Monday, April 9, 2012

Keeping Watch

I am exhausted. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically.

I've reached that oh so lovely point in pregnancy where I have started to feel like my body is literally creaking every time I want to change position. Baby boy is cramped too, I can tell. He likes to shove his back up against the right side of my belly, which is something his big sis loved to do too. My babies seem to love that side of my body.

I'm just tired of the vigilance this pregnancy after loss seems to require. Just. So. Tired. I'm tired of the sleepless nights, of the moment several times I day where I think "ok, he's gone," the restlessness, the irritability. Add on top of that my impending sense of doom and dread, and the sheer breathtaking grief that still hits me more often than I'd like, and I'm just tired.

I'm sick of the stupid comments. Yesterday at Easter brunch, someone asked me if I have "everything I need" for the baby. Uh...well, we have Georgie's stuff. I guess we need a co-sleeper, although I've thought to myself that maybe we could use our pack and play from last time. But I'm having a c-section (read: another complication with Georgie's birth that could have proved fatal if she hadn't already been gone, yeah, the universe really did mean to doom me on that one, one way or the other), I think I need a co-sleeper, like an Arm's Reach type of deal.

I haven't bought this yet. I can't bring myself to grace the doors of Babies R' Us. It was all I could do to read the "Happy First Birthday!" card I received a couple of weeks from them, or to even get coupons in the mail. I'm worried if I actually get in there, I'll just start hyperventilating.

I also need a carseat, because I just can't bring myself to use the green and pink one I had bought for my daughter. Of course I picked pink, thinking I would use it for her awhile, never thinking that reality would drive me to shove it in a closet and try my damnedest to get pregnant again after burying my daughter six months earlier. Never did I imagine I would need yet another carseat so quickly after my first child was born. Without pink, of course.

I had somehow thought I had a lot of white onesies with Georgie. No, not so much. I did, but they almost all have pink or purple detail. Sigh. So I need to buy some of those for little baby brother.

Back to the Easter conversation. After I sort of shrugged off the question, someone at brunch (not anyone related to me, though he knows what happened to us), says, "do you all have a monitor?" I tell him yes, although I'm thinking of upgrading. He then says, "well they have a great infrared monitor out there that actually checks if your baby's still alive or something crazy like that."

It was the way he said it. I don't even think I'm a good enough writer to explain it in this blog, but it just Pissed. Me. Off. I feel as if I can only explain this story with cuss words and wild hand gestures, but I could feel the heat rising in my face.

Then he proceeded to say, "Ah well, with your first you'll be totally freaked out. Then by your second, you'll start to relax and by the third you won't even care."

I don't know what to say other than that I wished I wasn't pregnant so I could reach across the table and punch this d-bag in the face. I couldn't even talk back. I was just stunned that this person knew what we had been through, and now somehow this little guy inside me is my first, rather than the universal truth that he is actually my second. And I will never be naive enough again to think that I'm going to somehow relax with subsequent children. Right, dude.

Yesterday was just more difficult and more sad than I thought it would be. Easter makes me think of little girls running through flowers, little girls with beautiful honey blond hair and beautiful easter dresses. I saw so many little girls wearing easter dresses yesterday at church, and it just made me so sad. I missed my girl so much. I hope and pray that next Easter I have a beautiful little boy in my arms who is struggling to get out so he can walk/crawl/toddle around, but it just doesn't take away the heartache of missing my girl at Easter.

We went out to the cemetery yesterday, and we arrived to discover that there is nothing but dirt and mud around her grave and about 6 other baby markers. I noticed this during her birthday week and had called them to see when they were going to sod. They assured me it would be "done by Easter."

It hasn't been.

I am also pretty pissed about this. Not even sure how to address it, but I'm pretty sure not-so-nice Katie is coming out and heads are going to roll. I'm not happy. How hard is it to maintain a cemetery? It's just like a big yard. Just keep the grass green, and you're doing pretty good. But I'm angry about it.

I'm obviously very on edge. When I explained to my OB today that I had a damn near panic attack on Friday during my NST because I was convinced my baby was going to die in the middle of the NST, he told me he wants me on an anti-anxiety med. I'm not sure about this, but I can recognize that at this point, I'm in some stage or another of panic attack all the time right now.

A really hard part of it is how torn I feel about everything. Excited. Terrified. Telling myself to be constantly vigilant to try and save this baby before he's born. Knowing that my daughter's death could not have been prevented, that she died likely within a matter of minutes and that there was really nothing we could have done to save her. Telling her little brother all the time "to hang on" until he's here with us, when obviously he has no control over whether he lives or dies at this point, and also knowing that just because my baby is with me doesn't mean he gets to stay. That crazy, random, shitty ass luck happens all the time to all kinds of people. Somehow thinking I have some control. Knowing I really don't. Begging and pleading with God to keep this little boy safe, and telling God candidly that I'm pissed He didn't save my first and that I don't understand the plan at all.

Tired. Glad to rant, though.
May 24 cannot get here soon enough.


  1. That guy...what an asshole! I mean really? just like you said...this baby is not your first, second, you would never take his life for granted, third...that by your third baby you wouldn't even care? really? REALLY? I am soooo sorry you had to sit there and listen to him spew forth such horridness. I know you are exhausted and terrified and it is just so overwhelming. I don't know what to say except keep holding on. I am sending so much love and wishing Gorgie was here running around in her little dress. I really do.

  2. Wow, you are closer than I realized. I'm struggling with the panics right now too. Part of me wants to keep him inside as long as they will possibly let me with all of the complications, but the other part says to get him out as soon as they will take him. One minute I'm happy and know he's alive and the next I'm thinking he is for sure dead. This is hard. Hang in there.

  3. Oh, Katie. I could have written these words when I was pregnant with Addalee. It truly is completely exhausting to be constantly "on." I am kind of ashamed to say, but I grieved her death several times during the pregnancy. Honestly, I think it was because I never had experienced living children, so I wasn't convinced that we'd ever have one. It was awful. I felt like a terrible person for believing this little baby living and kicking was doomed. And the guilt made me feel even worse. It was an ugly cycle.

    You're doing great though. I know that because you didn't kill that douche-bag of a loser who had the nerve to say those ridiculous things to you. I mean, wow. I want to find him and tell him a thing or two! Gosh!

    I didn't go to Babies R Us when pregnant with Addalee, either. I just couldn't bear it. Just remember, you can pick out a car seat and co-sleeper online and send someone to get them while you are in the hospital resting with your precious bundle. We didn't install the carseat until after Addalee was born alive. Sounds crazy to the outside world, but to us who've lived through the worst, it sounds completely normal to wait for those things.

    On a side note: We do love the Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper. She's 7.5 months now and still sleeping in it at night. Mostly just for my sanity.

    Another side note: We upgraded monitors once she got here. She sleeps with a Snuza (clip on breathing monitor) and an Angel Care in her co-sleeper, and the Snuza and a video monitor in her crib during the day. Yeah, my kid has duplicate what?! :)

    Praying for you, friend! Here if you need me!

  4. So much of these resonates with me--especially the tired part. I think it's fine to wait on purchasing stuff (or to order to from Amazon and keep it in the box until you're ready).

    Sorry you had to deal with that douche canoe. I have a couple of friends expecting their second child or already dealing with the "two under two" issue, and I CANNOT listen to them complain about it. I sat through about five minutes of a bitch session and finally said, "I'm sorry, but that sounds to me like a really good problem to have." I KNEW I was being a total downer but SERIOUSLY sometimes people need to STFU.

  5. Oh Katie. My heart is so with you. I know you're done with this emotionally. I didn't handle things any better (and I feel the anxiety meds are still a possibility on my end as I think B will die any day now).

    I hear those, "When you have your second" comments all the time and it breaks my heart very single time. If you want to buy stuff, buy online! I never stepped foot in one of those stores while pg with B. They were like land mines to me. I was sure he would die if I stepped foot in the door.

    I sure hope time speeds us at a rapid pace. I hate reading about the anxiety because I know that feeling SO well and because us BLMs have a hard enough time functioning in a society that thinks pregnancy = alive, healthy and forever babies for all.

  6. Also... We have the co sleepr and love it (when he sleeps in it and not on us)? And like Nicole, we put the carseat in the trunk even tough I was driving to the hospital to be induced. I was just not convinced I would get a live baby out of the deal. We had it installed and had to remove it when Andrew died. I wouldn't and couldn't go through that again. We installed it 2 hours before he left the NICU to come home with us. You are not alone!