Saturday, March 28, 2009

The ties that bind

I keep waiting to feel better. Waiting for the wound to feel less fresh, more healed. The other day my i*pod ran through to music I had loaded into it after Caleb died. I let it play to see if maybe now, listening to the songs would rest a little easier on my ears. Bring comfort, not pain.They didn't. This wound is a stubborn thing. No matter the time that passes, it will not scar over. I check it to see if maybe I only scratch at it lightly it won't bleed. But it still does. I don't even think a scab has taken up temporary residence over the gash. It's more like I have a tourniquet on it and if I let go of it, no matter how quickly, the freshness of the injury will be unveiled.
It's stubborn in its permanence. Tenacious in its grip. No matter how many days I put between myself and its arrival all I can do is grow accustomed to its vice like squeeze, learn to take shallower breaths, ignore its shadow as it lingers on the walls around me. Reminding me, sometimes quietly other times forcefully, that it is here to stay.
I can go about my days now with this unrelenting force hanging about and I am fairly adept at quieting it's almost melodic hmmmmm in the background. But eventually it will grow impatient with me and feel the need to shake me into recognition of its presence. A few days ago as I sat watching Cason in his jumpy seat he scrunched up his face, wrinkled his forehead and squinted his eyes, one eye drooping down as the other furrowed into his brow line. And he was the mirror image of one of the few actual pictures I have of Caleb after he was born. It took my breath away. As we, the husband and kids and I, laughed at the face Cason was making I wanted to say, I started to say, he looks just like Caleb in the picture I have. But the words stopped short in my throat. Caught by the lump that suddenly appeared and the rapid fire succession of thoughts that flew through my mind. If I mention the picture, the kids may want to see it. I don't want them to see it. Not being a full or even near full term baby, Caleb's pictures are not images I want my children to have of their lost brother. While I can see the baby I saw after delivery and his resemblance to his older sister, they will see a dead baby, who does not look peaceful and beautiful. Not to them. He looks unfinished and dead. Now in their minds he is a complete baby, a dead baby yes, but a baby that looks more like other babies do when they sleep. And if they have to have an image of their dead baby brother, that is the one I want them to have, not the other more real one that shows the horror of death, the rawness of life choked away too soon from an innocent baby.
I turned away to hide my eyes, to give myself the moments I needed to re-wrap the tourniquet, bind it more tightly, stop the fresh flow. One more time. Again.

And then I rejoined the living.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The hour I first believed

A year ago today I stepped into my jeans and pulled my Claddagh t-shirt over my head. I thought about my family and my past. I looked at the calender and counted. I had counted the days in my head before. I thought I was supposed to wait one more day. I had one more day of holding out hope that maybe, just maybe this would be the month. But when I actually saw the dates laid out in front of me and ticked them off, one by one, my finger stopped on the 17th when I got to 28. I did it again. Same result.
I felt the hollowness in my stomach turn to a twisting and stretching of what few muscles still lived there after the past year. I was dizzy and light-headed. I went upstairs and logged on, not ready to see what might or might not be happening in the deep, dark cave of my body. There was an email from C., she wanted to know if I had tested yet. Despite my absolute aversion to 'signs' I took this to be one. It was the nudge I needed.

I did it. In the ensuing moments, long, quiet, tense filled moments, I alternated between wanting to throw up and needing to cry. My hands shook so violently when I picked up the stick I thought I was going to drop it. And then I saw it. (+)

And that was the hour I first believed.

Happy Birthday to my Leprechaun. I love you.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Oh yeah, that's why I left you.

Just hearing about this travesty, so pardon me if I am behind the curve. After seeing it on the news and then reading about it, beyond all of the head smacking and genital bashing I would like to partake in at the moment, the only thing I can say is, boy do I feel good about my decision to walk away from that place.
My apologies to those of you who read here and are still members of that particular group. But it is actions such as these, piled on top of the YEARS of inaction and worse, deceptive actions in the molestation scandals, that have alienated so many, myself included, from them. Them being the powers that be, (yes, I am talking to you Mr. Pope and your cronies), that feel entitled to hold everyone, except themselves that is, up to some arbitrary, man made standards and laws, while calling it "the word of God" and then deciding whether or not one is worthy of worshiping with you. Hypocrites. Shame on you.
When I am done fuming I may write more about this. Right now I am far too angry to be constructive.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sophie took a trip away this past weekend. She was remembering her beautiful daughter Jordan, who took her last breath just a little over nine months ago. While she was there she also remembered some of our lost babies. And this is what I saw today when I went to read about her trip.

And I cried. Thank you, Sophie. Thank you.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Before, way before, when my life was moving along according to 'plan', I used to walk by the extra room in our house and wonder if someday, maybe, I'd get that last baby. We never decorated the room, when we bought the house we moved each of the kids into their own rooms, put ourselves in the Master and then sort of left the definition for the last room up in the air. It became a junk room with a desk and a computer and all the crap I didn't know what to do with or didn't want to deal with, ever. Occasionally it became a guest room, for the husband...not for couples counseling but for sleep deprivation issues(mine not his) related to his snooooring. It was never painted and the wallpaper was half way torn down by me in a late night I'm not sleeping so I might as well get something done stupor(obviously before the idea occurred to me to throw the husband out when the snooooring was bad). I always had it in my head that maybe, eventually, it would be a room for another baby. I was waiting for the green light from the master snorer. Which came some 4 years later. Yeah, we move quick, don't we.

I've had three pregnancies since then, one miscarriage, a stillborn son and Cason. I guess in the card game of pregnancy you could say I have a Full House. In total, I've been pregnant six times, My two other C's and another miscarriage. Maybe that makes a Royal Flush? The room has been successfully converted into a nursery for Cason although he only ever spends time on the changing table, not sure when I'll let him sleep that far away from me, but that's a post for another day.

Back then, before, I thought once I had that third baby I would feel it. "It" being the knowing feeling that would come telling me we were done with babymaking. I expected a comfortable peace, a settled in sense of a job well done and maybe even some nostalgia for the end of my fertile self. I thought the third would finish the sentence, put an ending to the story, that the extra room would get an identity and I would feel complete.
Maybe that would have been the case if things had gone according to plan. I never got there so I will never know.
My third child is dead. My fourth child is here with me and still I feel the ache from within calling for another child. And it seems I will never really be able to finish the sentence. In the beginning, in the days right after Cason was born I thought I really wanted another child, to get pregnant right away and have one more, one whose existence wasn't wrapped in all things dead baby. Never mind how unbelievably terrifying the mere idea of being pregnant again was (and is) to me, I just wanted that other baby. Now, while I still like the idea of Cason having a sibling that is closer to his age (all this loss has created a pretty decent gap between him and his sister and more so his brother) I realize that the real longing is for the one who got away. I won't ever get to be finished because one will always be missing. There is no sense of peace, no feeling of that job well done and certainly no nostalgia about the state of my fertility. Instead there is a feeling that I escaped something, that I got away with something, that I am where I wanted to be but I don't belong there. My outsides don't match my insides anymore. I am a misfit. I am and will always be incomplete.