Saturday, April 28, 2007

Rant continued

I realized what bugged me so much about the below comment. It is not so much a question of "Why would someone say something so insensitive" as it is "Why wouldn't someone say something so insensitive???"

The thing is, we don't talk about death in our society. We don't teach our children what is acceptable and appropriate to say to someone who is grieving the loss of a child/parent/spouse. And that is what frustrates me. How would the quoted person below know that he/she is saying something hurtful? Heck, I might have said the same thing in my previous life.

I think, however, that what not to say is a little more intuitive with other losses. I might be wrong here (feel free to correct me!!). But I would hope that it is obvious NOT to say to a widow "Gee, I am so glad that my husband of 15 years is still with me. Seeing your struggles as a widow make me cherish my husband even more."

I just don't know. Might I have said this, before? Might I mess up and say something equally dumb in the future? I suppose I might. We are none of us perfect.

But we spend so much time teaching our children proper socialization in so many other ways. This is such a missing link.

Is this bad Blogger ettiquette??

**I am about to comment on another Blogger's comment. Bad form. I cannot help myself.**

I just read this comment on a bereaved parent's blog:

Thank you for sharing your struggle with us. I have 2 kids... I can't imagine what my life would be like if I lost them. Reading your thoughts as you journey to find peace in the midst of your sorrow helped me appreciate my children even more.

On behalf of all Bereaved parents everywhere, to the Non-Bereaved:

Honestly? Do you really think that this is supportive? NO!!!! All it says to me is "nah, nah, na boo boo, I have my kids and you don't, ha, ha." I know you are trying to understand my perspective but OH MY GOD!!!!!!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Preparing the black socks and sandles as we speak...

It seems as though we may soon become the proud owners of an RV!!

We are camping people. Our best childhood memories are based around camping. Our first summer together featured camping (and every summer since). It makes me so happy I want to cry when I think of BB having good camping memories with his family. And maybe a little sibling for him to play with???? (oh, lord, let's stay away from that line of thought!!!)

Our unit may look something like this.

The decision is not final. Let's call it 95% decided. We are financially cautious people as well as camping people.

Seriously. I'm excited.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Though I know things are huge and frightening and overwhelming, I am SO thrilled for Catherine.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Depends on where you're sitting

I went to hear a naturopathic doctor speak last night. I am not really a "crunchy granola type", but several young moms were going to be there. And I am on a quest to meet some people. So I went.

It was fine. I have a pretty good filter for things that I think are crap or impractical. For example, he insists that we should only drink or bathe in water without chlorine in it, in case it is absorbed through the skin. Excuse me, but how do you propose I do that? The water that comes out of our tap is chlorinated and the chlorine is why we can live in this part of the world and not die of water-borne diseases. Shall I call the Culligan man every time I want to have a shower? And I can't afford organic food and I'm not entirely convinced it is so much better for me anyway....

Well, I didn't buy his line completely (though I agree we should eat whole foods and avoid processed foods as much as possible).

What really got me was how he tried to use guilt and scare tactics to convince us to change our ways. That studies* have shown that the layers of umbilical cords contain toxins (not that it is your fault, Mommy). That if we don't shape up, we are killing ourselves, our babies, our children.

He dropped the "killing our babies" phrase like a bombshell. I wanted to snort derisively in his face. Frankly, that doesn't scare me. I know more about dead babies than you will ever, ever know. And organic food has nothing to do with why my son is dead. Now piss off.

And there I sat, alone in my internal rant, surrounded by nodding heads.

*I loved how he pandered around the phrase "studies have shown" and made no reference to the number of studies nor to who performed the studies. Just "studies".

Sunday, April 22, 2007

On a lighter note...

Just in case you are wondering, the DVDs sitting on my entertainment unit right now include (in no particular order):
  1. Sense and Sensibility
  2. Happy Feet
  3. Spellbound
  4. Strictly Ballroom
  5. About a Boy
  6. The Parent Trap (1961)
  7. Baby Einstein
  8. Love Actually
  9. How to use your baby sling DVD
  10. Dear Frankie
  11. Office Space
  12. Saint Ralph
  13. Flushed Away
  14. Pride and Prejudice (2005)
  15. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Not to say that these are my favourites of all time (though a few are...)

How about you?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A little tired of it all

Honestly, where I live (which is rather conservative in it's mindset), abortion is just not the hot button issue it seems to be in the USA. It's there, and people talk about it, but legislators and politicians barely talk about it at all. I think all Canadians know that the Conservative Party is generally against abortion, the Liberals are for, but when it comes to winning elections, regional concerns are so much more important (i.e. softwood lumber, oil, farming conditions, the Quebec question, the fisheries). The environment is now rated as the #1 issue for Canadians (last poll I heard on the CBC) and health care is a close second.

Yet, I feel inundated by this war that is raging (especially online) with regards to abortion. And people that I really care about are facing termination decisions. People who really want their babies. People who may make a termination choice because they feel that it is the right thing for their family, not because it makes their lives any easier. I cannot pass judgement on these people that I care about because life dealt them a shitty hand and they have to make a horrifying choice.

I respect everyone has a right to their own opinion. I am just tired of the personal, mean, and spiteful nature of the discourse.

I hate abortion as a means of birth control: it is unfathomable. But I have nothing but respect for anyone who faces a choice regarding termination for medical reasons, regardless of which choice they make. I am proud of Rach for choosing Lu and I am proud of Cecily for choosing to let her boys go to allow Tori to enter the world.

All we can do is what is right for our families.

I don't need a bunch of hateful comments about this post, either, so I am disabling comments.

Please go do this

Thursday, April 19, 2007


When I clicked on Athena's blog, Held by Natalie Grant began playing on Athena's play list. Of course, I am familiar with the song (there are so few songs about this type of loss).

The frustrating thing is that it is so hard not to believe that "the promise" was to be protected from this kind of hurt. Maybe that's what I need to let go of.

Home Alone

Spending my days with my boy brings me great joy. However, because he still sleeps so much, I have come to realize this: I have no friends. Well, no friends that live in my city. I know, I know, I've complained about this before. But when I was working, it wasn't a really big deal. I had enough work aquaintences to visit with that I didn't want to go out and hang out with anyone in the evenings. I am missing my friend, a SAHM, who moved away last year. We had planned on spending many days together with our kids before C. was born. Then he died and she moved away. Glum, glum, glum. It makes me feel really lonely, sometimes.

So if it seems like I have too much time on my hands for online relationships, well, it's because I do have too much time on my hands.

(Ignoring the messy house and the take out meals, of course...)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I am tired of myself

When is the jealousy going to end? I just looked at photos of my cousin and her daughter on my family's website. All I could think was: my cousin looks fat - good, I hope she doesn't lose the weight... the baby looks like she's crying - good, I hope she's a cryer... what an ugly dog... the baby's face looks all squishy, not like my perfect boy's face... I can't believe they live with her parents...

Etc. etc.

I hate my stupid jealousy. It's just so boring to be so twisted and disgusting all the time.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Stuck? A little.

My grief counsellor called to check in today. She and I are friendly (she knew my husband before we ever went to her for help). We had a nice little visit - it was good to check in.

When she asked me how things were going and how I was doing, I just said we were doing well. Which is fine - it's true. But with regards to my grief: it is still there. Obviously. She knows that, and I know that.

How many times can you really say the same thing? I miss C. And I stare at his brother, sometimes, and wonder how alike they would have been. The same? Polar opposites?

I look at that sweet, chubby, peach-fuzzy, little cheek and I remember staring at another such cheek.

But, then, she already knows that. I've said it all before.

How many times can you really say the same thing over and over and not have it sound boring and redundant?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

So There

So, I said f*** all the advice (my darling mother has been full of it...) and we went to a new sleep routine, cold turkey. As of Friday night, BB has a bath, goes to bed between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m. I pick him up at nurse him at 11:00 (he doesn't really wake) and then he wakes me up at 4:00 a.m. (I am hoping that extends a couple of hours soon). We get up for the day around 8:00 a.m. He naps twice or 3 times in the day, for around an hour.

Touch wood, this has worked for us so far. We never really had a "routine" established until now - I just did whatever he wanted. This is better. He doesn't get overtired and I know (a little) what my day will be like.

I still hate those J&J people. But being pissed off at them made me take action and establish a routine.

And, by the way, if I swaddle those crazy, swinging arms of his and turn on soft music, he falls asleep on his own in his crib.

Hell hath no fury like a Mommy scorned.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Losing sleep over it

Well, I am working on BB's sleep habits. He has always been a late to bed, late to wake kind of guy. Our typical bedtime is 12:00 a.m. and he usually sleeps through until 11:00, getting up 3-4 times to nurse. He sleeps for a 6-8 hour stretch, then for shorter periods.

I am hoping to get him to bed earlier and get up earlier. So I went to this website when I saw an add for it on TV. It told me that he is getting too much sleep and that his sleep is disrupted. Actually, there is no problem with his sleep, he just goes to bed too late. But it made me feel guilty and like a bad mom. Like I am trying to get him to sleep so that I don't have to care for him or something.

I know that every mom goes through the constant struggle of "what is the right thing for my baby?". Some babies sleep more, some less. But I wonder if I might have an inordinate amount of stress over BB's care. I have already failed one child, in the worst of ways; I can't bear the thought of failing him, too.*

Then I just got mad. There is a whole industry that is based on this Mom-guilt that every woman carries with her. The TV add implied that this website would help me, which made me go to the website, which directed me to the "sleep solution" portion of the site, which did NOT offer advice, but rather told me that I am doing things wrong. Then suggested that I buy their products for BB's bedtime routine.

So here I am, feeling like a crappy mom, trying to convince myself that I am not, and it was all just an advertising scheme. No one benefited from this transaction except for J&J. And I don't appreciate their company using my emotions to make them money.

By the way, I aim for 15 hours of sleep, total, for BB in a 24 hour period. Not too much sleep for a 3 month old, according to the recommendations from public health. So J&J can stick that in their pipe and smoke it!

*Yes, I know that it wasn't my fault - that doesn't change anything. I couldn't save C. and that was a failure.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Recently, a friend at my local Babyloss support group revealed that she is pregnant. Today she discovered that her baby has the same genetic disorder that killed her second child - a condition that is not compatible with life. This very much loved, desired, and prayed for pregnancy will be ended early next week.

Please extend your prayers/thoughts to my friend as she and her family face this horrible tragedy.

If you have any suggestions for how I can help my friend, please share them with me. My heart is breaking for her and there is so little I can do.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I'm so boring!

Notice: I have had one comment in a week. Thanks, Rosepetal!

Now, I will go away and pout... ;)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Same old?

Well, most of our family came to support us as we had BB baptised this weekend. It was stressful, as company always is. And I feel very vulnerable right now, so I have spent the most of the time since their departure second guessing what happened this weekend and worrying that I did something to insult someone.

Our house is tiny, so my parents stayed at a hotel. I worry that they are annoyed about that, even though it was sort of my mom's idea. I worry that they didn't get enough time with BB and are mad at me about that. I worry that I didn't thank people enough for making the trip and for the gifts that they got for our little man. I worry that the grandparents are annoyed that they didn't get to hold BB in church, since I was out for half the service changing his diapers and trying to get him to nurse (P.S. Even though the little black dress looked good for the pictures, it was a bad idea - I had to remove the whole thing in order to nurse, which meant it wasn't happening in a pew). And I am really worried that my mom is mad at me because when she went to get BB out of his crib when he was fussing, I snapped at her and told her to leave him alone (he often falls back to sleep).

When I write it all out like that, it seems like a ridiculous list of worries. But time with my family had never been easy. And I cannot rely on my family to forgive my list of foibles unconditionally, though I do believe that is what they should do if they love me. So I sit here, rather torn inside, hiding from the telephone. Maybe if I wait a few days to call them, they will stop hating me (I have no reason to believe that they hate me.). I wonder if I always was this fragile or if it has grown out of my grief.

The baptism itself was lovely. BB was relaxed. When she poured the water over his head, he whimpered a few times and let out one squawk and was happy after that.

But my heart has been in a delicate place in the last few weeks. We went to take Easter decorations to the cemetery and I cried as we drove up to C's grave. I haven't done that in a long time. We go there so often, and I usually find it to be a calming place. I had moments throughout the last few days where the longing for C. was so strong that I could barely contain it. In the shower. Walking through the grocery store. Watching our family and community gather around his brother in celebration. There were moments that were almost too much to bear.

If at all possible, I think about C. more since his brother arrived in our house. Probably because BB gives me a benchmark for comparison. There are moments when I see such resemblance between my boys. It is causes my heart to thrill and to ache with pain and with joy. I almost hope that BB never knows what I think when I look at him. Because, even though he is completely his own person, it is impossible for me to resist wondering about C. when I see how BB looks and acts and is.

In a related note, I am SO proud of my husband. The other day a mutual acquaintance made some insensitive, ridiculous comment to him and he actually said something back to him - something I have often fantasized about saying myself. He's my hero.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Quick one

If you haven't heard about the collapse of the MISSing Angels Bill in New Mexico, go here. As a human, I am outraged. As a Canadian, I can't do anything about it. If you can, stick it to the Governor.

If you haven't read msfitzita's Friday Blog Roundup yet, it is amazing (no surprise). She managed find a common current that we can all ponder, discussing the theme of Scars.

Easter went well. We had BB baptised, with loads of company visiting. I will describe more soon, and why I was near tears most of the day today.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Why so many?

I was just adding more blogs to the Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss Blog Directory and I was proudly proof-reading the blog roll. How wonderful that so many people have agreed to be part of this project!

Then it hit me - how awful it is that we all have reason to be part of it.

And my stomach heaved.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

More baptism stuff

Thank you for all of your supportive and thought provoking comments. I appreciate each and every one.

First, I absolutely believe that if there is a heaven, that babies and children go there automatically, regardless of baptism or not.

It is funny, though, how sometimes all the missing back-story can affect how people read your blog. For example, I am not angry with my clergy for how we were treated when C. was born. In fact, our priest has been one of the most supportive of all the people around us. Though she was not permitted to baptise C., she got a baptismal candle for him anyway. She prayed with us the night he was born. She spent the time between his birth and funeral constructing the perfect funeral ceremony for us and for him (researching different types of services that our church uses all over the world). She prayed with us in the year that we couldn't get pregnant. And she speaks C.'s name freely and respectfully in a way that few people do.

I think that the way that we have been cared for by this amazing woman has gone a very long way to keeping me plugged in with our church and with faith. And I sort of look at things like this - everyone makes mistakes. I happen to think that my church's position of not baptising stillborn babies is a (huge) mistake. But when I consider the grace and peace that has been brought into our lives from this one representative of our church, I can partially forgive that failing of tradition.

I have faced a crisis of faith over C.'s death, to be sure. However, it really began quite some time ago. A grew up in a church that I will refer to as Tradition A, a traditional, liturgy based church. My husband grew up in Tradition B. The two are so closely related that I would think of them as fraternal twins. However, Tradition B was much more accepting of me than Tradition A was of my husband. We now participate in Tradition B.

Honestly, I am much more comfortable in Tradition B. However, it is awfully confusing when the theologies (though they are incredibly similar) seem to contradict. For example, baptism is looked at as an atonement for original sin in one, while it is seen as a process of initiation in the other. I would say that I am still learning about both Tradition A and B.

Both traditions practice infant baptism, where the parents take the vows of baptism on behalf of the child. The child will then confirm these promises when he reaches an age of understanding.

All this to say: it has been really good for me to be thinking all of the implications and understanding of both traditions as I try to reach some sense of direction when it comes to faith.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Well, I hope none of the rest of you kept the TV on after American Idol. Tonight's episode of the medical drama House was almost too much to bear. I shouldn't have watched it, but I did. I can't even really comment about what it did to me. I bawled - for all of us who don't have miracles of medicine save our babies, and for those of us who do.

Monday, April 02, 2007


We will be having BB baptised over the Easter holiday. It will be an important milestone for me. Something that didn't happen with C.

As I was labouring with C., the nurses kept asking us if we wanted to call our families. We kept saying "no" - we needed time to assimilate the information that our baby was dead for a few hours before we called our parents to tell them their grandchild was dead. Also, it was a work day and my labour was not progressing really quickly, so it seemed silly to pull them out of work to sit outside L&D and cry. We called them just after suppertime. They were all there when C. was born.

The other question that was put to us was if we wanted to call our clergy. We gave the nurses the information and our priest was called. When C. was born, it was my request that he be baptised. It was then that I was informed that stillborn babies are not baptised. Essentially, the thought is that the soul has already left the body so it isn't possible to commit the soul of the baby to a life with Jesus Christ.

I understand the theology. But that was one of the hardest pieces of information that I had to digest (after "there is no heartbeat", of course). I don't believe in the concept of limbo (and I know that many theologists abandoned the notion long ago), but it niggles at the corner of my mind even now. I just wanted someone from the clergy to splash some water on my son's head and commit him to God. So that I could have some hope of being with him again in the future*.

What I do know is that there is a whole lot of theology that is poorly understood by lay people (me), and it gets watered down in a way that makes it scary and hurtful for a parent of a child who "died within the womb".

So, as we seriously and hopefully take the vows of baptism on behalf of BB this weekend, I know that my thoughts will likely stray to the vows we didn't take on behalf of his brother.

*following this line of theological thinking, as a baptised adult, I will either go to heaven or hell... or even (the also abandoned) purgatory