Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The 2 Month Mark

Yesterday marked the day that my son had been gone for 2 months. I found this to be a very difficult day. I had a wealth of emotions from deep sadness to joy and anger and everything in between. My family and I did not go to his gravesite because that is just too hard to do. We had gone the day before on fathers day to bring him flowers and two days in a row is just too much for me. My poor boyfriend had his holiday overshadowed by the 2 month anniversary of our sons death. I can honestly say I know how he feels. At least God didn't single out just one member of my family when it came to ruining their days. My son was bornstill two days before my oldests birthday, was due four days after mine and the day before my fathers, and on a day of the month that will always fall close to fathers day and my boyfriends birthday.

We honestly had a pretty great day Fathers day all things considered. We went on a trip to Alexandria Bay and took a boat tour. We ended up at Boldt Castle and that was amazing. I have to admit it all felt a little strange because had Christian made it we probably would not have been able to do all the things we did. Don't get me wrong I loved our trip but I gladly would have given it all up to have my baby boy.

It has been 2 months since that fateful day and I am starting to feel the loneliness that others have referred to. It is becoming clear that people feel it is time for me to start moving on. And truthfully I tell them that I am. I just can't stand being looked at like I am crazy or that I might fall apart at any given moment. Emotions have never been my strong suit. I am not good at them and now I feel like I am being thrust into a world filled with them. Everyone has different expectations for the way I should be right now and that is very hard to deal with. The experts say I should still be deeply grieving but society says pick up your chin and get back on your feet. For a person that does not like to let anyone down this grieving process is actually very confusing!

I just wish I had more people that understood what I was going through. People that weren't going to think I was a little nutty when I obsessed over yellow leaves on my sons plant. People that understood that I loved this baby even if they thought I was dumb for getting pregnant again. People that didn't think my baby's death was a blessing in disguise. Maybe I will try a support group.

Friday, June 19, 2009

All My Nurses...

I loved most of my nurses. My nurses at the hospital and the ones at my office. There was this one nurse at my OBs office that always loved to play with my oldest. Her name is Jesse. It got to the point that whenever we would go in there my son would ask for her. She would race with him. To the back of the hall. To the bathroom. To the exam room. Most of the time he won. I really liked her. That was the nurse that called me back to the room that day. She was the first one to try and locate a heartbeat on the NST.

I heard something when she was poking around but I knew it wasn't his heart. It was way too slow. That is when she called in the other nurse. I guess it should have sunk in then that something was seriously wrong but denial is a powerful thing. I saw the look of concern on her face but I just didn't want to believe it. April was the next nurse to come in. She tried for what felt like an eternity to find a heartbeat. Nothing. Only mine. She asked where they normally found it and I told her she was in the right spot. Then she said we needed to get an ultrasound tech. I should have known. I did know.

They must be trained to lie. She told me maybe the placenta was just in the way but I could see by the look on her face that this was not the case. I just didn't want to believe. The ultrasound tech came in and took me over to take a look. Like I have said before there was a flatline. I hoped that the baby was just being difficult. But the minute she said let me get your boyfriend I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was gone. It was no mistake. He wsn't in a funny position like she agreed to. She came back with him and the doctor. How did I manage to not lose it before the fateful words. Those words came crashing down. "Laurie I'm so sorry but he didn't make it." Those cruel words crushed me. It felt like those words brought down the entire weight of the world right on top of me. I cried harder than I have ever cried in my whole life. Somehow I managed to dial my mothers work number so my boyfriend coud tell her what happened. I could not talk. I could barely breathe.

April was the nurse that brought me to another exam room where I could talk more to the doctor. Where I could cry and breakdown. Where I could gather myself and figure out what to do next. I was so scared. I was scared to hemmorhage again. I was afraid to leave in such a state and scare the other patients in the waiting room. They were all there all still pregnant. They did not need to be scared that something was going to happen to their babies. They offered to let me leave out the back door but I managed to get it together long enough to leave the way I had come in. I cried almost the whole way home.

I had a nurse in the hospital that was awesome. Her name was Maryann. She was so kind so gentle. She oh so gently pushed me to do the things that were right. She did not push me to do more than I thought I was ready for and just made suggestions. She explained things and allowed me to do things in my own time. She is the one I credit with getting me to see my son. I owe her more than words can express. This is the most valuable thing I have from this experience. Those few moments I had with my son. Maryann is also the woman who put together my memory box. She is the one that told me about Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. for this I can not thank her enough.

My night nurses were great to. I had a nurse named Zoey that was always there to listen and ready to get anything I or my family needed. She checked in on me with kindness. She encouraged me to talk and get my feelings out. Something I was not really ready to do. I also had a nurse named Gretchen. This woman was also great. Very caring and understanding. She also did not push. This is the woman that gave me my invaluable photographs of my precious baby boy. I also can not find strong enough words to show my gratitude to this woman.

I can not thank these women enough for being there for me through my darkest days. To them I will be eternally grateful. I find it strange that I remember each and every one of these nurses when I did not remember Joey's nurses. Its funny how the mind works in times like these.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

In The Delivery Room

I had to have a c-section. I had a c-section with my first son and they won't induce after a c-section. I remember them telling me to hold still and relax. How could I relax? They were about to deliver my precious baby boy... only there would be no cry this time. I remember holding my breath when his brother was born waiting for the cry. The sign that everything was fine and he was here. Strangely I found my self holding my breath this time too. Only this time I was waiting for the cry that said the doctors were wrong it was all a mistake. I heard a nurse comment that he hadn't cried maybe they were hoping too.

I got the needle and instantly my feet went numb. My whole body went numb. It wasn't like that last time. I wonder now if they were trying to be kind and really make sure I didn't feel a thing. How were they to know I was already numb. Right down to the depths of my soul. They had offered to put me to sleep. Once again trying to save me from the pain but I declined. I wanted to remember. I wasn't sure I wanted to see him I wasn't sure I could handle that. But I wanted to remember his birth.

It was all so surreal. I wasn't supposed to be there not yet. It seemed to take forever. When my first son was born it all went so fast. This seemed to take an eternity. I couldn't feel a thing. Also different than the first time. The only thing I felt this time was emptiness when they took him from me. They brought him to the warmer and asked me if they could baptize him. I said yes. They asked if I would like to hold him. I said no. I didn't want to see him. I didn't want to face the fact that I had failed. I failed to protect my baby while he was in me. I caught a glimpse of him as they wheeled me out. My heart sunk.

The whole time we were in there it felt like it was never going to end. They made his father wait in the hall until I was completely prepped and draped. I could see him from the window and he looked horrified. He hadn't wanted to leave my side. Finally they were done and they let him in. The doctor took a moment to get in the room. That poor doctor. Again. This time was different though. No hemorrhaging, no race against time. I was in no physical danger. This time my baby was just dead.

I noticed everything in that room this time. It was so cold. There were so many noises. I felt sick. I got sick. They gave me something to stop the vomitting. Suddenly I noticed the monitors. My blood pressure was so high. A result of the meds. I saw the pump that drained my abdominal cavity of the blood. I noticed everything around me. There was no reason to focus on the surgery. I welcomed the distractions that I missed the first time.

Suddenly they were done he was here. The distractions faded away. I was thrust back into the reality I so desperately wanted to escape. It was real. He was here and he did not cry. It was so silent in that room despite all the noise. The only thing I could hear was silence. His silence.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I have had little ambition to sit down and write lately. I think I am experiencing a little bit of shutting down lately. I often find myself stuffing down the hurt feelings as far as they can go. This is something I have done my whole life but lately it bothers me. I want to feel, I should feel, I need to feel. I feel like I could cry every moment of every day but I just can't cry. I am afraid I guess that the people around me will worry too much. I am afraid that I will make them fell like I do somehow and you see no one should have to feel that way.

I was talking with my boyfriend the other night and he shared with me a conversation he had with his grandfather. His grandfathers girlfriend lost a baby exactly the same way we lost Christian. I asked him if Claire still thinks about her baby. I was wondering if after all this time it still hurt her. He told me yes. I was kinda hoping against hope that he said no. I would like for this dead feeling to sometime go away. I know that sounds terrible because the minute I think it or say it I feel guilty. If that feeling were to go away I guess I would feel like it meant I loved my baby less. I will never stop loving him I just wish when I thought of him I could smile and not ache.

We went to the funeral home where his services were held to pick out his grave marker. I thought it felt kinda morbid. There I was shopping for my baby but I wasn't buying clothes or diapers or toys or anything else a typical mother would be buying. I was buying a tombstone. He has been gone for almost 8 weeks now and all of a sudden it is really bothering me that he does not have a proper grave marker. I don't know why it is bothering me so much. I just feel like he deserves a marker. He deserves to recognized.

We went on memorial day and set flowers on his grave. This is something I do with my grandmother each year. We go and make the "rounds". You see there are lots of family members in the cemetery he is in. In fact he is buried with my grandfather and in between an aunt and uncle. Someday my grandmother will be there with him also. I guess this should make me feel better because he is surrounded by people that would have loved him almost as much as I do but it doesn't. I want him with me. I wish now that he could have been buried with me but to do that I would have had to have him cremated and I just couldn't do that. The thought horrified me.

My boyfriend and I went to his grave yesterday to look at my grandfathers headstone and try to get an idea of what color it was. while we were there I saw the flowers I had left for my son. I wanted to take them home and plant them in my mothers garden next to his other flowers . This was not possible however because they were dead. This really upset me it didn't help that the second pot was totally destroyed. I t appeared that the groundskeeper had run them over with his lawnmower. This made me extremely angry. How could they be so careless. Do they not know how important these things are to people?

Yesterday was just a really hard day. All I can do for my baby now is buy him grave marker. I can only go and tend to his grave. I can never hug him or kiss him or make him feel better when he is sad. I can never tell him everything will be okay when he is scared. I just hope that whatever reason God had for taking my baby back to heaven was important. It makes it a little easier to think that I was chosen to carry an angel. I guess if I think that he wasn't really mine to keep it makes it a little easier.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I had a really great team of nurses when I was at the hospital. They were all very understanding. I guess I was lucky in that respect. They explained all the things I was able to do with my son. They encouraged me and his father to see him. This is something I will be forever grateful for. We were not going to see him. I was not sure I could handle that. I don't do well with death and this was supposed to be MY baby. I was not sure I could handle seeing my baby lifeless. I am glad I did. The nurses all told me I would be glad that I saw him and I am.

He was so tiny. I still can't get over how tiny he was. His lips were so red. I wondered if that was normal. His skin was so blue. They said he had gone within the last 24 hours. They couldn't even clean him up. That part really bothered me. My baby couldn't even be cleaned up. Why couldn't they at least clean him. I don't know why this bothers me so much. It just kinda does I guess I just think babies should be clean. They explained to me that in my state your are not allowed to clean them up.

The night he passed my son spent the night at my uncles house. My mother came back up to the hospital and me, her, and Christians father got to spend a little time with him. His father kissed him but I didn't have the courage. I was afraid if I held him too long I wouldn't give him back. So I only held him briefly that night. My mother even held him. She was the only one we shared him with. Somehow I think he should be private. A gift for only me to know. I don't want to share him with everyone. I am selfish I want him to be all mine. I only got to spend a brief moment of time with him I don't want to share him.

The following morning I saw him while I was alone. I talked to him and hugged him. I looked over his whole body from head to toe. He had his brothers feet and fingers. Someday I will tell him how much they looked alike. I was sure I wrapped him back up in his blanket perfectly. He was so fraile that I felt like I was going to break him. I had to keep him safe. I didn't want to hurt him. He had been hurt enough. I wasn't sure if he felt pain when he died and I didn't want to hurt him now.

I hope God knows how much I would have loved my little boy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I will never forget the day Christian was born. It was the worst day of my life. What was supposed to be one of the best days of my life was ripped away. I was supposed to be introducing my little boy to his baby brother not explaining that our baby had to go to heaven. I hope there is a heaven. I really want a chance to see my baby. what will he be like? will he stay the same and be a baby forever? or will he grow up?

I will never forget the day that changed my families lives forever. He was just so tiny 5lbs 6oz. The time it took to prep me for his delivery seemed to last forever. The same doctor that handled my first miscarriage was there to deliver this baby. I felt so bad for her. She only has been able to share in my misery. How awful. They prepped me for the surgery as best they could. Talked a little about my "options" encouraged me to see him. Filled out the fetal death certificate. How strange. They tried to do it casually just asking questions to fill in the blanks. Never telling us what they were doing. I guess they thought I didn't want to know but I did. I wanted to know everything it was all I would have. This day. The memories created on this day.

He had blue eyes. I peeked. Just like me and his brother. He had his fathers fingers and nose. He looked just like his daddy. Just like his brother. But he had so much dark hair. Probably what caused all the heartburn. It seemed to take forever for them to get to him. to get him out.

Back in the recovery room it felt so strange not to be pregnant. I was pregnant for so long now I wasn't but no baby. The delivering doctor came in to see how I was doing. I think she was worried that I wasn't crying she hadn't seen me cry. She told me it was okay to show emotion but I was just kinda numb. I didn't want to feel. The birth of your child is suppose to be joyous not devastating. Here I was in recovery with no baby. I just wanted my baby back.

Back to my room so many decisions. Do you want to see the baby? Not really I don't want to look at my poor baby so lifeless so cold. But I don't want to miss my only chance to hold him to kiss him to tell him I love him. So many conflicting emotions. I am glad I saw him I am glad his father and my mother saw him too. It made it more real. He was so tiny so fraile. I was scared to hold him I was afraid I wouldn't want to let him go. I didn't want to let him go. I waswn't supposed to be doing this.

I want to try again but I am terrified. I don't ever want to have to do this again. I don't want to belong to this club. I am sorry for everyone who has to belong to this club.
On April 22nd 2009 my son Christian was brought into this world but never took a breath. I was scheduled for a c-section on May 15th just 3 weeks away. But God had other plans. I am not so sure why he took my little boy and it really bothers me. I guess I should consider myself fortunate to know that there was an apparent cause. My little acrobat tied a knot in his cord. I have done some reading and apparently there are signs like hiccups and a lot of movement in the evening both of which he did. i guess poor nutrition can help aid to this as well and well I guess that was a problem too.

Let me start at the beginning.

Christian is my second son and pregnancy is anything but easy for me. This pregnancy was awful and for a long while I did not let myself get attached to him. I had after all had a miscarriage at 13 weeks before and I was having some complications with this pregnancy. I found out I was pregnant relatively early, I was only 3 weeks, and by week 6 I was in the ER with dehydration. I had my first ultrasound at 7 weeks when I was back in the ER for dehydration due to lack of being able to keep anything down. This is when they discovered the bleed in utero. they said it was minor and that it was probably the reason I was so sick. After all I am rh negative. I had my first checkup at 9 weeks and another ultrasound and lots of blood work. the bleed was still there my doctor said it was in God's hands. So of course I expected the worst and prayed for the best. At 11 weeks another ultrasound the bleed had corrected itself I could finally breath. Then I woke in the middle of the night in excruciating pain. Back to the ER. I was admitted for an infected kidney stone and kept for two days until it passed. This is where I met the doctor whose practice I switched to. I told him how sick I had been and how i could not eat or drink anything without puking my guts out. He asked me what my doc was doing for me and I said just waiting to see. By the way I had already lost about 5 pounds from all the vommiting. He told me I had Hyperemesis and to make an appointment with him and he would get me taken care of. Well the day after I was discharged from the hospital I was back up in the hospital getting more fluids and they set me up with 24 hour IV fluids at home. About a month later I wa able to come off them. But I never felt well the whole time I could barely eat without feeling extremely nauseous and the heartburn oh my.

This pregnancy was awful and a few times I just wished it would be over. I lost a total of 10 pounds before I started to gain I was weekly up until 17 weeks and then everyother week until i was about23 weeks. I had to due the second glucose test because something went wrong with the first one and my blood sugar dropped so low that I nearly fainted by the end of the second test. I just wanted my baby. I wanted this pregnancy to be over and the joy of my little one to begin. I knew once he got here none of the rest of this would matter anymore.

My 35 week checkup was on a Wednesday and that Sunday I had a nightmare that at the appointment there was no heartbeat. I was so nervous in the room but he got out the doppler and everything was fine. His heartbeat wasn't really strong but it was there. It never had been very loud. I worried about this the whole time but they all assured me it was fine. When I heard that heartbeat I thought everything would be fine. It was just a dream and I was being silly.

Then week 36 arrived and I went to dinner with my grandmother and after I ate I thought it was a little strange that Christian had not moved. But I chalked it up to the fact that he must not like what I had eaten. This was not abnormal. We went to bed like normal and I was really tired so I guess I did not feel him move at his usual time but I never realized it until I woke up at 6 the next morning. He still was not moving. This was not normal. Thinking back I wasn't sure he moved most of Tuesday either. But I had been very busy cleaning and moving a lot maybe he was just lulled to sleep by my constant movement. You never want to think the worst. You try to justify. I tried everything I drank juice, I ate toaster streudels I thought the sugar will get him moving. I tried poking at him but he just floated up. That was not normal he should have flitted away. He always flitted away. He was shy.

I called my boyfriend and made him come to the doctors with me I had all my daycare kids. He sat in the waiting room as they hooked me up to the nonstress machine. They couldn't find his heartbeat. Over to ultrasound. A flatline. I tried to pretend he was just in a funny position. They got my boyfriend and the doctor. I'm sorry he's gone. Then the tears and the decisions. The doctor wanted me to wait a day or two to have him. I couldn't. He had to come now.