Saturday, December 19, 2009

Too Sad.


Purple Cone Flowers from Lor's garden.


MY friend sent this poem to me after she read my facebook update. I couldn't pull it together yesterday to go to freelance job.
It isn't hers, but somehow she knew this poem.
It could be Kai and I.

It's sad to know so many women go through this.


Perfect Even In Death

No one remembers,
I cannot say why
Only thing I keep thinking
Is that nobody tried

You were mine, only mine
No one knew you like me
I don't know why He couldn't
Just let you be

We shared so much
In our short time together,
And the time that we shared
Has made memories forever

So much I learned,
So much I lost -
Everything turned, toppled
And tossed

Butterfly flutters, then turns
And kicks . . .
Then, that sad day . . .
Was my mind playing tricks?

No cry, no movement,
not even a Breath . . .
As you lay on my tummy -
Perfect even in death

When I think of you now
At the age you would be,
A beautiful "big boy"
Is the child I see

My son you were,
My son you'll always be
And One -
That is us;
You and Me"

by Lil' Red

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sleep

Kai, I hate this. I wish I could sleep through the next two weeks. I'm having a difficult time holding it together for work. Imiss you SO much.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Black days

Oh how I hate these black days. My days are usually a grayish colour but I'm never too far from black. I haven't had colour or brightness in my life for a long time. I keep striving for it but I never seem to be able to do better than a mid to light gray. I have a cousin who is bi-polar. Sometimes I wish I was bi-polar so that I would at least know what it was like to feel really great, like I can do anything. I know that being bi-polar is not at all easy. In fact, it sucks as much as being chronically, clinically depressed.

With both my pregnancies I prayed to the "powers that be" to let my child live if anything should have to go wrong with my pregnancy. I figure that I've lived this long without really feeling like I'm part of this world so it would be better for me to die and give my babies a chance at a life that is full. Yeah, I know things don't work this way... I know I have no control over these things ... how could I, my second child died inside me a few weeks before he was due and I couldn't do a thing to stop it. He wasn't sick. I wasn't sick. One day he was fine and kicking and the next day his lifeline detached from the placenta and he died. The doctors have no idea why this happened. Of course, I have my own dark, paranoid theories as to why this happened but I'm told that my thoughts are not logical or possible. Would these theories of mine be more logical if I was religious? In Sunday School I was taught that if you weren't a good person you would not be rewarded by Him. You might even be punished. Am I being punished ... because I'm still here?... because I wasn't supposed to be here past the age of thirty (I always believed I would never live to see thirty because the pain of depression was so unbearable)?

I know what I wrote won't make sense. Most of the time my life doesn't make sense to me. I've waded through my confusion for forty years and it gets more difficult with time and life experiences.

Baby boy, I wanted ... and still want you SO much. I'm sorry if anything I did or didn't do took away your life. Please know that I love you and miss you.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"I Resolve"

This was posted on Circle of Moms. I like it. 
In the last 10 months since our son's death I have often berated myself for "Not getting on with life". I constantly have to remind myself (or my therapist reminds me) that i am not expected to get over my son. I have to allow myself whatever feelings I have and I have to allow myself to do whatever I need to do in order to deal with the loss of Kai. It doesn't matter if my family thinks I'm dwelling and making myself sad. It doesn't matter if I cry when I see a happy family with a baby boy. I have to allow myself to freely grieve for however long it takes. This is difficult to do. I was taught that crying was not a mature emotion and that it was a weakness. Unfortunately, many people are taught this and I think it is wrong. All of our emotions are valid and I've found that denying or stifling emotions doesn't help me at all. 
I think I'm going to stick this up beside my bed!

"I RESOLVE" 

THAT I WILL GRIEVE AS MUCH AND FOR AS LONG AS I FEEL LIKE GRIEVING, AND THAT I WILL NOT LET OTHERS PUT A TIMETABLE ON MY GRIEF. 

THAT I WILL GRIEVE IN WHATEVER WAY I FEEL LIKE GRIEVING, AND I WILL IGNORE THOSE WHO TRY TO TELL ME WHAT I SHOULD OR SHOULD NOT BE FEELING AND HOW I SHOULD OR SHOULD NOT BE BEHAVING. 

THAT I WILL CRY WHENEVER AND WHEREVER I FEEL LIKE CRYING, AND THAT I WILL NOT HOLD BACK MY TEARS JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE ELSE FEELS I SHOULD BE "BRAVE" OR "GETTING BETTER" OR "HEALING BY NOW". 

THAT I WILL TALK ABOUT MY CHILD AS OFTEN AS I WANT TO, AND THAT I WILL NOT LET OTHERS TURN ME OFF JUST BECAUSE THEY CAN'T DEAL WITH THEIR OWN FEELINGS. 

THAT I WILL NOT EXPECT FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO KNOW HOW I FEEL, UNDERSTANDING THAT ONE WHO HAS NOT LOST A CHILD CANNOT POSSIBLY KNOW HOW I FEEL. 

THAT I WILL NOT BLAME MYSELF FOR MY CHILD'S DEATH, AND I WILL CONSTATLY REMIND MYSELF THAT I DID THE BEST JOB OF PARENTING I COULD POSSIBLY HAVE DONE. BUT, WHEN FEELINGS OF GUILT ARE OVERWHELMING, I WILL REMIND MYSELF THAT THIS IS NORMAL PART OF THE GRIEF PROCESS AND IT WILL PASS. 

THAT I WILL NOT BE AFRAID OR ASHAMED TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP IF I FEEL IT IS NECESSARY. 

THAT I WILL COMMUNE WITH MY CHILD AT LEAST ONCE A DAY IN WHATEVER WAY FEELS COMFORTABLE AND NATURAL TO ME, AND THAT I WON'T FEEL COMPELLED TO EXPLAIN THIS COMMUNION TO OTHERS OR TO JUSTIFY OR EVEN DISCUSS IT WITH THEM. 

THAT I WILL TRY TO EAT, SLEEP, AND EXERCISE EVERY DAY IN ORDER TO GIVE MY BODY STRENGTH IT WILL NEED TO HELP ME COPE WITH MY GRIEF. 

TO KNOW THAT I WILL HEAL, EVEN THOUGH IT WILL TAKE A LONG TIME. 

TO LET MYSELF HEAL AND NOT FEEL GUILTY ABOUT FEELING BETTER. 

TO REMIND MYSELF THAT THE GRIEF PROCESS IS CIRCUITOUS~THAT IS, I WILL NOT MAKE STEADY UPWARD PROGRESS. AND WHEN I FIND MYSELF SLIPPING BACK INTO THE OLD MOODS OF DESPAIR AND DEPRESSION, I WILL TELL MYSELF THAT "SLIPPING BACKWARD" IS ALSO A NORMAL PART OF THE GRIEF PROCESS AND THESE MOODS, TOO, WILL PASS. 

TO TRY TO BE HAPPY ABOUT SOMETHING FOR SOME PART OF EVERY DAY, KNOWING THAT AT FIRST, I MAY HAVE TO FORCE MYSELF TO THINK CHEEFUL THOUGHTS SO EVENTUALLY THEY CAN BECOME A HABIT. 

THAT I WILL REACH OUT AT TIMES AND TRY TO HELP SOMEONE ELSE, KNOWING THAT HELPING OTHERS WILL HELP ME TO GET OVER MY DEPRESSION. 

THAT EVEN THOUGH MY CHILD IS DEAD, I WILL OPT FOR LIFE, KNOWING THAT IS WHAT MY CHILD WOULD WANT ME TO DO. 

(author unknown) 

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

First Vacation in the Year of Firsts

We left last Friday for the Poconos. It's a bit of a drive but since Kai died I haven't been working and we don't have the spare cash to fly someplace warm. At least it's pretty and quiet here. We were here two years ago - when we didn't even have the thought that we would lose a child. It has been difficult coming back and seeing some of the same things that we saw two years ago. So much has changed in my life and I had no clue the first time I was here.

I dreaded going on vacation. I felt, again, like I was abandoning Kai. It hurt to think that just three of us would be going away. Last fall when we went on vacation our daughter kept making plans for our vacation this year with her little brother. How we would have to pack the car; where we would stop; how we would have to plan our activities so that her brother could have fun too. All those memories stab me with pain when I think of them. When we left Friday afternoon I was fine. Scared - but fine. My daughter asked that we play my Coldplay, Viva La Vida CD. Great! No Hannah Montana for at least the first little while! When the CD got to the title song I recalled that wonderful Youtube video of the children of PS22 singing the song. Then I recalled that I first saw that video when I was still pregnant. Then I started crying. I looked out the window so that my husband and daughter couldn't see me crying. It bugs me that my husband can't deal with my tears. He just pretends like nothing is happening. It hurts. My daughter hugs me and tries to comfort me - but that is not her job. She's just a little girl. I am glad that she is compassionate, though.

We're staying at a resort that is on the Delaware River. It's beautiful here. The units we are in are older. Probably first built in the '60s or early '70s. Not luxurious, but quaint and at least clean. The units are grouped like houses on a small country road. Lots of open lawn areas, big old trees, and little gardens. I teared up when I looked around. In my mind I saw my family having a picnic under the huge evergreen behind our unit. Our daughter was entertaining her baby brother while my husband and I got the food ready. Over by the river where there is a huge flat area and a swing set I envisioned my husband and daughter playing soccer while I sat and swung gently in the swing with Kai. Is this what is called daydreaming? I wish my mind didn't wander into these fantasies that hurt. How do you stop it? Are you supposed to stop them or is it better for one's mental health to just let them happen and feel all that pain rising in your chest and taking over? It's probably the latter. So far dealing with our son's death in a healthy manner means allowing myself to feel all the horrible, painful emotions of grieving.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Our first Walk to Remember

Waiting for the doves to be released.

... and off they flew. 

Oct. 4th we attended the PBSO Walk to Remember at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery... waited in the cemetery; walked in the rain; heard too many names of infants who are missed; watched about 30 doves soar into the sky while a little girl asked "Where are they going?" and then, "Why are they going away?"; met others that have found a way to keep on going; met three beautiful rainbows; cuddled friends' baby boy (thank you!); ate a comforting dinner with my family... all the while thinking of our son.
Why did you go away?


Monday, October 5, 2009

Oct. 15th Light a Candle

Candle lit at Kai's memorial in January 2009.

"Lights of Love" International Wave of Light for October 15th Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance day.  At 19:00 pm on this night in ALL time zones all over the world participants will be lighting a candle ( in a window if possible ) and leave it burning for at least an hour.  The result is a continuous chain of light spanning the globe for a 24 hour period in honor and remembrance of our children.

I received this notice from a few different sources. It's a beautiful, simple idea for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.
( In Canada, the Federal Government does not recognize October 15th as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and I think only two Provincial Governments recognise it.) 

Sunday, September 27, 2009

PBSO Walk to Remember

Rainbows in Pennsylvania

For those of you in Toronto, PBSO is having their annual Walk to Remember on Sunday Oct. 4th at 2:00 pm. Here is some of the information I was sent:
 
The "walk" takes about 15 - 20 minutes and will happen "rain or shine".
 Meet inside the East gates of Mt. Pleasant Cemetery and walk to The Children's Garden. 
 
When we reach the Children's Garden, there is a short non-demoninational service, which includes some poems read by parents. If you have a favourite poem or one you have written for your baby, please bring it along. Please let us know that you have it with you. You may read it yourself, or ask someone to read it on your behalf if you don't feel it's something you can do yourself.
 
Parents then have the opportunity to come up to the microphone and give the names of their babies that they are there to remember. After which we have the Dove Release. Followed by refreshments.
 
The whole thing takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour.


Friday, September 25, 2009

In the moment?

Peering into the cosmos

Started yoga two weeks ago - ouch! I'll keep it up though because my mental and physical state needs it.

My naturopath prescribed Iamara for me. It's a homeopathic that is specifically for depression due to grief. I can take it along with my regular antidepressants! I've been taking one miniscule white ball a day and it actually seems to help!! I've been able to cut back on one of my medications! 
This is a homeopathic remedy that has a much longer track record than modern anti-depressants, is much, much less expensive and you don't have to have a doctor's prescription. I wish my psychiatrist and /or therapist had let me know about this. 
So, time is marching on regardless of how I feel about it. At this point Kai has been dead for as long as he lived. It's an unsettling thought. For some reason it just does not feel right for me to experience anything past this point. Usually your child's life goes on past your own. 
All these time passages are extremely unsettling to me. It's doesn't match what I feel or what is in my head. 
How does one live in the moment? 

Sunday, September 13, 2009

September!

Kai's butterfly from the PBSO Butterfly Release in July

I can't believe it's September already!  How can time pass so quickly and so slowly all at once? Trying to make sense of it makes my brain hurt. 

I received the results of my blood tests that were taken after Kai died and again in the summer. Still no clues as to what happened to him. I'm still experiencing the vertigo that I had when I was pregnant. And I'm still having the muscle spasms, though they aren't as strong as when I was pregnant. Do I really want to know why he died? Would it help? Yes and no. Contradiction. That seems to be my life since Kai died. 

I've started getting back into my studio. It's a mess. I left on December 23rd thinking I'd be back to tidy up in the new year before my due date. Didn't happen. Here I am, 8 months later, just getting back to my work. 8 months... almost enough time to have a baby...! See! That is how my mind seems to be working! Everything refers back to my baby boy who is gone! Each time it happens I get a horrible plumetting  feeling in my stomach that I cannot stop. For the most part, outwardly, I seem to have recovered from my grief fairly well. But I still can't sleep. I'm not hungry but I eat because I know I have to. I want to hide away from my life but I know I can't. Are things getting better? I don't know. My world feels very different and it's not a comfortable feeling.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Waves

Siesta Key, Florida 2008

Aargh!
Computer keeps disconnecting from the internet! I don't know enough about these things to trouble shoot the problem! I don't think my brain would be able to handle all the information needed anyway.

Held my second infant last weekend. Our friends daughter is 5 weeks old. She's a beautiful little girl. I held her for about an hour, and I loved it. Of course,  my emotions caught up to me later in the day when things had slowed down. I'm not sure if what I'm doing is good for me. So many people say that even years later they have a difficult time around infants. All I know is that I will get an urge to hold a baby and most of the time I can't. So if the chance arises I take it. I've always loved holding babies. In the back of my mind I know I will feel pretty awful afterwards -the pain of a broken heart, anguish, anger -  but it doesn't seem to matter. I figure that if I feel all those things afterwards, then it must need to come out. I only get anxious before hand, when I know that I will be visiting or when I become aware that there is a baby in the group. I actually feel very contented when I do hold a baby. 
I think to myself: this is what Kai will never get; I hope that he has somehow kept a memory of the times that I held him after he was still born, of how much I loved him in the hours I got to spend with him in the hospital, of how much I still love him and miss him; Kai would be happy that all of my love for him isn't turning into anguish or despair and that the I can share the love I feel for him with these other babies. 

I believe that Kai, like most children, would be glad to know that he is loved and missed. He would not want to be the cause of unending sorrow and anguish. I do not want him to think or feel that! It is really difficult to stay afloat some days, but I'll keep trying.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Empty arms in Haliburton





We went camping last weekend up in Haliburton. This is the view from our campsite. It was my daughter's first camping experience. She wasn't too impressed at first but once we lit a camp fire she seemed to love it! She became "Keeper of the Fire". I brought a picture of Kai to put beside my sleeping bag. It was automatic. Bringing his picture camping was, in some way, a way for me to have both my children camping with us. 

There was a nine month old baby boy at another site. I was able to hold him for a while. It was the first time I had held a baby since Kai. I was fine while I held little A, but later in the day the pain came washing over me and I cried and cried. I wanted so badly to hold that little guy again. It just felt so perfect. Kai would be seven months old as of Friday - the first day of our camping trip.

I am really feeling that "empty arms" symptom now. I hate it! It just reminds me that my son is gone and there is nothing I can do about it. 
I keep thinking of making a doll of Kai. I am creative, i can do basic sewing and I could create a really artistic little bundle for me to hold. Is that creepy? Is it healthy? I don't know. I just want to hold my baby boy that would be seven months old now.


Me and A.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wishing . . .

I've really been pre-occupied these days with wishing I had Kai to hold in my arms. I feel a need to love and nurture him. . . but I can't because he's gone. I've given up on my gardening. I usually love seeding and nurturing my little seedlings until they become flowers and veggies - now it just keeps reminding me of Kai. It hurts.

I don't understand how he could have died? We were both healthy! Isn't that supposed to mean something? The cause of his death was because the umbilical cord detached from the placenta. Apparently the cord was 'withered' where it attached. There was no reason the doctors could find as to why that happened. He was still born at the beginning of 38 weeks. He was chubby! He weighed 6 pounds 12 ounces! He was so perfect in every way except that he wasn't breathing and his heart had stopped beating the day before. Did the cord develop that way . . . did I do something to cause it to form improperly . .  . or did I do something that made the cord wither part way through my pregnancy? I hate not knowing - but would knowing be any better?

I hate this. I wish he were here!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Darkness

Toronto, Jan. 2008.


"No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible."
George Chakiris 


I hope this is true...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Six Months

Here I am. It's July 7th. My son would be 6 months old now. I have a photo in our room of our daughter at 6 months old sitting in the grass. I look at it and remember her at six months and wonder what Kai would be like if he had lived . . . and I cry, a lot.

Last night, before my daughter went to sleep we talked a bit about her baby brother, Kai. 
We wondered if he would still look just like her? Would he have had more hair? She wanted to know if he would be able to walk yet? Would Kai be doing the same things she did at six months old? I can't tell her,  "I don't know and we will never know because he died." So we use our imaginations and try to guess what Kai would be like . . . He would absolutely be in love with his big sister. She would teach him songs and play little hand games with him. We would take him outside, put a blanket down and sit with him on he grass. He would like looking at the trees and sky. She would have to stop him from eating grass, point out cars, dogs, trees and name them for him to hear. We would take turns blowing raspberries on his little belly so that we could hear him make that wonderful baby belly laugh . . . We both smile and cry and these dreams we create.

I give my daughter a big hug so that she can give some of the hug to Kai if he happens to visit her in her dreams like The Beatles once did. She tells me that if I miss Kai too much and need to hug something I can always hug her pink doll if she is sleeping or at a play date. She thinks the doll is about the same size as Kai was (she is right) so even though it's a girl doll, she's the right size and it's easy to pretend it's Kai. 

The last couple of weeks have been very difficult. A friend from PBSO pointed out to me that around the sixth month, the grieving process takes a turn for the worse. I think it's labelled "Disorganization and Despair". My frame of mind meets almost all of the characteristics they describe. I feel worse than I did three months ago, everything seems hopeless, i can't eat, i sleep a lot, etc. I guess I can try to take some sort of warped comfort in knowing it is all expected to happen and that I am within the average time frame of grieving . . . I'm not really going out of my mind . . . yet.

In my mind's eye


What I had pictured this summer to be like ...


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hollow

Mossy rocks in the Poconos


I really hate this feeling of hollowness that I get. 

I learned taiko drumming while I lived in Japan and I feel like I'm one of the big drums; I'm big and sturdy, but when something hits me, instead of a wonderful, full, resonating sound I make a hollow plonk noise. That's how life feels to me. I laugh but I feel "plonk"... I smile i feel "plonk"... I try to be engaged with people... but none of it seems real. It all feels like the wisps of air that comes out of your mouth when you speak on a cold day, and then disappears almost instantly. I'm not able to capture any of those feelings and pull them inside myself to fill me up and make me feel whole.

This hollowness has a slightly different feeling than the one I usually experience when I am clinically depressed. Maybe because this one has a real cause that others can (somewhat) understand.

Feelings of anger and pain are whole and real. I accept them. In a way they make me feel, for lack of a more fitting word, better. I don't feel totally hollow... but... it's not an easy feeling.

I miss my baby boy SO much I can't even quantify it. I fear that my daughter might feel that I love Kai more than her. I don't. But I do miss him more. I tell her every day that I love her and she responds with love back. I tell Kai's picture everyday that I love him ... and I feel lost.

Monday, June 29, 2009



We went to see the 3D animated movie "UP" this afternoon. I had been warned that a part in the beginning might be a bit difficult. Well, actually I found 2 parts in the beginning a bit difficult, but the rest of the movie was very enjoyable. The two parts in the beginning are only momentary and they are about loss. The rest of the movie deals with (in a hilarious manner) the old man, Mr. Fredrickson,  slowly overcoming his losses and grief.

I quite liked the movie. We are almost at the point where Kai would be 6 months old. I cried a bit at the two brief glimpses of Mr. F's losses. In a way, it helped me to release some of my grief over the loss of my son. 

Six months later, friends and relatives seem to assume that you are almost back to normal. Nobody calls, nobody visits. Sure, I have longer moments in between feeling overwhelmed by pain and grief, but those heart wrenching moments still appear several times on a daily basis! 

Night time is horrible. It's the end of another day that takes me a day farther away from the time I held my still born son. It reminds me that Kai is not in bed beside me. My hand holding his tiny foot and him contentedly breastfeeding, big eyes staring at my face and slowly closing and opening until he falls asleep. Kai is not here. I will never know what he looked like with his eyes open. I will never know his smile or his voice. I can feel my heart crumble in my chest every time I realise these things.

Weekends are very difficult, too. I'm not sure why. Kai died, most likely on a Monday. Tuesday morning we found out he was dead (technically we were told that "his heart is not beating"). I delivered him in the first hour of a Wednesday morning. All these days are during the week. Do I dread the weekend; because it was the last time Kai was alive? Because it leads up to Monday and finding out he wasn't going to be ours to keep and bring home? Because it's two days with my family at home and yet I still feel totally alone? I'm not sure. I've been asking myself about this for a few weeks. So far my "gut instinct" isn't telling me anything. Unless I can pinpoint the reason I dread the weekends it will be difficult to work through and get past. That is one thing I have learned about myself after 20 years of therapy.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Capturing a Short Life documentary film.

Capturing a Short Life, Canadian Documentary, re-broadcast in Canada 
(check the web site for re-broadcast in the U.S.)

Capturing a Short Life a sensitive portrayal of the difficult, heart wrenching and taboo subject of infant loss and the importance of remembering our babies. I found it very sad yet also uplifting. The NILMDTS photographer is Heather Rivlin of Toronto. Marcia, our wonderful NILMDTS photographer recommended we see it. I'm very glad she did.

Capturing A Short Life will re-broadcast on THE LENS on CBC Newsworld on Tuesday July 21 at 10pm Eastern Time, 1amET and 4amET (that equals 7pm, 10pm & 1am Pacific Time - you need to adjust for other time zones).
(remember this is not the main network CBC, but their Newsworld network)


The website for the film is www.capturingashortlife.com

Monday, June 8, 2009

Memory

It is so much more difficult for me to lose the future (that we had in Kai) than it is to lose the past. The past has memories, relationships, character and mementoes for us to remember it by. 

Kai did not have time in our community of family and friends to form these things that would make up a Memory of him.

Even though I know that it is impossible, my greatest fear is that I will forget about my still born son, Kai.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

5 Months


Kai, you would be 5 months old today.
i would be taking you to the park, letting the sun warm your little body. Nara would be telling you about "Little Bear" and reading stories to you. Your dad would be making silly faces at you to see you smile.
I miss you terribly. 
Everyday I wonder why you aren't here with us. 
I know you are gone and there is nothing that will bring you back to us, but it still hurts. 
It will always hurt, I think.
i will always love you and yearn for you.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day


It's difficult to believe it's Mother's Day. I had imagined celebrating it this year with my two children. No, it never occurred to me that when my pregnancy was over that I would have what people call an "Angel Baby".  

I don't get it. It's been four months since Kai was stillborn and it doesn't make any more sense to me now than it did that snowy Tuesday morning when they told us his heart beat wasn't there. How could my healthy boy just stop breathing. Why didn't someone hint to me that a perfectly healthy pregnancy and baby could result in death! Why did the cord detach from the placenta two weeks before his due date? He looked so healthy and chubby when I delivered him! My head is full of questions that go hurtling through my mind and crash against my skull over and over again. It still seems unreal. If not for the photos of Kai and the fact that my hair is falling out, there would be no clue that I had ever had a second child.  I'm supposed to be breastfeeding him, showing our daughter how to hold him, taking him for walks in the sunshine, singing to him, watching him grow... I just cry over a life that was supposed to have been.

Life goes on and our old routines return - even if we cannot bear it. 

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ugly Shoes

Someone posted this on one of the forums I am on. It describes what it is like to go on after your child has died.

I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
Uncomfortable Shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes.
They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in the world.
Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so they don't hurt quite as much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by
before they think of how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of the shoes I am a stronger women.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.
Author Unknown

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I have to make it myself

This afternoon I finally finished the card I was making for a Mother's Day card exchange. The card is for another woman who lost her infant. It was organised by a woman in Ontario who has also lost a child. I think it's a great project! We sent her our name and address along with our child's name. She then sent each of us another participants name and information. You have to send a Mother's Day card to the mother that you received and it is done in the name of the child that was lost. I made my card. The mother I received lost a little baby girl. I used my handmade rag paper and decorated it with ribbon, a paper butterfly and paper flowers around the butterfly. I tried to make it a girlish card, like one my daughter would pick for me. I hope she likes it!

I'm fearing Mother's Day. It is two days before Kai would have been four months old. I have not booked anything for that day just in case I end up not being able to cope. I hope it doesn't hit me hard like Easter did.

May 5th is Boy's Day in Japan. I'm trying to make a Koi no bori (carp windsock) to hang outside for our son. I guess I could buy one, but I really feel that I need to make it. This would have been his first Boy's Day. We even have a Japanese jinbei for him. When it's done I'll hang the koinobori outside from our Mulberry tree. Probably no one will understand why it's there but I often feel the need to tell people about Kai - that I had a son over the winter and he was stillborn - that I do all of this to comfort myself and to remember him- people don't want to hear sad stories so instead I make these little tributes for Kai and put them out where everyone can see them. This way I feel like I am telling everyone about our baby boy, but at the same time I am not. 

Monday, April 27, 2009

It's a gorgeous day outside. Here in the house it's difficult to really feel the happy, bright energy of spring. My midwife just left. It was our last appointment. She was the one other person that shared Kai's growth, death and birth with my husband and I. It's a strange felling. 

I walked back into the house after hugging her and saying good-bye. She said to 'keep in touch', but I can never tell if people really mean it or if it what they feel they should say. She drove off and I walked back up the steps into my home. Two seconds after stepping in the door I felt my heart drop in my chest and tears began to well up in my eyes. I'm still teary eyed as I write this. Why am I crying? I didn't think saying good-bye to my midwife would be so heart wrenching!...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Slide show for Kai's Funeral

video

This slideshow was created for Kai's funeral. It makes me cry every time I watch it. The style of the photos and the music convey the bittersweet emotions that we are going through.
Marcia Leeder is the photographer. She came to the hospital in the middle of a snow storm to take pictures for us. She is a professional photographer that volunteers her time and skill with the non-profit group "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" (NILMDTS). The music is by American 19th century composer Robert Forster and performed by Yo Yo Ma and Alison Krauss. This is one of my most cherished keepsakes from our short time with our son.
Thank you NILMDTS and Marcia! You gave us an invaluable gift.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter

This first family holiday was much more difficult than I thought it would be.
My first menstrual cycle has started and my hair is falling out just as it did after our daughter was born. To me these are reminders that I don't have the baby that I was carrying. The baby boy that I was going to be nursing.

All the visions that I'd had of life with a growing baby boy whirred through my head. I looked at my cousin's one year old boy on Good Friday and didn't know if I was going to laugh because he was so adorable, or cry because he reminded me that my son wasn't here for his first family holiday. I became sort of numb to deal with my confusion. The following days were not any better.
This first holiday made me very aware that the baby that we anticipated was gone. An unimaginable feeling of emptiness in my body and heart.

My life never really felt complete. Now it definitely feels like something is missing. Nothing in the world can fill the void that Kai left.

I told my daughter that a parent's love doesn't get divided up when another child is born. Our heart grows larger so that our love will never run out. My heart grew to give Kai love, but he isn't here to receive it. How do I redirect it? What do I do with it, other than mourn my baby?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Sun is Here



Spring is here.
It makes me aknowledge the passing of time.
It means I am getting farther away from the day that I last held my infant son.
Farther away from my son.
I want time to stop.
It should always be that day on Jan. 7 when I gave birth to your still little body.
During that snowstorm that lasted for the whole next day making so much of the city stand still.
My baby boy, still.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

One Month

In two minutes it will be one month since Kai was born...Jan. 7 @ 12:44 am

I had a wonderful dinner and a movie evening with friends and my family. Now I am home. I'm feeling lost again. As if this isn't where I am supposed to be. How can things feel so normal one moment and then feel so strange, sad and disjointed the next minute? How long will this last? Can I handle it for the six month grieving period that most mothers need to get back into life?

I cannot believe it. A whole month has gone by. In some ways it feels like it has been forever, it's all a distant memory. In other ways it feels as fresh as this morning, like it happened yesterday. It is very confusing.

I miss my little guy SO MUCH... I cannot believe that this happened... when will I wake up from this weird dream?... why can't I feel his absence more acutely?... i feel as if my heart keeps breaking over and over again...



12:49 am- at this time a month ago I had just given birth to my still born son and was hoping that some miracle would happen and I would hear him cry. He didn't cry. I went into deep despair. It stopped my uterus from contracting and closed my cervix so that the placenta could not be expelled. I remember not caring.

I sleep every night holding a pillow as if it were Kai. I'm co-sleeping with a pillow. It's not as soft as Kai's skin... it's not as warm as a real baby... Kai should be a month old and here in my arms, not just his picture... he'll never need his own bedroom... just a memory filled box... I'll never know his personality... his voice... his temperment... him...

How did this happen? When exactly did Kai die? ... Why, why why?... it's so surreal... my stomach is flat, how can my body have forgotten my pregnancy so quickly?... perhaps It wasn't real...just a bad dream... a movie in the recesses of my memory that I saw when I was young... is my memory of my baby going to fade?... everything fades... sometimes I cannot stand the hurt... sometimes I hate myself because my life feels like it has skipped over the last ten months... as if I were never pregnant... I hate life because my baby is not part of it... my first born is here in the living, with me... she helps me to keep trying... she doesn't deserve this sorrow... my poor babies... this is SO very difficult.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Hush.

This is a photo of my son's feet in his dad's hand. Such tiny feet. They will stay tiny forever. He was still born just 2 weeks before his due date. We miss him SO much.
This photograph was taken by "Now I lay Me Down To Sleep's"  volunteer professional photographer, Marcia Leeder.