Monday, January 9, 2012

Two For Real

Today is her birthday. Somehow this day is easier than yesterday was. Remembering that chilling, eerie feeling of knowing my daughter was dead, but not really knowing for sure, then knowing for sure . . . it was my own little horror film. Delivering Calla, waiting for the labor to be over . . . well, that was really hard. But I had a goal, a focal point, I knew the outcome.

Her delivery, sadly, was not beautiful. It was emotionally and physically the most torturous thing I hope I ever have to live through. I screamed like a mortally wounded animal and wanted with every fiber of my being to die.  I have guilt that her birth was so ugly.

So now I feel compelled to give her beautiful things. But what, I am wondering, do you give a dead baby?

Today we went here with the boys, and then when we got home I ran through the cemetery. I thought it was fitting to spend the day with children and dead people. C took the day off from work and we just put our heads down and got through it.

On my run I stopped at Calla's marker and cleared it off. I sat and had a good little cry. It was a beautiful sunny and relatively warm day. I couldn't help remember two years ago, after she died and was born, driving around the cemetery looking for suitable places for her marker. It was so very surreal. And yet, it still is surreal. Visiting my dead daughter's cemetery marker on her second birthday. That sentence has about fourteen things wrong with it.

I debated writing anything on the eff beez today. I don't want people to think I'm trolling for sympathy. But then several friends wished their living children a happy birthday today, and I thought, "what the hell." So I did.

Here we are, marching onward into our third year without our girl.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for your kind words. It means just about everything to me.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Almost Two

This is the day when every minute has historical significance. When I was making curtains, eating chocolate, getting my haircut. We had takeout tacos for dinner. I was having abdominal muscle spasms which I hoped were baby movements. I freaked right the hell out and went to the hospital.

That sonogram.

Two years ago, today, she was dead. Two years ago, tomorrow, she was born. Two years ago, yesterday, was the last day of my blissfully naive life.

The weather this January, so far, has been freakishly warm. Unsettlingly so. It is giving me that nauseating feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Or the other eight feet of snow to drop. The weather two years ago, right now, was blisteringly cold. The night we went to hospital, in fact, was the coldest day that month. And still, while waiting to deliver my dead daughter, I was waiting for that other shoe to drop.

Two years. I look back at my life, then, and am amazed by how far we've come. The milestones are too many to list. But we are a different family. I am a different person, almost entirely.

And yet she is still dead. That stays the same no matter how much we grow.

I am still caught winded by pregnancy announcements, by third babies, by little girls with curly hair and blue eyes and who are two. It stings much less now. The sting is not entirely gone.

Her death has not defined who I am, but it is maybe the most real part of me. It is immoveable, unchangeable; it is woven throughout my speech, my thoughts, every action.

It is all I have of my daughter. And I miss her so very much.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Handle With Care

I wonder, sometimes, why I continue to be surprised by how insensitive people can be. Maybe I should just hide myself away in a cave, far away from anyone else and their opinions.

Often I'm caught off guard by how fragile I still am, and continue to be, even nearly two years away from my baby girl's death and birth. How just a suggestion can shatter me completely.

And then the strange bedfellows I keep really send my head spinning. First the Duggars, and now Rick Santorum? Who AM I?!

So, this morning on msnbc dot com there was an article about the Republican presidential candidate, a list of facts the public might not know about him. And right there, at number four, was the requisite family blurb. Within that bullet point was the fact that his third baby died at 20 weeks gestation. And then he and his wife brought the baby home so their living children could meet him, and cuddle him.

Now, people, please. I'm not going to get political here. However, Mr. Santorum shouldn't, nay, CAN'T count on my vote. But I do empathize with him on this point. The path he travels is quite different from mine, socially-speaking.

But how beautiful for his living children. I wish, now, I'd been able to give E that same gift. He will literally have no memory of his sister, her life, her body, her weight, her black curly hair.

So anyway. This morning I had the pleasure of reading someone's opinion of this particular bullet point, expressing how "creepy" it was of the Santorums to let their living children meet their deceased baby sibling. And immediately I wanted to puke and punch something. (I did neither)

Sigh. Just another example of how people just don't get any of this. Just another way for me to feel like a freak. Just another reminder that we are a motley crew, we mourning parents, and there simply are no boundaries separating any of us. We are all connected through dumb shit luck, forever.