross, just underwhelming, kinda always junky even when you had it spotless, kinda gross.  The people who inhabited this house before us did absolutely nothing to improve it and I find I am angry about this. The dude made such a big fuss when we bought it by saying he did all the work himself. And by all the work, he clearly meant laying the plastic peel and stick tiles in the bathroom and kitchen. He meant hiring in bath fitters to put in a plastic tub surround which always made me worry and think about that it was behind the plastic walls he was trying to cover up... This was once the only bathroom in the house until we added one in the bathroom which is our primary bathroom now, complete with a huge shower and bench. :)

As I mentioned before, this is the only one with a bath tub and would have been Jack's tub.  I wanted to renovate it prior to Jack's arrival, but we did the kitchen instead and so, it went on the back burner.

You can see the old lathe here after the plaster was removed.
And around the tub after the plastic and the tiles were removed.. Told you it was gross.

And with the mould-resistant drywall around the base of the room (the top half was already drywall, but had crappy tiles on it which were not only ugly, but different sizes too. WEIRD. The two different colour drywall is because the grey stuff is used in shower surround and is water-resistant... I put this where the back of the toilet reaches the wall, just in case)

Durock tub surround and the arm for the shower head
(which haven't been installed yet, but this is holding the new one's place)

All the screws/corners patched and ready for tile

And here's what I did yesterday (and the reason my back hurts today!!!):

First two rows of tile on mortar...

A whole wall of tile... 3 more to go!
That's all you get for now... Hope you like the preview! And, for anyone who is wondering, it really does do a lot to keep my mind off of being sad about Jack, as well as dreading Mother's Day, and going back to work.

Doesn't make it any better, but easier, perhaps.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Letters from the Past



On May 1, 2010 I sent myself an e-mail.  I remember doing it, but couldn't remember when I did, or what I had said... I used an e-mail service called FutureMe.org which I came across a year ago, and obviously decided to try out.

Wanna know what I wrote? Here it is:


Dear FutureMe, 

I'm writing this on May 1, 2010. I found this link on a blog I was reading, and thought I'd give it a try. Any luck with the baby-making? We just finished our first month of "trying", that's ridiculous, right?

One single, solitary month of trying for a McBaby, and I think I've peed on any test which has come in my path- whether it's the opks or the pg test, doesn't matter. Excited though- maybe by the time you're reading this we'll be closer? Heck, we might even have one by now!

Any closer to moving to the country? We definitely need to do that- soon! :)

xox,

Past Laura


Wow, if only Past Laura, of May 1, 2010 knew what the next year would have in store for her... She (of that time), and I (of this one), are so similar yet so different. We still pee on anything we can. We're still waiting for a baby (though different ones). We also (still) want to move to the country- which we have not done... We still have so much hope for our future.

I kinda like the idea of this, since I have very much forgotten what I had written a year ago. Such a short time in the grand scheme of things, but a long time as well. A lifetime (Jack's).

So, I've sent one to Future Laura, Laura of May 1, 2012. Here's what I wrote:


Today marks 4 months since you gave birth to the most gorgeous little boy you have ever seen. You fell hook, line & sinker for that little boy. Unfortunately Laura, we lost him. Just a year ago you were so hoping for a baby, and you got him... But he's gone now, and you're hoping for another. 


I hope May 1, 2012 finds you with a new sweet baby in your arms. Whether it's a little boy, or a little girl, I very much hope they have arrived, are healthy, and you are soaking up every minute of sweet love with this one.


If no baby has arrived yet, I send you nothing but love. Well, love and hope. 


I hope you and Scott are very happy with your son/daughter, even though you know you'll miss your little man Jack everyday for the rest of your life.


xox,
Past Laura


What would you say if you were to e-mail your future self? Will you do it?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Four Months & finally a birth story

Four months already. You would have been 4 months old.

Four months ago, I was in active labour.  My husband and I joked we didn't want Jack to be born on New Years Eve since it's 1) my older sister's birthday, and 2) Jack would have been the youngest in his class. I remember repeating, "today is not your birthday, Jack" as the contractions started getting stronger. We had made lose plans to attend a NYE party about an hour from our house and obviously we had to inform them we were not going to attend as we were going to have a baby instead!

Finally, at 2am on January 1st, my husband and I decided to try sleeping for a bit. This lasted fewer than 10 minutes before I couldn't take it anymore. We grabbed our bags and headed to the hospital a short 5 minute drive away. We checked in and I was already dilated to 4.5.  I knew at that point I wasn't going to be able to labour naturally, something I had toyed with in the months since conception. It wasn't excruciating yet, but I knew that was coming.

I received my epidural by 5am. I distinctly remember the "popping" sound of the needle sliding into my spine. It was gross, but the sensation of cool water pouring down my back (from the pain meds) MORE than made up for it. My waters were artificially broken. Jack had pooped in his waters, so I knew this meant we would have the NICU team there for delivery, and that Jack would be born within a few hours... This was an exciting prospect. I was given Pitocin to speed up the contraction- let the good times roll.
During a contraction
Things progressed for a little while, but with the heart rate monitor belt losing track of Jack, I was told that he would need one of the monitors on his little head to keep better track of things. We did this, but it didn't really help all that much in the end. His heart rate kept slipping and I was instructed to stay on my left side which I did from about 6 am-5 pm. It became excruciating and I developed shoulder pain which is apparently quite common. The other wonderful side effect which came from laying on my left side was that it caused the epidural to pool there, leaving me to feel contractions on my right side.  Oh yes, and lest I forget this fact, I also vomited quite profusely thanks to the medications. This seemed to be the theme of my pregnancy as I had severe all-day sickness with Jack lasting up 'til the end.

By 5pm I was incredibly uncomfortable, tired, and ready to meet my little boy.  I had that urge everyone says you get- the urge to poop. I told the nurse and she told me that meant I was likely ready to push but we needed to see the doctor before we did this.  I remember offering Scott $1000 to carry me to the washroom so I could try to poop. It was so painful. He refused my cash and tried to calm me.  The OBGYN on duty confirmed I was indeed 10 cms dilated. But, Jack was still sunny-side up and high up in the birth canal. We were advised a c-section was in order, and around 5pm I agreed. I think I always knew this would be what ultimately happen, but I wanted to see whether I could indeed deliver vaginally. That would be a resounding "NO!" echoing in your ears...

Eye on the Prize
I was prepped for surgery and my hubby was given a gown to wear which opened towards the front. I had tasked him with the skin-to-skin contact since I was heavily medication and quite worried that I was going to drop Jack. I'm so glad he agreed! :) I continued to throw up in the operating room, much to the chagrin of my nurses and doctor. The OBGYN did a pinch test on my abdomen (can you call it that when it protrudes several inches? ha!) and unfortunately I could feel EVERYTHING on the right side thanks to the medication pooling. He opted for me to have a spinal in addition to the epidural since we needed to get the show on the road. My shoulders continued to ache and I continued puking. It was all around delightful.

Inspecting him
Finally, we were ready to roll and Scott was invited into the room along with his video camera. There was music playing in the background, and eventually we started smelling burnt flesh. It took a few seconds for it to click in that was MY flesh being burned for the c-section. Gross. The radio played one of my all-time favourite songs, Bush's "Come Down". I sang along to the lyrics while being pulled and pushed while they tried to get Jack out of his cocoon.  We joked around with the surgeon, asking whether Jack was indeed still in there.  We were assured he was, and at exactly 6:32pm he let out a wail and was taken over to the table to be checked out by the NICU to make sure he didn't aspirate any of the meconium. That's when Scott stopped filming me and fell in love with his son. He kept repeating, "he's so cute!" and asking the doctor's if he looks okay. He did, and after a few minutes and after acing his testing, he was brought over to me.

I remember looking at him through my haze and thinking he was cute. I don't know why it was so important to me that he was cute, but he was. :) I kept asking how much he weighed and how long he was, but they hadn't measured him and instead placed him on my chest for a few minutes. My shoulders were killing me and I was being jostled as they stitched me back together again. I remember telling Scott to make sure Jack didn't fall off.  Scott and Jack did some skin-to-skin time, and eventually I was ready to be wheeled into the recovery room. Jack was placed upon me again, and my parents were allowed into the room to meet their grandson. We were all very excited, albeit exhausted.

Later that night, when it was just the three of us in the overnight room and everyone else had left, my husband told me he would need 12 more of these babies. This was indeed the very best night of his life.


To think we experienced both the very best and the very worst days of our lives within a week of one another.
 
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