Sunday, October 31, 2010

These things happen.

Running into someone you haven't seen in months when you should be 9 months pregnant. And her eyes go right to where your baby should be.
Luckily you don't have time to talk.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Before I forget

There are so many things I want to write about, things I forgot to write about. I wish I'd written more in the early days, so I'll try to write more now.
I need to write about the funeral home, the first day we went in, picking up her ashes. Being in the hospital.
What else, what else?

Baby's First Christmas

Not in this house. You don't buy Christmas presents for a deadbaby.
Well, you shouldn't.
But I did.

I'm okay with baby clothes. I understand that people other than me still get to have babies. But the Baby's First Christmas with the little deer on the onesie... well, that was a little too much. I went to Target with Terrie today and we were getting some stuff for Mischa and Adam. And there it was. A whole endcap of Baby's First Christmas and the sweetest little stuffed deer. So I bought it. I guess, technically, it's for me. But... it's for her, too.
There were adorable little pink footsie pajamas on clearance. They had a little chick on them and said something about dreams. But you really shouldn't buy pajamas for deadbabies. Not even when they're on clearance.

Deer were her animal, like giraffes were Mischa's animal.
There was this blanket I almost bought back when I was still pregnant. The one with the little deer and the bunny. Part of the Eddie Bauer Enchanted Hollow set. So then there was a set in the JCPenney catalog with cute deer silouettes that I might have actually wanted if I'd decided to get a crib. You know, if I'd gotten to have a livebaby. I saw it again in the JCPenney catalog I picked up on Monday. And what's it called? Willow Organic. So my deadbaby's bedding set has my deadbaby's name.
Isn't that just the way things go?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Memory Box.

I got out the memory box. I needed the phone number for the MFM office. I knew it was on a card in the box and that seemed like the quickest way to get it. Under the hospital bracelets, u/s pictures, and other trinkets. With her diagnosis written on the back.
I want to call and ask about getting the pictures from my u/s. But after that, I didn't feel like making any phone calls. I saved the number in my phone and put everything away.


Many of us ask "When will I find peace with my decision?"
I made the best decision I could for that baby with the information I had at that time.
A different baby, a different situation, maybe a different choice.
That's as close as I can get to peace.

I don't believe that she was nothing more than "a clump of cells," some sort of pre-person. She lived inside me. She was my baby, my daughter. But now she's gone. Gone.  I don't believe that she lives on. We will not meet again in this world or another. She is not waiting for me somewhere out there.

If I could go back somehow and un-conceive her, never know her, would I?
On one hand, everything I experience is valuable to me.
And I love her. She existed and I won't forget her.
But if she hadn't? Could I have conceived a healthy baby later? I would've loved some other not-dead baby in just the same way and not had my heart broken. Maybe now I'd be 7 1/2 months pregnant with a living baby instead of 8 1/2 months pregnant with a baby who's not here anymore.

Some things are still growing

Josh bought me flowers for Mother's Day. They were bulbs that were supposed to bloom. Daffodils and tulips and some others. I wanted to save the bulbs, but I didn't know what to do with them. So they sat on the counter for a few weeks. Josh tried to throw them away but I stopped him. After a few more weeks, I decided that Josh was right. So I set them outside the back door with the intention of taking them to the trash later.
And then everything happened.
So they just sat there. A little bowl of dirt and bulbs. Then it rained. And a little green shoot came out of the dirt. Another and another and now I have a little bowl of green. I have something from before that is still alive.

Written on paper - July 1st

If Tuesday was day one, today is day three. Day one was our first ultrasound. The baby moved a lot so it was hard to get measurements, she said. It's probably nothing, but just to be sure... and we got the number for the perinatologist. I was a little scared but also looking forward to a better ultrasound. Going to bed that night I could feel the baby moving more than ever and I thought, "How could anything be wrong?"

Day two was our 2nd ultrasound. We left Mischa at Grandma's, mostly because I knew it'd be a long, boring experience for her. And also just in case there was some bad news. I thought they might have to send me for more testing. That there might be some tiny thing wrong.
During the ultrasound I could see the whole thing on a tv over the bed. I loved seeing all the parts of my baby.
But I saw the cyst on the baby's back. I knew something was wrong. I told myself I didn't know what I was looking at. But I saw it.
Eventually she finished the pictures and measurements and went to get the doctor. The first thing he asked me was if I'd had the AFP test. Everyone kept asking me that. I'd seen my file when I was checking in and it said in big red letters No AFP. I said no but he asked again and started to explain what it was. I said, loudly, "No, I did not have the test."
He looked through everything the tech had marked and then looked at the baby some more. His head was in the way and I couldn't see the screen anymore.
Then he told us what was wrong and showed us the pictures. He explained everything but I only remember snippets. Little pieces of his voice are clipped out and saved, but everything else is blurred. The one that sticks out the most in my mind, the one that keeps repeating in my head is "bilateral club feet." Maybe because everything else was so much worse. And "not mild." NOT MILD - capital letters - the expected level of brain damage would be NOT MILD.

At the first ultrasound I saw the feet on the screen and I said to Josh, "It has feet." I love the feet.

I couldn't speak. I couldn't ask any questions. I wanted to yell at Josh, "Ask something!" But he didn't know what to ask, he didn't know what we needed to know. Finally he did ask what our options were. Code words for tell us the ways we can end this. A clinic for a D&E or he would induce me. He didn't know if my own doctor would. He wrote some of the important words on the back of his business card, gave us the number of the clinic, and told us that he wanted to see us in two weeks if we chose to continue the pregnancy.
Finally I really started to cry. I asked for a picture of the baby and Josh was holding one. I said I just wanted to go home. The tech walked us out through the back door.
I forgot to ask if it's a boy or a girl.

So tomorrow night my OB is inducing labor. In the meantime, I'm waiting with what feels like a perfect baby inside of me. Every time I feel a kick I think of his bilateral club feet.

This morning I woke up before Mischa while Josh was still at work and googled some things. You have to scroll down past all the smiling people in wheelchairs before you get to what spina bifida is. To what will happen to my baby. Surgery 24-48 hours after my baby is born. Paralysis, shunts, brain damage. The kind that is NOT MILD.

I have no idea what's going to happen tomorrow. Josh talked to the doctor for me. All I know is we're going in some time after 4.

I don't know how to tell people. I called my mom. I got a voicemail at first and left a message for her to call me right away. So she knew something was wrong. I just spilled everything out. We weren't on the phone long and we didn't say much. That's how we are.
I called Terrie. She asked a few questions.
I called Joanna and asked her to tell Susan and the other girls. I knew Susan would be expecting to see me at Concious Parenting the next day and would probably call to check on me. I didn't know how to tell her.
Actually, it's not so much the telling. It's the rest of the conversation.

I am just very sad about this baby.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

From my journal. Written between 7/4 and 7/7

I think it would be much harder if she were my first.

Mostly I'm sad for Willow. That she didn't get to be alive. That she had so many things wrong.

At first I thought she'd be stillborn. Then someone said there was a chance she could be born alive. I really wanted that.
I think the hardest part was after she was born and the doctor was asking if there was a pulse. The nurse had laid her on me and was checking her umbilical cord but there was nothing.

A letter

A lot of babylost mamas write letters to their dead babies.

Dear Willow,
You are dead, so you'll never get to read this. That sucks.
Love, mom

I don't think this is one of those things that will help me.

But there's also the real letter in my journal that I wrote right after she was born.
Dear Willow,
I'm so sorry this happened to you. I wish you'd had a chance to be alive.
I love you.


I've decided to make this blog public. Why the hell not. I deleted a couple of posts that didn't really make sense, edited a few, but for the most part these are thoughts and feelings as I had them.
I'll add some of the entries from my written journal when I get a chance.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Enslaved by Ducks.

I thought for sure I would be pregnant this month.
I was going to put a little slip of paper in Josh's birthday card. IOU one baby. To be redeemed July 2011.
But it doesn't look likes it's going to be that way.
So I'm trying to find this high pressure hose nozzle he wants. Searching Amazon. And there in my search results is a book. Enslaved by Ducks. There is also Outdoor Cleaning with Pressure Washers: a step by step guide.
The Water Jet. That's the one I'm looking for.

It's a season.

I wanted to get the Hallmark Always Remembered 2010 Christmas ornament. It's a seashell with a pearl and says "Every life leaves something beautiful behind."
I went to the Hallmark store at the mall. They had it. I picked it up. I even took it out of the box and looked at it.
But wait...
Willow didn't even have a life.
And I put it down again.
It is a season of disappointments.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Could be...

I could be pregnant right now.
On one hand, I would love to be able to tell Josh I was pregnant for his birthday.
On another hand, my edd would be the first week of July.
Also, I just want to be pregnant already. The sooner I'm pregnant, the sooner I get to have another baby.
Am I ready to be sick and miserable again?
No more ativan.
I wish I was 8 months pregnant now.
(I need more hands.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Visiting Katie

I went to visit Susan and meet Katie today. She was born Thursday morning.
I held her while she slept.

The subject of prenatal testing came up. Susan said she would carry to term, even for a fatal defect.

If I'd had a healthy baby, I'd still be pregnant. If we'd kept Willow, she'd probably be born by now or very soon. But we probably wouldn't have named her Willow.


Just got back from a (failed) stroller nap.
It wasn't raining.
Then it was sprinkling.
Then it was raining a little. I thought "this is nice. I feel like rain."
Then it became a downpour. The wind was blowing and I was drenched. Soaked. I couldn't even see. Rain was blowing into my eyes. Huge fat drops falling in sheets. My shoes were full of water.
I was walking huddled against the wall, trying to stay out of the rain so I could see.
"Picked the wrong time for a walk," my neighbor said.
Fucking hilarious.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I walked into playgroup this morning and right away Jenny asked if I was okay. She said I looked a little down.

Then Megan came right before playgroup was over. She had a gift bag with her and I was thinking I could really use a gift. And it was for me! The book she uses with her support group and a prayer shawl from a program the church does.

When we got home, Mischa was asleep, so I just sat in the car and read and held the shawl. The yarn is a medium pink with a thread of dark pink. I love it.

Also, I had a ton of deja vu today.

Ordered some more books...

and I'm re-reading (again) Our Heartbreaking Choices.

Order Confirmation from Pineapple Press

Jessi Gdmn

Thanks for shopping with us today!
The following are the details of your order.
Order Number:
Date Ordered: Friday 15 October, 2010
Detailed Invoice:

1 x A Mother's Dilemma = $12.95
1 x A Time to Decide, A Time to Heal = $9.95
Sub-Total: $22.90
Table Rate (Best Way): $5.00
Total: $27.90

telling people about pregnancy - a BBC post I made

telling people about pregnancy - Termination for Medical Reasons - BabyCenter:
I know a lot of women say they wish thay hadn't told anyone they were' pregnant, that they dread the 'un-telling.'
I just wanted to share my experience. I hadn't told a lot of people I was pregnant. Not b/c I was worried about something bad happening, but just b/c I'm a private person. I liked savoring my little secret. I liked telling people in person, so I never made a big facebook announcement.
I had really bad morning sickness, so I didn't get out much in the first months. I didn't see a lot of people, and a lot of people didn't know I was pregnant.
There were a few people who had just found out at the end of June, which lead me to getting some congratulations in the days after our tx.
It's been really hard for me to see friends who didn't even know I was pregnant. I don't feel normal, I don't feel like I can act normal, and I can't have normal conversations. I want everyone to know what happened to me.
I also have the problem of people who didn't know or who just found out I was pregnant assuming that 'lost the baby' or whatever they heard means that I had an early miscarriage.
And I definitely don't feel like I'm 'untelling' them. Being pregnant was something that happened, my baby was something that happened, and the termination was something that happened. I don't want to just erase it all.
When I'm pregnant, I won't be waiting for a magic number or a certain test result to tell people. In fact, I'll probably tell more people sooner b/c if something does happen, I'll need them to know.
I'm this isn't exactly what I mean or everything I want to say about it, but I just wanted to get it out in case any one else feels the same way.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Farmer's Market

We went to the Farmer's Market again this morning. It wasn't so bad.
Last week all I could think about was how pregnant I should be. My round belly.
This week a little girl gave Mischa two pennies to throw in the fountain. We ate a blueberry muffin. We painted a little heart and bought eggs, bread, tomatoes, cheese.

Where do I belong?

Sometimes I wonder where I fit in this online world of baby lost mamas...

I chose to end my pregnancy.
To me, when the doctor gave us the diagnosis, it was the same as him saying our baby had died.
But maybe not everyone sees it that way.
Because she was alive. I could have had her.
Except I couldn't. I couldn't keep her. For us, she was gone.
What else can I say?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sometimes I'm just sitting on the couch watching Spongebob with Mischa and then I'm like, "Oh yeah, I have a dead baby."

Monday, October 11, 2010

A forums response

"My heart is with you. My brother was a full term worst kind of spina bifida baby. My mom didn't know until birth and was shocked. He lived 13 days with nearly as many surgerys as days alive. I feel a kinship with you and hope that you are expecting soon."
I've know plenty of women who have had abortions. My mother had one, I think. My sister had one just this year, right at the beginning of my pregnancy. My best friend in high school had two.
I just didn't think I'd ever have one. Not this late in the game.
28 years old. Married. Pregnant with my second child.
She was delivered by my OB in the hospital. I held her and loved her. Her tiny urn sits in our living room. We named her Willow.
I was 21 weeks pregnant when she was born. I chose to be induced after my baby was diagnosed with spina bifida.
I had an abortion.
I'm not proud of it, but I'm not ashamed either.

An Explanation of Sorts.

How can I explain it? It's like having a second pulse. She's gone, she's gone, it says. It's like being pregnant with loss instead of my baby. Something else is living inside me. Something is consuming me.

Yesterday at the Farmer's Market with Mischa.
I should be huge. I should be hugely pregnant. Waddling around with my tomatoes and bread. Instead I'm buying fresh flowers. Because I like to keep some next to my baby's urn.

I missed my exit on the way to playgroup. It's okay. The usual drive is all billboards for Forest Lawn and spines. Some kind of spinal surgery center. One of them has a giant spine sticking out the top of it.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Three Months.

It's been three months. I am 6 weeks away from what was my due date. I am not pregnant. Not "still" or "again".

She is in my thoughts every second. It is like breathing. Like a heartbeat. Like something I am choking on.

I am breathing underwater.