Saturday, May 31, 2014

EBD- 2 years

So here we are again, the end of May, 5/31/14.

Blue Sunday's EBD (estimated birthday). I went back and read my posts from the last 2 May 31st.Heavy reading. I cried. A lot.

Some parts still ring true:

I hope my Blue Sunday knew the depth of my love. If there is anything after this life I hope that I will be forgiven by my baby, I do hope Blue Sunday would understand and would have wanted to be spared a horribly flawed life on earth. I wish I had a way of knowing.
5/31/12 (EDD)

Always, always that's my mind-state: full of love, full of hope for understanding. Blue Sunday is never far from my mind. I am always aware of what I am missing. In some ways this is especially true now that Liam is here. It is easier, now that I am a mom and I have my son to love, but I didn't expect to fall SO in love. I didn't expect to delight in every noise, smile, new skill and playful moment like I do. I now know what I missed with Blue Sunday- what I would have always missed.

I was startled to read so many references to Blue Sunday as "him". I always referred to him as male and I know and remember that, but now Liam is my "him". That is one of the blessings for me in not finding out the sex, I can imagine and have my hunch, but Liam's birth wasn't a disappointment either way. I could never feel relief or fear that he is a him and not a her. There are many women who want their rainbow to be the same gender of their lost child, and just as many who want the opposite. I like never really knowing (but I did spend a lot of time imagining time with Blue Sunday as a boy).

I don't know that I feel that way anymore- lost, alone and godless.
 5/31/13 EBD 1

Here, I was reflecting on the way I felt in the very first days post-loss. I can say I surely don't feel that way anymore. My life is full again, there is light, there is hope. I can't say I'm back into a religious state of grace. I have a very hard time with the language of loss through faith: "everything is in god's plan, god doesn't give you want you can't handle, god recalled your angel, Blue Sunday was a test of your faith. god only gives special kids to special people). I guess it could be because I "failed the test" in the eyes of people that say such things, especially the last one. I refused my "gift" of a special child? That said, I'm back on the road. Liam is being baptized in a few weeks. That's saying something.

The last two 5/31s were significant in the road to Liam as well. On my EDD I was one day away from my first SHG (which I wrongly referred to as an HSG). I just knew pregnancy wasn't going to be easy to achieve. I was feeling desperate and 11 months from conception. Last year, on Blue Sundays estimated first birthday, I was measuring 9 weeks along and had an ultrasound in the same room I had the diagnostic amnio for Blue Sunday. I wrote:

Take Two is fantastic. Already more active than Blue Sunday ever was (I remember for the NT scan, he just laid there, like he was sleeping, for the whole scan). We laughed as miniscule arms and legs wiggled away. She looks like a teddy bear! Baby has grown 14 days in only 11. I am measuring 9 weeks exactly. Heartrate is now up to 174.

All signs point to Blue Sunday's Little being on the way.
5/31/13 EBD 1

Take Two is fantastic, he was on his way, he is active, advanced and so, so wonderful. 

I am both heartbroken and so full of love. I'll live with this dichotomy forever.  I'll always have a lost baby, but I will always enjoy the one I have.

Happy SECOND EBD, Blue Sunday!

I still love you. Always and Forever.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Colors That I Can't Change

*I still have a backlog of posts. I’m working on them.

I was killing time in the pump room at work (which I call the Dairy). I could be working, but I am afraid to drip milk on my computer or paperwork and I find it hard to concentrate anyway. My twice a day routine is the first part of pumping I go through some e-mails, the second part I take a bit of a mental break. I started a book on Snapfish of photos of my pregnancy with Bub.

It is making me feel so many things.

Yep. This silly little book is giving me anxiety.

First, I named it “The Road to Bub”. Then it is filled with these happy, smiling selfies of me (note to pregnant ladies, have someone else snap more than just one boring, posed picture of you a week!) It feels so disingenuous. The road to Bub lasted 3 years, not 9 months. Most of that time was not spent smiling and happily gaining inches.

Second, I still haven’t mustered the courage to create Blue Sunday’s book. I have some wonderful mementos. The ultrasound pictures I had of Blue Sunday are much better than the ones I got of Bub (bugger was always head down with his hands on his face). I have the sympathy cards photographed, and the flowers I was sent, even pictures of the outfits I bought. But I tear up even looking at the box the things are kept in, and I haven’t opened the folder of Blue Sunday pregnancy pictures in months.

Lastly, I’m just not sure how in detail to get. I like telling the story through the pictures. They now allow big text boxes so I have some leeway in doing that but it’s hard. How in detail do I get. There is a lot of fear, pain and memories in those pictures: rows of pee sticks from testing out the trigger,  the ultrasound from when we were (wrongly) told our baby had Down Syndrome, the bittersweet days I was more pregnant than ever.

I know it doesn’t really matter- but things get sensitive for me in May- as I am now approaching Blue Sunday’s should have been 2nd birthday.

Where is the time going?

Written on these walls are the colors that I can't change
Leave my heart open but it stays right here in its cage
One Direction, The Story of My Life

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Hard Times

This is a very hard time.

Duke died on April 29th. He was over 90 years old. He had been declining for a long time. He lived a good life: He grew up in Boston and remembers his own dad working on the Boston Fire Department with a horse drawn equipment. He fought in WWII. He married a wonderful Irish woman named Abby. He traveled back to Ireland over 100 times. He adopted two older children. He taught at a technical college for several decades. He had 4 grandchildren (including my husband). He had one great-grandchild, Liam. He was a true storyteller, a man of faith and a loving person.

Duke and Liam had the same hair in this picture. Mostly bald with long, wispy strands!

That loss is hard, sad and difficult. We were grieving.

My Uncle Jimmy died on May 3rd. He was 56 and would have been 57 2 days later. He missed being born in Malta by just a few weeks and was instead born in Bar Harbor, Maine. His parents were in the Navy, and by most accounts not the best of parents. He, like my dad, was homeless for a time when they lost the family house. He was an alcoholic who was on the wagon for decades. He had 2 children very young and placed them for adoption. His girls are a pharmaceutical rep and a lawyer. He has 5 grandchildren (they are young). He was my godfather, an awesome uncle and a full-size child. He's exactly what you expect of a red-head- fiery and fun. He loved playing with my brother and me when we were kids. He was a long-term boyfriend to two women (at different times!). The mother of his 2 kids, who he was with for several decades, and his current girl friend of 5 years. He was helping to raise her 2 boys- 6 and 14. He kept his diagnoses of COPD and emphysema a secret, likely to keep us from worrying (and insisting he stop smoking). When he knew he was nearing the end, he asked that we see that his best friend/ roommate and his 4 cats were taken care of. He was lively, funny and full of life.

Jimmy and bubba the cat He always loved cats. Liam seems like he is going to carry on Jimmy's red hair!

Here he is at my wedding, directly behind me

It may not seem like there are many parallels: Duke- a life lived conventionally, fully and surrounded by many. Jimmy was wild, after a wild upbringing and died too young from such preventable causes. However, one placed two children for adoption in the 70s, one adopted the same number. Both fought- one a world war and one a private one. Both loved. Both touched my life and now both have passed. It's sad that so many mourn Duke when I don't know how many will come to mourn my uncle.

One shouldn't have to live life on the straight and narrow to be missed and mourned. Yes, Jimmy smoked a lot of weed, yes, he got government assistance. Yes, he crashed on the couches of his Brother, sister and girlfriends- but he loved, sacrificed and worked. His parents were alcoholics who never got sober, they fought violently. He was the baby and was left behind when the older kids married. He bore the brunt of his parents actions as my grandad was out of the Navy for most of his childhood and came home to cause trouble. He never graduated from high school.

I hope that this story encourages just one reader to think before they judge. My uncle like everyone else is a product of his surroundings. He did "bad" things- but good ones as well. And Duke? He wasn't perfect either. He also drank too much, he had some wild times with the ladies of France, he held beliefs that tend to raciest and anti-woman.

They will BOTH be missed. Greatly.

If you read this, please send a thought out to both of them- a young man and an old one.

And the walls kept tumbling down
In the city that we love
Great clouds roll over the hills
Bringing darkness from above

How am I gonna be an optimist about this?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?

Bastille, Pompeii