Monthly Archives: May 2013

Tightrope: or, How to Tell ToysRUs that your baby is dead

Oh boy… We’re due for a blow up.

What the f*** is this?

What the f*** is this?

Yea. This was the last straw.

I won’t pretend that I’ve had a great month:

  • I was supposed to come home from Maui pregnant, and I didn’t.
  • The Hubs is working out of town, leaving my mid-week with WAY too much think-about-my-personal-shit time.
  • The month of May brings with it Mother’s Day. Eff that noise. I tried to be positive about it. I really did. The day itself wasn’t that bad, but gearing up for it was.
  • I found out about a gazillion other people are pregnant, and I’m feeling like, WAY behind.
  • This last weekend was Memorial Day Weekend, which was Shower Weekend 2012 during our pregnancy with Hudson.

Two big celebrations from last year came and went this year and I did a pretty good job of suppressing/diverting my attention away from my grief and loss.

Don’t think about it and it won’t hurt so bad. Reframe it so that you can function without people giving you pity-faces all day.

And then, yesterday happened. We got home from our Memorial Day camping trip with the Dubs, all stinky and greasy and unshowered. The trip was uneventful as far as emotional breakdowns are concerned, but I did find myself thinking (more than I ever have before) about what this trip would have been like with Hudson in tow.

Sweet, chunky, ferocious, hilarious, smart, wild-haired, ten-month old Hudson.

Bouncing around in the truck as we hunt for good spots for Morels.
Giggling by the fire.
Getting passed from grandparents to aunties and back again.
Sticky and dirty from her first taste of marshmallows

So I’m getting ready for bed and I think, just briefly, about the Hubs’ Aunt C, and how this was the first time she’d seen me since Hudson died, and how she gave me the “How are you doing?” that means more than just “How are you doing?”

And I got so damn mad.

I’m so tired of people feeling sorry for me. I hate having something in my life for people to feel sorry for me about.

I got so mad I cried.

So then the Hubs needed to know what was wrong, and the floodgates opened, and this morning I awoke with puffy eyelids for the first time in a good couple of months.

Damn.

But I recover. I function throughout the day. I even allow myself to watch the video my good friend (who had her baby boy the day after Hudson was born) posted on Facebook of her son taking his first steps, and only fleetingly did I think:

Hudson could be walking by now.

I get home from work and I go for a run and I have a generally mundane little lonely evening and then I go check the mail and you know what?

ToysRUs can suck it.

I’ve complained before about how little “market research” is being done by Big Retailers as far as child development goes. They caught wind that I was pregnant and now they are assuming that I have a “Someone Special” who will be “turning one”. They never did get the memo that my baby, my perfect precious daughter, didn’t live to come home with us, and that she will never turn one, and that I’ll never get to throw her a birthday party or sign her up for “Geoffrey’s Birthday Club.”

I’ve gone this whole 10+ months without writing an angry letter. ToysRUs might just end up at the ass end of one. Their marketing tactics are invasive and they aren’t even that good. Haven’t they noticed that I haven’t spent a dime there since June of 2012? Have they not seen my uncompleted registry lying dormant for the past 10 months? Did their research department not realize that hardly any parent can go 10+ months without buying at least one ridiculously overpriced “Baby Einstein” toy?! I’m going to give those incompetent, unobservant market researchers a piece of my mind, dammit.

Of course this isn’t all ToysRUs’s fault. I have been walking a tightrope of emotion, compartmentalizing all of my worries and sadnesses and frustrations and rages. I’ve been hyper-aware of “what’s appropriate”, of “keeping it together”, of not being somebody that you have too many reasons to feel sorry for, of not breaking down or giving anybody reason to side glance or whisper about me. ToysRUs and its giant, brightly-colored postcard were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But eff it. They are going to hear from me anyway.

Sometimes when you’re angry, you just need something to point it at.

I’ve got a cartoon giraffe with a stupidly spelled name in my sights.

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Mother’s Day

Today is only a crappy day if I let it be.

You see, I am a mother. I’m Hudson’s mommy, now and always. She lived beautifully and brilliantly, and I mothered her beautifully and brilliantly. It all ended far too soon, but it makes me no less of a mother.

And I can focus on these beautiful, brilliant things today. I COULD focus on my loss. I COULD cry in my room, avoid people, and mourn intensely the LACK I feel today.

And don’t get me wrong. I feel an intense absence today that will NEVER be filled, because it is Hudson’s and Hudson’s alone. She should be in our home, in her mother’s arms, where she belongs. This could be the worst day ever if I let it be, because there are SO MANY things today that can be daggers to a childless mother’s soul:

Mother’s Day cards with baby feet and sloppy artwork for decoration.
Two hour waits for brunch, surrounded by families with children of all ages.
Facebook posts celebrating the life-changing relationship that is the mother-child dynamic.

But it is all about perspective, and I chose to focus on the beautiful, brilliant things:

I will never get a Mother’s Day card with Hudson’s footprints or her sloppy artwork for decoration, but I can wear her feet over my heart, I can hold the molds of her feet, and I can cherish the artwork my niece N made that celebrates Hudson. Plus, handmade cards by Momma Sue and several other cards from friends and family have meant an awful lot to me today.
I didn’t have to wait quite two hours for Mother’s Day brunch with Grandma and Grandpa Dub – which was delicious. The place we ate at wasn’t swarming with small children, and I love being surrounded by my family in any environment.
I’ve received Facebook posts and text messages throughout the day that have been extremely encouraging, honoring and recognizing the life-changing relationship that I have with my daughter.

The trick – and it is extremely difficult at times – is to not make everything about Me.

Yes, I AM a mother, and yes, today could be pretty crappy because I am without my baby, forever, this awful inescapable unchangeable world-smasher. But I also have a pretty amazing mother, myself. My husband’s mom is the best mother-in-law a girl could ask for, and she raised this incredible man for me to marry. I have lovely friends and siblings who are mothers. Why not focus on celebrating them?

Today isn’t about me. I mean, it is, a little. But I don’t want Mother’s Day to be sad, so I will choose to celebrate my beautiful, brilliant experience as a mother, and to celebrate the other beautiful, brilliant mothers in my life, and to celebrate the beautiful, brilliant daughter I was blessed to meet 10 months ago, and who I cannot wait to meet again.

 

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Not so perfect… 10 months

Recently I fooled myself into believing that I was getting on a new plateau with my whole grief/loss/coping thing.

I met my new baby niece, and she’s beautiful, and it didn’t even wreck me to hold her; to be honest, I really loved it. I spent a good hour in Hudson’s room, and it made me more happy than it made me sad to go through her things and remember how wonderful it was to be pregnant with her. My new job is going so well. I felt like I got okay with “when it happens, it happens.”

I turned 30 on April 24. Our family celebrated by taking a trip to Maui. The Hubs, Me, Grandma and Grandpa Shiz, Grandma and Grandpa Dub, Auntie Shiz & her E, Uncle Shiz & his pregnant wife M and their sweet daughter N. The whole gang traveled to far-off lands to celebrate the dawn of my next decade.

And while we were there, I was certain: This will be the month.

“When it happens, it happens”  went out the window.

How perfect it would be to get pregnant on the birthday trip to paradise!? To be able to celebrate Mother’s Day knowing that there is already a sweet Baby Dub Dos on the way? Not only would I be able to “relax” a little bit on a vacation (the advice everybody seems to offer with infuriating consistency), but it would be my BIRTHDAY! What a wonderful present! It just seemed like the Universe owed me one, that I was due for something epically great, that 10 months would be long enough to wait, already.

But alas. You all have to wait at least another month for that good news.
The Hubs will be growing the HRW Memorial Beard for at least another 9 months.
The soonest we will be able to bring a baby home is February of 2014.

Worse yet is that my baby envy has returned. I see a chubby, sweet, not-quite-mobile-yet baby and I just ache to know how much cuter Hudson would have been at the same age. There was a period in the last 10 months where I could actually separate the “having a baby” thing from “missing Hudson” – and I was okay with the fact that we don’t have a baby, while I’ll never be okay with not having Hudson.

Does that make sense?

I try not to let myself jump to the conclusion that something must be wrong with my baby making parts. After all, I’ve been pregnant before, carried the baby full term, had no complications except for the labor. I’ve had some tests done to ensure that all my hormonal gear is not out of whack. Doc says all systems are go. So I try to push the nagging “What if…” questions out of my mind and let my uterus do it’s thang.

I try not to let myself get discouraged when each month and milestone passes. I have a very depressed day on the first day of each new cycle, which I think is fair, but then I pep-talk myself hard about how this is another month to get in better shape, another month to rededicate myself to some personal goals that would be great to accomplish before we have a baby to take care of, blah blah blah.

I try not to let myself imagine the fierce reality that ONE YEAR MIGHT PASS without getting pregnant; I might have to face Hudson’s first birthday without her sibling to look forward to. Can I even do that?

I might have to.

You find yourself capable of much more than you’d ever imagined when all you’re really doing is living.

And it’s Mother’s Day tomorrow.

What a shit weekend.

I mean, I’m trying my best not to let myself get all in a funk about it – by keeping busy, doing fun things with my hubby, and running a 10K for Team Hudson’s Heroes today! On what would be her 10 month birthday, I’m celebrating by donning my Hudson’s Heroes tee shirt and hoofin’ it 6.2 miles (the farthest I’ve run since running a half marathon in November).

I wish things were different. We all do. Mother’s Day should be celebrated with our jabberbox of a charming redhead. At the least it should be celebrated a teensy-tiny bit knocked up, thinking of cool ways to tell our family that Baby Dub Dos is on the way.

It’s been a beautiful week in Walla Walla. We brought Maui temperatures back with us, and have been enjoying 85+ degree weather perfect for golfing and early morning runs. I have always loved the summertime in Walla Walla, but the last week or so has brought back a LOT of memories of those last months of being pregnant with Hudson. I am dogged in my determination to focus on the lovely things, the things that were so special about being pregnant, remembering what it was like to be the Me before all of this Awful happened. But it has been a lot harder than I’d thought – and I think summer heat and beautiful Walla Walla mornings will always be a little bittersweet for me. For the foreseeable future, summer will be Hudson’s.

I’m realizing that there isn’t much of a way for me to pull this post together thematically… it’s just a brain dump of all the day’s thoughts and emotions, the cost of doing business when you don’t write for almost a month. I have other things to write about here, and I’ll pull myself together by then. But today, I’ll just cut myself off with this:

Hudson’s life was too short. We should have a 10-month old today; she would have been the most freakin’ adorable human being you’ve ever seen. She would have been the end of me once she hit her teenage years; she was the end of me when she died 10 months ago.

But Hudson lived; She died.

I’m alive… and more than that, I am living.

 

 

 

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