Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What Might Have Been...

Today was a hard day.

No reason in particular, just missing my boy as usual.

I was walking home from the train tonight and saw a woman walking in front of me.  As I passed her I noticed the reason she was walking slowly was because she was engrossed in her infant in the baby carrier. She was talking to him, he was cooing at her. Blue sock-covered feet hung loose.

And I stared (because I am creepy). I had to make a conscious decision to look away- it took effort to do so. Oh what might have been. :( To think that baby was probably about the same age as Jack would have been if he were here today.. That mom with her arms full, and me with only memories.

:(

--------

We visited my parents for dinner on Sunday, and my dad handed me a Sandisk drive he had downloaded his photos of Jack and some short videos of the day he was born. I thought I'd seen all the pictures of Jack, after making my last discovery a couple of months ago. You guys, there were about 70 photos, of varying quality (but when you don't have a lot, you cherish the blurry ones too, am I right?). I poured over them today. And a few short video clips I can now add to my little collection. There is one of me giving Jack his first diaper change. He's laying on my lap, and I'm trying to pull myself up into a sit so I can lean forward, struggling to do so thanks to my c-section. My mom's standing to my side and holding him bc I was worried he'd roll off. I can see his tummy, his penis, his bum, and his nipples. He's so beautiful. He coos. He fake-cries until he has his diaper on. And I just love him. I'm so thankful for these little memories.

I also found what are probably our only "family" photos. They're taken in sequence, so they're essentially the same photo, but slightly different. These would have been deleted if we still had Jack. We would have kept the best version and deleted the others- always having the opportunity to have more...

So here's the "best" version out of that... That's right, a yawing Jack is our best version. :)

That delicious baby mouth... Don't judge the chins, the fluids made me sooooo swollen
I've spend the better part of the past hour zooming in on Jack's face in this next photo. I friggin' love this kid. I also can not believe how much he looks like his momma. And you know I thoroughly enjoy the baby toes in the bottom corner. :)
I imagine I'll be cherishing this photo my entire life. Also, my hubby is hot.



Finally, a new favourite of Jack and I (there are so few, but I love them all). That red mark on his head is from when he got stuck, sunny side up in my pelvis... And the reason for the very round head resulting from the c-section which followed. I think, now, maybe he just wanted a perfect head out of all this... To be as good looking as possible, right off the hop. Just like his father, that boy. :)



Blurry, but my goodness I love him

In happier news, I'm off to see my man Daniel Tosh tomorrow night with my lov-ah.Skippin' out of work 20 minutes early and everything!


Friday we're flying out to NYC where I'll pretend to be a local and meet Molly in person for the first (but definitely not last if I have anything to say about it!) time.  I'm hoping/planning to return from NYC with a renewed energy and happiness, it's a lot to ask for from a 3 night trip... But given my company while I'm there, I can't imagine not having a great time.

See you on the flip side!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Wedded Bliss

This morning, I posted the following on Facebook, and I can not really think of a better way to say it:


"If I was going to have to wade through this shit, I am so thankful to be wadding in it with you. Happy two years to the love of my life, the father of my son, and the very best man I know."


Two years ago tomorrow, I was photographed making faux-sexy faces:

Then I walked down an aisle with my dad:
Dad and FIL crying... I might have been too.
And saw this guy waiting for me:

What a hunk ;)
 We promised each other our forevers:

And may have laughed a little.

While planning our wedding ceremony, I stumbled upon the following words which made me just smile. They still do, to know these are the words which describe us (and so many other loving couples out there, because this is a great reading for us non-religious types):

"You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks - all those sentences that began with “when we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will”- those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe”- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “ You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this- is my husband, this- is my wife."

Wow, still love that.


And cheered for passing trains- they "tooted" right back at us!
And we made out a little (some more):


And finally, since I've already crossed over to uber-cheese, I hope you'll indulge my presentation of my wedding vows...:



"I Laura Jane, take you Scott, to be my husband.
I promise to love you, each and every day of my life.
I promise to put you first, to care for you, to be your soft place to fall. 
You’re my strength when I waiver, the holder of my hand when I scare.
You’re my cheerleader- my biggest fan, the keeper of my secrets and my best friend.
I give you my heart because with you is where it belongs.
I am thankful for you everyday- the more I know you, the more I love you.
I look forward to a life with you- our life together.
A life full of love and laughter and beautiful babies."


Yes, for real. I vowed to have a life full of beautiful babies... I did, and I still do. I promise him so many more beautiful babies, a beautiful life even without our beautiful boy. He truly was our best creation together, and the very best thing to manifest from our love.
Insert collective *sigh* here.



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Gots Me a New Look

Che-che-check it out.

Like many of you lovely BLMs before me, I decided to sign up with Fran at Small Bird Studios.  I love the work she did on Molly's blog, and I wanted some for me, too! I could not love this blog more.. Well, I could, if I had a live baby in my arms and I wasn't writing about the one I lost.. But anyway, Fran was fantastic, super responsive, and absolutely capture everything I wanted to convey in my blog design.

Now, how to go about collecting buttons? I have one now, see? -->
Lemme know if you have one, past the link in my comments, and I'll find somewhere to paste it here so it's all linked up. You take mine, I'll take yours, deal? :)

In other news, I'm still waiting to ovulate... Back onto the bi-nightly sex routine. It's difficult to play "hard to get" when you're a sure thing, huh? ;) ha!

Also, I'm sure you've all seen this, but I just love it.



The line from my post is "I need every opportunity I can get to ensure our next baby outlives us". Love that this is the line chosen from my post. I love seeing Jack's name in the "For our babies" section.

Have you found your line? Which one is it? And don't forget about the buttons!

Friday, July 15, 2011

My new favourite iPhone App

It's sooo much fun and it's FREE!. It's this one: Instagram. You take photos, then apply various "filters" to alter the appearance to resemble polaroids, vintage-looking photos, or even high in style, low in quality photos from the '70s. Love. I feel like it might be my go-to camera from here on out.

And as a little bit of an update, I finished my last  Clomid pill for round #2, AND my medication for the cat scratch leg infection is all done too.  Now I just have to swallow the usual pills I take (vitamin D, baby asprin, pregvit+5), temp, and pee. Good times folks, good times.

Have you all have a good weekend.  We'll be around, trying to finish up the bathroom reno which might never end. Might even have some photos for you next week if we can get our asses in gear..

Now, off to sit and wait... to ovulate. ha. Too easy.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Things I am looking forward to.

This six month business is no joke.

I feel like I've fallen into a spiral of sadness over these last few weeks. I don't know whether to attribute the severity of my current cycle of grief to "where I am", to the fact our first round of Clomid didn't work, my period, or even to the fact I'm not yet pregnant. The concept of not "trying" until six months was so beyond my comprehension, I think I'm in a little bit of shock to think we're still waiting to "catch a rainbow". I think, probably a little of each has led me to why I'm so sad right now. I just miss my boy.

My poor husband inquired last night as to why we're not yet pregnant. Why it was so easy our first time around, and when, oh when would things start looking up? What do I tell him?

He misses Jack. Told me tonight.  It's not like I don't know he misses him, but hearing him say the words breaks me a little more each time. Don't know about any of you, but man-grief is so hard to deal with. Not that any of this is easy, but seeing a heartbroken man crushes me...

Anyway, this was supposed to be an uplifting post. We are on day three of our 2nd round of Clomid, and I want to try to maintain a positive outlook as we approach ovulation... So start crossing toes and fingers for us, please and thank you. :)

Things I'm looking forward to:

  • July 25th will be our two year wedding anniversary


  • July 28th we will be going to see this very funny bitch an hour or so outside of Toronto. How typical is it he's performing in Toronto when we're out of town?
Daniel Tosh, Tosh.0 on Comedy Central
  • Fly out of the Toronto City Airport July 29th from here:

  • to here:

  • We'll sleep here:

This was my "must have" for the stay
  • And be seeing both of these activities in our short stay:
His

'n' hers.

  • A load of shopping. My husband has made me promise to spend money on clothes while I'm there (which sounds super flakey, but last time we were there in April 2010, I bought next to nothing, which is shameful if you've ever been to NYC). Of course I have my eye on something which isn't clothing at all, but I'll wait and see if I bite the bullet before I write about it...
  • I'm also hoping (very hard) that I see this gorgeous momma while we're there...
So, that's what I have planned and what I'm currently looking forward to. We also have to make the most of our 2nd round of Clomid, so that should keep me somewhat occupied until it's time for take off.

What about you? Any plans for the summer? Anyone taking a distraction trip like we are? Any suggestions on where to eat in NYC?





Monday, July 11, 2011

Six Months Gone... A video of Jack

Remember I mentioned this video? Probably not, I had like -7 readers then... It's a post where I questioned whether I loved on Jack enough... Whether he knew it. Whether I kissed him enough...

 Well I finally figured out how to download my video to my computer. It took WAY too long, but likely was complicated by my debilitating fear I would screw something up and lose the video forever. I then figured out how to upload it here, to share with all of you.

I won't apologize for the fact I look like shit, nor will I apologize for my voice or how annoying our baby talk is. What can I say? We were in love. :)

I do, however, apologize if this brings tears to your eyes or upsets you in any way. As Caroline put it so poetically in the comments a few days ago;

"Sometimes I find myself almost jealous that you gave birth to a living baby and have pictures of him alive (inappropriate of me? Possibly), and then other times, I can't believe the level of heartache you had to endure".

I totally understand where that comes from, and I take no offense at all (how could I? Caroline is the sweetest lady EVER). I know what it's like in that while I know I am ridiculously lucky to have had Jack, born alive, in some strange way I'm jealous of BLMs who had their kids longer than I did... Jealous is the wrong word I think, but I totally get it. 

We all wish we had more, because what we had was certainly not enough. Carrying them isn't enough, a day isn't enough, a week isn't enough, three months, six months, nine months... It's just not enough.

As I have said before, I am thankful for those few precious hours and moments and days we had with him. And the living photos and the video that showed he was alive and fussy.. It's a gift to have, it honestly is. 

So I hope this doesn't cause anyone more pain, and feel free not to watch. But if you want to know what two brand new, know absolutely nothing parents did with their kid one random night in January (the last one before we lost him), take a look. :)

xox

video

Dear Giacomo  (your nickname, even though we're not even nearly Italian),

It's been six months since I held your body, hugged you tight, and then let you go forever. In that moment, of last touching you, last kissing, last being able to physically shower love on you, your mum lost a big part of herself. You are forever our baby boy, and forever loved and adored. There just aren't enough words to tell you how much you are missed, how much you are wanted, and how much I can not wait until we're together again one day.

xox

Love you forever,

Your mum.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Joy Revoked

I was chatting with a friend about babies and hopes and dreams for a future which I hope/KNOW will include more.

It has to get better. It just has to. This can't be it for us, right?

And we spoke about those few sweet days when we had baby Jack home with us. We experienced the all too typical first few nights in which we had constant slumber parties and none of us slept. We had busied ourselves with swaddling, and stinky bums, and washing with sweet smelling Burt's Bees. We lived a very "normal" new parent life. But only for a few days.

The enormity of the possibilities which lay ahead of us at that time, when all was well in our world, is tremendous. We could have been an amazing family together. We would have been.  I just know it.

A few other BLMs have written about their memberships in the momma clubs having been revoked when their lost their sweet babes. I feel the same way. I feel like someone came to my door, I showed them my card to prove I belonged here. But the card was repossessed, like I failed my first tests somehow.

I had happiness. Such amazing love for a little bald boy. So very much I couldn't wait to do with him. So many things I wanted FOR him. I was truly, truly happy, knowing this was the very reason I was put here on Earth. To be a wife. To be a mother. And then all of a sudden, I was sent back to try all over again.

I had such amazing joy in my life. And then it was revoked.

All the happiness in my world, sucked out in one swift sentence... "He has no brain activity".

Saturday, July 9, 2011

6 Months since he was declared

Thanks to everyone for the kind words over this month, hoping this was the month for us. It's not, I'm not pregnant, and the process begins again. It's okay though, one month closer, I have to figure, right?

Today marks 6 months since Jack was declared. It seems so long, and so quickly all at the same time.

A year ago, I was starting to be more open with people that we were "expecting"... Well, ladies, this is certainly not what I expected I would be doing.

To look back, it seems so crazy to me that a year ago I thought things would be so different. And they are, but not at all in the way I imagined.

I remember looking forward to this summer when I still had things to look forward to. I enjoyed thinking about taking Jack for his first swim at my in-law's house. To those chubby baby legs poking out of shorts, to summer days spent walking with our stroller, and to seeing my husband carry our baby around. I looked forward to sleepless nights where it was just the two of us, to seeing his smile and giggle and roll over. Waking up to his own baby toots (okay, so we did get to experience this together). So proud of his accomplishments we all would have been, but we never really got to accomplish anything together.

I still can't wrap my head around why this happened to us. Of all people. Why us? I know people who are impossibly fertile and have never "wanted" for anything. That was us, and now we'll spend the rest of our lives wanting. But the others? They are able to carry on with their lives, turning their faces away from the pain we are forced to live day in and day out. Not that I want it for other people, but why us?

Six long months since Jack's evaluation which would confirm what we already knew- he was brain dead. It's a whole legal process, confirming brain death, requiring not one doctor, but two, to confirm the findings. And it had to happen twice, 24 hours apart. We authorized this so we could begin the process of finding organ recipients. It also started our countdown to the last time we would hold him, the last time we would see him, touch him, smell him.

We (Scott, both sets of our parents, and my BIL and SIL) sat in the room they save for parents just like us, who's lives were forever changed. I remember looking at the digital radio clock, wondering what time it would be when he was officially gone. It would be 6:37 pm on January 9, 2011. Exactly 8 days and 5 minutes since he came screaming into our lives, he was officially gone. Our neonatologist was so fantastic, and always referred to Jack by his name, and never "the baby" as others later referred to him. He told us Jack had indeed failed every test and there was no sign of brain activity. Somehow, this was good news. Because if he had any brain activity at all, it didn't mean he would live, it just meant there would be no organ donation and then we'd have nothing left. Nothing to cling to. Nothing. No evidence that his little life mattered to anyone other than us.

I struggle with this every month. Whether to celebrate his monthly "birth" day, whether to start bawling on the date which reflects when he was declared, or the date we last held him. It tends to be the "birth" and the "last time we held him" which are the hardest. They are the most clearly defined, as the days between his declaration and the time we last held him seemed to have moved at the speed of sound. We slept a lot at SickKids. I'd just had a c-section, hadn't slept in a week, and was emotionally vacant after being told our beloved son wasn't going to live. We took turns in Jack's room, never wanting him to be alone. But he was, as Scott and I tried to comfort one another, our parents and our siblings.

I don't think I've shared this part of our story before, but in the afternoon of January 10th, while we awaited news on organ recipients for the next morning's surgery, Scott and I slept fitfully on the pulldown bed. I awoke at one point to see Scott started freaking out. He was rummaging through the pillows (which were actually just pillow cases stuffed with whatever soft clothing we could locate, since there weren't any pillows in the room) with such panic on his face. I just *knew* he was still sleeping, so I gently asked him what he was doing. "I'm looking for Jack! Where did we put him? Where is he? I can't find him!".

I softly told him he knew exactly where Jack was, and why he was there. Scott slowly seemed to wake up as he told me he did know where he was, and he didn't like it.  Careful not to touch him and wake him up, I told Scott to lay his head down and close his eyes. He did as he was told, and when he awoke again a hour or so later, he had no recollection of the entire event.

Heartbreaking doesn't even begin to describe.

I just miss him, want a do-over, want him back. I want to be like all the other mommas I've known in real life since we lost Jack. Jack's the only one who didn't make it. I don't get it. Why did this have to happen to our gorgeous little man?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cat Scratches and other shit.

So, I did something stupid.

I shaved my cat. Her fur was getting matted, and no amount of picking or pulling at the knots would solve it, and so I decided to shave her instead.

ha

She looked like this when I was done. I actually never finished, she took off running and has scarcely been seen since "the event".

Edited to add, well, the photos I kinda mentioned above... ha!
The cat-scratch bandit...

Flirting... She's an asshole
She left me with a little something though. I won't show you a photo, because it's gross and on my inner thigh, but I have cellulitis (not to be confused with cellulite- I have that too!! ha!)

Here's a photo of it on someone elses face:

Poor soul
Try not to be too aroused people. ha

So, apparently it can be really bad if it's not treated, and can lead to all sorts of infections and ailments.  Right now it's just an uncomfortable patch of skin (a circle, about 6 inches in diameter), which is simulataneously itche, sensitive, and warm. Boo.

I gots me some antibiotics, and get to have them twice per day for TEN days. Oh, and by antibiotics I mean pills, and by pills I mean BIG ONES. 

Exhibit A:
It is basically life sized.
Exhibit B:
Perspective: Vitamin D capsule, Previt nighttime,
Amoxicilian-Clavulan..., 81mg aspirin (orange flavour...yum)
So anyway, try not to be too jealous of my glamourous life. Or too jealous of the husband who gets to sleep at my side nightly. Side note,  this is the same husband who last night looked at me with fear in his eyes and asked if it's contagious. I confirmed it is not, but inquired as to what he would have me do if it were? His answer? "Well, you could always sleep on the couch". Such a good man. ha ha).

In other stuff, I spent Friday (what would have been Jack's 6th month birthday) outside of city limits with some girlfriends. They both read this blog, everyone say "hi Sandrina, hi Holly!". So we decided to hit up a village while our men golfed (and drank) Canada Day away. We came across a really cute "nicknack" store with an assortment of home decor stuff, clothing, and baby gear... I saw a few signs which were really cute. I didn't buy 'em, but I liked 'em.

I also took TERRIBLE photos, so don't judge, mmmkay?


Saw this, and loved it for LissaSue
"Good night. Sleep tight. Angels are watching over you"
"Twinkle, twinkle in your eyes, are you an angel in disguise?"

None of these made me pull the trigger though. I'm all for decorating the nursery I have no current need for, but I have my eye on other baby stuff I WILL be purchasing once I'm pregnant again...

Like this wall decal:

Love this so, so much.
Anyway, I'm getting away from myself. I was going to tell you that rather than decorating the nursery, I chose to pick out something from Jack to his little brother or sister who we are hoping is burrowing into my uterine lining as we speak (what, too much? ha!).

I chose this, because Jack loved his soothers oh so very much!

Wubbanub infant pacifier- Frog, dur.
Yes people, I know I'm crazy. We've established that. But it sure is easier justifying a $15 soother purchase to my husband than it is justifying baby clothing we don't need for a baby we don't have. Who am I kidding? I don't tell him about that stuff, I just slip it into the nursery. ha.

---

And as for an update on the Clomid, I'm still in the 2ww but hope is fading fast. I'm over this whole TTC business, it's exhausting and sad. And every month I'm not pregnant is another month closer to Jack's 1 year birthday. I can't stand the thought of that milestone passing and us not having a new little man or lady to look forward to, you know? Of course you do, you've been there, will be getting there, or are dreading it right along side me.

I could almost pretend like losing Jack "had to happen" in some f'd up version of fate... Like we couldn't have Jack and wouldn't have baby #2 if he could have lived... Baby #2 wouldn't be a thought in our hearts at this point at all, but because Jack's no longer here, we conceive him or her... But here we are now, nearly 6 months since his death, and there is less and less truth to that. We might have been thinking of another little one, making plans to start TTC early next year... And so, it's getting harder and harder to be patient and be "okay" with everything. It's a tough enough pill to swallow, to know I have to live the rest of my lifetime without Jack here. But to not yet have any glimmer of hope for baby #2? Where is the karmic justice is that?

And how come it's hard now when it wasn't before? Why now?

Enough whining, I'm off to nurse my wounds, both physical and emotional.



Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Jack Draws Anything

Anyone heard of this amazing kid?

He's raised nearly £23,000 for Sick Kids Hospital in Edinburgh, Scotland. He's raising money because they have been treating his younger brother, who has been ill, and he wanted to give back. So, with the help of his parents, he started a blog, vowing to take requests to draw pictures if people would donate some money to Sick Kids. Such an inspirational kid- and very wise for his six years.


I donated a few months ago, when I heard, to push him beyond his initial £1,000 goal... He smashed that, and many more goals which followed. Today he posted the drawing I requested. Dumbo the Elephant, and a Rainbow.


From his post:
A lovely request from Laura that Jack had no problem wanting to do. Once he heard Laura's wee story he tried his absolute hardest.
My name is Laura and once upon a time I, too, had a little boy named Jack. He became very sick just after he was born and was treated by The Sick Kids Hospital here in Toronto. He is an angel now. I was hoping maybe you could draw a picture of Dumbo the elephant with a rainbow as it holds a very special place in our hearts for our little Jack.
Jack says, I hope the picture doesn't make you sadder but makes you a little bit happier.

Happier, indeed.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Words to live by...

This shall be my new motto



Friday, July 1, 2011

Six Months

From my amazing friend Alison, via here.
Dear baby Jack,

It's been six months since I first saw your bright eyes looking back at me. Six months since your daddy fell head-over-heels for his beautiful boy. He couldn't believe just how beautiful you were. You were a tricky one to get here, and we didn't get to keep you for long, but I will always be grateful you were ours. 

I will always remember how your hair felt like velvet, how your skin was oh so very soft. I'll remember your strong grip on my fingers and my necklace- whatever you could grab onto. I will never forget what it was like to have you lie asleep on my chest, or hear your cries when you had a dirty bum. Oh how much I loved changing that cute bum of yours. 

You will always be loved. You will always be our first little boy, and ultimately the very best thing your daddy and I will ever make together. I so very sad to think you would have been six months old today. I remember being excited when you were born on January 1st, to know we would be celebrating Canada Day and your 6 month birthday on the same day. This isn't quite how I had hoped it would be.

Your daddy and I miss you everyday, and there isn't a thing I wouldn't do to have you back. I know one day we'll be together again and when we are, I will never let you leave my arms. We have so much lost time to make up for.

Love you forever,

Mum.


"On the night you were born,
The moon smiled with such wonder
That the stars peeked in to see you
And the night wind whispered,
“Life will never be the same.”
Because there had never been anyone like you…
ever in the world."



 
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