Tag Archives: baby toys

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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Happy 5 Month Birthday, Baby Girl

I cannot believe that it has been five months since our girlie was born, just under five months since the world as we know it got smashed to pieces. Have I been this person for five months?

This person.

Heartbroken.
New priorities.
Heightened feelings.

Most importantly: a mom.

We’re sneaking up on what would have been Hudson’s first Christmas. And while I imagine this particular holiday season will be rough, I do like to allow myself the luxury from time to time of imagining what she’d be like right now.

Chubby all around. Cheeks, thighs, arm and neck folds. Sticky sideways smiles, no symmetry to Hudson’s expressions quite yet. An obscene wardrobe – the most stylist 5-month old on the block, thanks to Momma Sue and Grandma Dub and crafty Aunties. Giggles. I imagine what our daughter’s giggles would be like, and it makes me ache for a sound I never heard.

I won’t lie to you, Hudson and I would be wearing matching Mrs. Claus outfits this holiday season for some kind of a photo shoot.

I allow myself the luxury of imagining our house with a baby in it. Slowly but surely, the assorted baby paraphernalia we brought home with us from the hospital has made its way back to Hudson’s room, and we’re down to just her heartbeat teddy bear, a photo album, a box of Hudson’s Heroes teeshirts, and the biggest size of this picture that Costco would print up on our wall.

I miss laying kisses on those sweet feet.

I miss laying kisses on those sweet feet.

But if Hudson had lived to come home with us, the joint would be awash with rattles and tummy time mats and jumpers and her black and white zebra and a whole wealth of toys I don’t even know about yet because we only made it as far as newborn toys. I’m confident at one point or another, the Hubs or I would have stepped on one of the toys strewn about, resulting in a torrent of loud words that end in *** that would have us then concerned that our daughter’s first word would be a four letter one.

In a way, I’m grateful that Hudson didn’t come home with us only to die some other way. How could I ever be in our living room after spending hours of tummy time with her there? How could I step foot in her nursery knowing she’d spent hours in baby dreamland in there? How could I lay eyes on the rocker knowing I’d fed her in that rocker?

Except of course as I imagine those experiences with our daughter in our home, I have to take every thing I said up there back. I wish for any world where I spent time interacting with our daughter, even if it were still going to end this painful way. We are missing out every day on some kind of a milestone or achievement that our little overachiever would have been delighting us with. What I wouldn’t give for memories of staring contests with our googly eyed little newborn! I would trade a thousand restful nights for one interrupted by my baby’s screaming and fussing.

And I know these experiences await me, when Baby Dub Dos, Tres and Quatro arrive on the scene (did I just predict triplets? Dear me!). So when I step on those baby toys, in the future, I’ll remember today and I’ll grit my teeth but I won’t swear. Those sleep deprived nights will be a dream come true. The world will stop for baby staring contests.

Nothing in this life is a guarantee. The only thing in life that you can truly control is how you view your life – the gratefulness with which you greet each day, the choice to smile instead of frown, the decision to be brave and to take risks and to love all out. I’m working on these things, and life is more full. I’m choosing these things, and I feel rewarded. It’s the worst thing in the world that I don’t have a 5-month old today, but my day is not ruined.

A huge hunk of my heart is gone forever, but I don’t feel incomplete. Because that’s what I choose.

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