Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tidbits

Have you read this Globe and Mail article yet? Because you should. Don't look at the reader comments, though. I think that the only people who comment on these types of discussion boards are zealots. And zealots are never worth listening to. But do leave a comment on the Directory post, because I am quite certain that the author of the piece will see it there. I think it is an amazingly brave piece of writing, deserving of as much kudos as I can give. Thank you for using such a nation wide forum to be active on behalf of bereaved parents.

P.S. The Globe and Mail is as wide read and important in Canada as the New York Times is in the US.

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No news from the gallbladder front. One of the down-sides to public health care is that you have to wait for days to get "urgent" medical tests. The up-side to public health care is that the only bill I will have to pay for my little hospital stay will be for the ambulance ride (came in the mail today).

I can't eat any fat without chancing another attack. Oh, chocolate, how I love you. Cheese, my friend, what is life without you? Pastries? Bacon?

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I have something of a memory garden. It is and it isn't. Most of the plants that I put in as ornamentals are chosen for some significant reason (i.e. "baby" in the cultivar title). But then, some of them are simply there for functionality (i.e. the Pavement roses along the sidewalk who's sole purpose is to poke the dickens out of any wayward schoolchild who thinks that s/he should walk in my perennial garden instead of on the sidewalk). The point being this: I am going to try and get some pictures on here. Because they are pretty.

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BB looks like his brother. I don't know how I feel about that.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Messages for Rosepetal

I heard from Rosepetal this morning via email. She is okay, but would prefer to keep her blog personal for the time being. She assures me that the choice to make her blog private was not because of any hurtful comments. She will still be reading blogs.

I know that many, many people are thinking of her. If you would like to leave a message for her, please do so here.

Updated to add: Rosepetal is aware of this post.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

BB has a baby brother!

I would like to bid a warm family welcome to the gall stone I passed on Saturday night. I have decided to call him Stonechild. Not a very interesting name, I admit, but I was a little high on Demerol when I came up with it.

My only wish is that none of you ever have the pleasure.

Updated to add: When under the influence of narcotics, I did not recall that Little Stonechild would share his name with an infamous local personality. It is for that reason that I am officially changing his name to Mick.

Friday, May 25, 2007

No more? Prove it!

Of course, despite this rant, I cannot stop the incessent drone pounding through my head. Will we tempt fate and try another pregnancy? Ultimately, I think the answer will be yes, but it is going to take some time before I can even contemplate that.

However, when I said "I don't know if we will try to have another" to my massage therapist yesterday, she looked at me as if I had sprouted another head. "oh," she said in slightly incredulous tone of voice.

"How come? Because of what happened to C.?"

OK, seriously, isn't that a good enough reason? Having one baby die was bad enough. Then considering that I am not infertile, but also not particularly fertile. Take into consideration polyhydramnios and BB's heart arrhythmia equalling a high-risk delivery. Yep. A little gun-shy on the repeat.

But why did I feel the need to justify myself to her. And why do I always feel like I have to justify the number of children I have to other people?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Looking Back

The uninitiated think that your troubles disappear when the subsequent baby arrives. Really, that is a horrifying thought. Because the idea that one child can replace another is absurd. And it would be to the uninitiated, too, if they gave it any thought.

But life is different now. I need to try to put that difference in words.
When C. died, I saw my world through the fog of grief. For the first six months, I could barely breathe through it. Every single thought/word/step/action was made in the context of grief. I had a son. He died. My heart thumped out that rhythm over and over.

It was as if I was living on some Newfoundland outcrop, enveloped by that pervasive sea fog. Breath in the dampness. Feel it on your skin. Strain your eyes into that whiteness.

You know that something exists on the other side of the fog, but there is no way for you to reach it. You are frozen in time and place.

As time passed, it was easier to bear. There were good people along side of me, peering off the edge of the cliff into the mist. Maybe it was clearing a bit.



As we went through our year of trying to conceive, it was like a smoggy Toronto day. I could see where I was trying to go. But the thick air still hung around me. It wasn't great, but you can live in Toronto. There are good people there. They can be friendly and caring.


Since BB came into our lives, it is so much easier to see through the fog. More like living in the Prairies. Beautiful sunsets. Wide open vistas. The occasional foggy day.

What this doesn't describe is the intensity of pain that I feel. The intensity hasn't diminished much. What has left is the feeling of walking around in a fog of grief all the time. I have a bit of mental clarity back.

Our second child has given me that gift. The gift of clarity, purpose, and joy in my world that was previously defined by mists of confusion and pain.

A Canadian perspective on my current state of grief as we go into this long Victoria Day weekend.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sunday, May 13, 2007

200

I have to admit that I feel the weight of this task quite heavily. My 200th post. I was going to write a silly little post about the amazing cucumber sandwich that I made (with a photo, even), but decided that I should take things a little more seriously and make this one count.

So what I have decided to do is a Thank You post. To all the wonderful women and men in BlogLand that have helped me deal with some ugly sh*t and kept coming back to support me more. Obviously, I can't manage to honour everyone (I just know I am going to make someone feel left out with this... sigh... please don't hate me...). So I will stick to those amazing women who have Been There, Done That. ------->

To the most amazing Mothers (and fathers) I know.

Julian's Mom: Well, frankly, I think that you know that you pulled me through the early stages of grief by the bootstraps. Or maybe we pulled each other. I don't know. But thank god that somehow we managed to connect through this information superhighway. Life is crazy and busy and we don't manage to email as much as we did before. But I definitely think of you, Natalie, Julian and Robert every day.

IMA: You know what I want to say.

Kate: I love that you are so open and caring. I love that you share so much of your experience and empathy with every bereaved mother you come across. I love that you look at pictures of my garden and give me the appropriate oooo's and aaahhh's. You are someone that I call "friend".

Laura: You know that we have a lot in common, beyond this horrible loss. I think of you often and I am holding my breath for your happy ending. You are such a strong woman.

Msfitzita: It is so obvious that you are a writer. You have this amazing talent of distilling your life experience into words in a way that cuts to the heart of it all. Sometimes I can't even manage to leave you a comment because your words say everything. You inspire me in ways you will never imagine.

Catherine: I truly believe that you have saved lives with the words you write in your blog. I truly believe that women who come to your blog, where you so openly share the best and worst emotions in your soul, leave with a sense of belonging. It is like you are in the same room, opening your arms wide and offering a hug. Because you feel our pain just as we feel yours. I think that you are the Blogging world equivalent to our communal best friend.

Sarah: Your honesty regarding your grief and struggles with depression have been a source of great inspiration to me. I have (as much as virtually possible) been riding the highs and lows of your path to this pregnancy. And lordy me! am I counting down the days to your due date! Your comments on my posts have always been so supportive and thoughtful - I only hope that I managed to offer something of the same to you.

dbm - I really doubt you will read this: you are a busy mama! However, for posterity, I want you to know that the day I sat and read your blog from beginning to end was one of the first times that I felt like there was someone in the world that had lived through what I was dealing with. Your honesty and wicked sense of humour connected to my soul in a way you will never know.

Treggles - Good grief, a man writing a blog! It blew my mind. Thank you for your insight on those posts that no one else wanted to comment on. I am so glad that you have gotten your happy ending.

Mad Mommy - in your previous blog, we were treated to amazing new terminology, like "the gd gd" and "m*l*liciousness". Your humanity, your sense of humour, your truth. I think we were/are in it with you 100%. I still look forward to whatever you get around to posting.

Julie: You always take the time to comment and that means so much to me. I am always glad to read your blog, since you are just a little further down the path than I am. I found strength in numbers, since our recent pregnancies were so close in dates. Thank you for always being so thoughtful.

Rosepetal: I hardly know what to tell you. So I will concentrate on the good for the moment. You were so hugely supportive during my pregnancy with BB. I think you are an amazing person. And now, with all of what you face, I hope that I am half the friend to you that you have been to me.

WTF: I doubt anyone was more supportive than you when I was pregnant. You are a crazy gal with a huge heart and quick wit. You always say what you think and I love that. No mincing words from you, thank god. As soon as I have the good news, a little something will be in the mail to you...

Rach: I love that you are so strong in all of your beliefs, yet you manage to be open to the beliefs of those around you. You teach me something every day - be it OCD related, faith related, or mothering related. I love that our boys are so close in age. I don't have to use too much imagination when wondering what A. is like! I think you are a fabulous, open-hearted, wonderful mom.

I think that I have to quit there, before I sprain a finger from all this typing. I chose to highlight these amazing women, which meant that there are literally dozens of others that I left off. There are so many more that I deeply respect: Niobe's profundity, Sherry's courage, Karla's wicked sense of humour, anam cara's perspective... and the amazing, supportive comments from Bronwyn, Lori, Kathy McC, Emma's Mum, mommy2miracles, three minute palaver, Erin, my Australian friend Kate, and everyone else!!!

I hope that all of you who faced Mother's Day without your child(ren) had a peaceful day.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Shades of good.

We went away this weekend to visit relatives and it was good.

The sun is shining and it is 29 degrees out there. Ohhhh, that's good.

And I went on a trip down memory lane yesterday. Not so good (though not really bad).

I stopped by my old place of employment to show off BB. They were great employers, but it was a 80 km commute, with kind of crummy pay and no benefits. So I found a 2 km commute with great pay and great benefits about 5 years ago.

I was introduced to the woman who is doing the job I used to do. I said "pleased to meet you" and she said "we went to school together" in a snotty tone of voice. Like she was annoyed I didn't remember her.

She was in first year when I was in second year. We weren't friends. I doubt we ever had a conversation. And honestly, I was slightly depressed and considering dropping out of school at that time. I didn't go out with friends to meet new people; I stayed in on weekends, went to the library, played dark music and explored the local arts scene. I auditioned for a play*, and was in rehearsal several nights a week.

I felt bad for not remembering her. Then I gave my head a shake and thought why should I remember her? It was 8 years ago. I had my own life at the time. Why do I always feel guilty for not remembering people AND guilty when I expect other people to remember me? What sort of inferiority complex am I dragging around?

So I have decided that I am NOT going to feel guilty about this and I am going to marvel at her ego in being so annoyed at my faulty memory.

And, if you can believe this, she has the audacity to cast snotty, derisive looks at me and be 5 months pregnant with her second child. The nerve.

So that was slightly upsetting. But what hurt even more was remembering the person that I was when I worked there. I spent the drive home doing a little mourning for the person that I was before. I realized that I don't really want to keep going back there to visit, even to have them coo over my perfect baby. Because it just reminds me of NOT visiting 2 years ago. And makes me miss that naivete.

There is a hole in my soul. I live with it, but it doesn't let me forget it is there.


*where I met my husband and life has been sunshine and butterflies ever since... ;)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Spring Has Sprung

Spirea

Snowdrops




Cherry Blossoms


Tulips

What I am Reading (Thanks for the recommendation, K)

So what if this is cheesing out? How often do I post photos, anyway??