Friday, September 5, 2014

Time for change

Hello everyone who has been following my blog.

I just want to say THANK YOU for listening to me and for making Hayden a part of your lives.
I am beyond blessed that this little blog reached so many and has had almost 35k page views.

I am going to be a contributing writer for Unspoken Grief and so I will be taking a break (I think) from writing here. After 5 months, continuing to dwell on the negative is getting hard on my healing progress. I could sit down every night and go to that dark place of my grief to pull out new material for a post but I am trying NOT to go to that place so often anymore.

I made another blog which can be found here. Anxiety Cupcake is my way of continuing to write (which has become a huge therapy for me) but the purpose is more for documenting my healing activities and getting back in to the "Sam" I once was.

We are burring Hayden on the 18th of October. At this time still trying to come up with the funds for his burial. Death is expensive. If any of you have been touched by our story and would like to donate towards the cost of his resting place I would be forever grateful. A friend of mine made a Go Fund Me account. Here is the link: http://www.gofundme.com/d2s8bo

This never gets easy but it does get easier. That would be one of my main pieces of advice for anyone new to this life after baby loss thing. When I started this blog I was in a scary place. I see the light now. I am waking up with a purpose to make positive changes and bring back my old habits. If you are interested, continue to follow me on my new blog. I plan to fill it with recipes, DIY projects, etc.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you,

xox
Hayden's Mama

Monday, August 18, 2014

a house named Grief

Feeling extremely honored to be a guest writer for my favorite child-loss literary website, Glow in the Woods.

It comes from a dark place but it resonates with others in a beautiful way, a way that makes them feel heavy and sad, yet, inexplicably connected. I think that's what gets me through sometimes. Sharing the heavy in a completely non-malicious or selfish way. We are wiser when we understand pain.

I first knew that Glow was going to be an immensely important part to my grief journey when I read these words in the "about us" section.

One of us, only half-joking, said this will be a place where us medusas can take off our hats, none minding the sight of all the snakes. Because not only can we bear the sight of each other—we crave it.

I've been writing a lot of rants and a lot of stories on this blog but this is the first "poem" about what it feels like to lose my son.

You can read it by clicking this link

a house named Grief

Xox
Hayden's Mama

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Appreciate everything while you still can



One of my Angel Mama friends came to me with an issue the other day. She said she had been thinking a lot lately about what she would do if she got pregnant again. Would she keep it a secret and try not to get attached or would she openly cherish every minute of it?

I for one have a problem when it comes to amazing life events. I don't realize until long after they are over that I will not get that moment back again.While I am experiencing them I always think I will do it again so its no big deal if I miss out on some stuff the first time around.

 Once I drove across the country and my camera's battery died while visiting friends in the Rockies- about 3 days in to my trip. The charger was packed who-knows-where in one of the bags crammed in the back of the jeep. I went to the drug store and got a disposable and didn't think about it again. I had this awesome Nixon D60 capable of taking all these unbelievable photos of my 3-week experience driving from Vancouver to New Brunswick and I simply didn't worry about it. I didn't go to a camera shop and find a solution, I didn't unpack everything to find the charger, I actually thought that I would do this trip again and I would prepare better next time and make more stops and take it all in next time. Well, needless to say, there was never a next time.

For the most part, I could say the same goes for my experience with being pregnant for Hayden. This was my first time so I certainly was ambitious and excited for all the monumental milestones that would take place in the 40 weeks of my pregnancy but, honestly, after a while I just got tired and I took it for granted. Sure, I took photos on my iPhone of my growing belly, saved the pregnancy test and started a little journal for my son. I talked to him, sang him Patsy Cline and his father read him stories now and then. I planned to get professional photos done during my 3rd trimester and even scoped out Micheal's for materials for a belly cast. There were a lot of things I ended up not doing. I don't even know why. I knew I would never be pregnant with Hayden again, other children yes, but not him. I would never do this for the first time again. So, what exactly stopped me? After going from 130lbs to almost 180lbs in 9 months I guess you could say I felt fat and was concerned about how I would look in pictures. I looked around my apartment and realized there wasn't really any practical place to put a belly cast. I got lazy. I desperately wanted it to be over by 36 weeks. I complained, I bitched, I took it for granted.

Now, here I am with nothing but the little things I DID do as all I have left of this beautiful, intense, most incredible thing I have ever done in my life. I don't have him, the baby, to console my regret. I have bits and pieces and spend all my energy trying to mold them together and make them into a shrine of memory.

So, to get back to the idea of what I would do when I get pregnant again..

I have thought about this long and hard and I have made up my mind on how the next pregnancy is going to play out. Believe me, I am aware that it will be scary, terrifying even. Through another Angel Mama I found an article on pregnancy after loss that explained it quite well. I won't try to regurgitate so here is the quote:


Right. So. Scary? Yes. Impossible? No.

I would cherish every single moment from the time I find out I am pregnant to the time my pregnancy is over. Be it a happy ending with a healthy baby or another tragic loss. The baby is mine, ours. He/She will have the most loving and attentive parents from the embryonic stage all the way through, to as far as we are able to go with it.

I will tell everyone about it right away, in fact, I won't wait. What am I worried about? The possibility that something goes wrong again? Miscarriage? The idea that everyone will forget about Hayden and move on to the newest Lyons' baby?

First of all, most people HAVE forgotten about Hayden. I do my best everyday to keep his memory alive but, quite frankly, this is my small family's loss, not the rest of the world's. I write these blogs, I speak his name, I run the course, make demands from doctors, have meetings for Stillbirth support groups, cry, smile, beg God for time travel abilities, look at his pictures and his box of ashes daily...I do these things, my dearest friends and family they look out for me, hope I am OK. They didn't feel his kicks for months, they weren't in the delivery room. Forgetting something you hardly knew is inevitable. Forgetting what happened to their friend, their daughter, their sister, not so much. It Is my parental instinct. I read somewhere that mothers fight to keep their children safe and beavered mothers fight to keep their children's memory alive. No matter how many more children I will have in my life that will never stop. I will never stop fighting for Hayden.

What about miscarriage? Most women try to hold off until the 2nd trimester to tell people of their pregnancy even if they have never experienced the loss of one. There are so many things that can go wrong in those first 12 weeks. Miscarrying is much more common than losing a baby full term. Once women get past that mark they think they're in the clear- I know I did.

But even if my next pregnancy ends in an early miscarriage, why would I want to keep that to myself? Why would I want to grieve alone? I have already been through the most terribly sad experience a woman could possibly go through and it was my sharing of that experience that helped me heal. Why on earth would I ever want to go through this crap by myself? So, for sure I would share it with the world that I am pregnant again and ask for their positive thoughts and prayers to see it through to a happy ending, and if the end is not happy, then I would need the support and affirmations of strength to see me through that.

I would attach to that baby, yes, most definitely. And not because I have no fear that I will lose that baby like I lost Hayden. I would attach myself because I want to give my unborn child as much love and attention as I possibly can for the time I have him/her. I would take the professional pregnancy photos and I would make the belly cast. I would keep a journal from day one and write it in daily. I would tell that baby all about his/her big brother. I would sing every day. Read every day. I would fill up with so much love every day for that next child.

The next thing I was going to say was that while I would allow myself to love that next baby as deeply as I could there were some conditions I would set. I just had a conversation with Nick about this and it has sort of changed my thinking and my plans.

Originally I felt I would not be able to bring myself to set up the nursery before the baby arrived, or even buy a bunch of things in advance. I felt like, while I would give my whole heart to that child, I would not incorporate the tangibles of expectation to my life. My plan was this: If my next baby is healthy and alive after my scheduled induction at 38-39 weeks (no way will I ever let a pregnancy go past its due date again) I would take the baby home to my mother-in-laws for the first week. Nick could then set up the crib, the change table and all the other baby things in our house. The last thing I felt I would ever be able to do again is pack up all my hopes in to rubber maid containers. These would be precautionary measures. I also wouldn't bring the car seat to the hospital expecting that it wont be empty when we leave. These are the things I feel I could not handle. A baby shower? No way! Not until after that child is home safe and sound. With Hayden I had the most beautiful shower. I had more people and gifts than I ever imagined. The thing is, before you truly know the stats on stillbirth, pregnancy is an innocent adventure that has no possible outcome but a beautiful baby. I am wiser now. I know too much now.

As I explained this to Nick he stopped me and told me how he felt. We never really talked about this. We have been trying to make a baby lately and we both knew we wanted to do this but we never really had a conversation about what would happen when we finally do conceive. His thought process was different than mine and it gave me another insight. He said he knew it would be scary but that life was scary anyway. He told me how much he loved those nights setting up the crib and folding the clothes in to baskets. He said that was one of the best parts about my pregnancy, the anticipation and the preparation. He said he didn't want to miss out on that. If for some horrible and strange reason this actually happens to us again then we would deal with it then. I suppose that that is true! One of the best things about expecting is the expecting part.

Who knows? I certainly don't. How can I possibly know how I will feel when I become pregnant again. This thing is fluid and ever changing. I know I want to do this more than anything I have ever wanted. I wanted Hayden so bad but I didn't realize at the time how badly I wanted him until he was ripped away from me.

An update: I am ovulating.



These are the ovulation predictor test I have taken in the past few days. I am still taking my temperature every morning and it hasn't spiked yet which means I am fertile but no egg yet. I am guessing today is my egg's big debut and tomorrow I will find out if it really was. If this is our lucky month our next baby would be due in April. Just a few weeks after Hayden. I feel hopeful this month. I am praying Hayden will look out for our next little one, his little sibling, and keep him/her safe. I am holding on to the hope that I will not lose my strength if I find out that I am. That I will allow myself to give as much love as I am capable of, knowing that anything can happen. Sometimes I don't know how I will be able to love another baby as much as I love Hayden. it is going on 20 weeks without him now and I can't believe I have come this far. At first I felt like the healing would never ever occur and I would be in the darkness for the rest of my days here. I still cry all the time, I still get angry and sad and confused and forlorn. but, more importantly, I get OK sometimes. I feel good about life sometimes. I feel hopeful. Hayden brings me joy instead of sorrow now. I can fill up with pride when I look at his newborn photos and not just emptiness. It's a strange thing, this journey, and you never do know where it will take you. As much as I never thought possible, life after Hayden is getting better.

I have taken for granted the big epic things of my life in the past.When I was 19 with a head full of dreams I thought I would cross the country so many times I could tire of it. When I was pregnant with my beautiful son I thought that it wasn't important to cherish every moment I had with him because I would have the rest of my life for that. I have been taught, time and time again, by the universe that everything in life is worth appreciating and taking full advantage of every minute you have it. I fully plan to do that from here on it.

Xox

Hayden's Mama











Saturday, August 2, 2014

Heartbreaking Item FOR SALE


GRACO playpen for sale.

Never used. 

It's very compact and fits in to its own nylon bag. The bag is grey and I can't remember what the color scheme is for the play pen itself but it was purchased for a baby boy if that helps. My memory is a bit foggy but I remember it was really nice and that we were very happy with it.

It was assembled once and sat in the living room for about a week before it was taken down again in a sad, alcohol-induced baby-thing packing frenzy. All the pieces are still there. I cannot promise the cat didn't jump in it while we were sleeping or at the hospital overnight experiencing the worst moments of our lives. I can, however, promise that it has never been touched with spit-up, a poppy diaper or little magic cranky baby tears. 

I'm not sure what the original price was as it was a gift at the baby shower. Every other item but the play pen was trucked over to the in-laws to lay in storage but this playpen was left here. We have no use for it and would like it to no longer be the first thing we see when open the laundry room door. 

I struggled months with the idea of selling any of these things that were his. And, the idea of selling a gift that was given with love and good wishes seems like something only a horribly ungrateful person would do. I am not horribly ungrateful but since these things are mine to do with as I please now I see no harm in trading it off for a much needed night out to dinner and a movie with my equally distraught husband.

Since this was my first time doing this kind of thing (Motherhood) I have no idea what the retail value is for this item so just make a reasonable offer and count your many blessings that you have a living and breathing reason to be looking at this ad.



--------------------------------------------

This ad is not real so please don't contact me with offers. The play pen is real, and the idea is real but no matter how much I contemplate it sometimes I am not getting rid of his things.

The play pen by the washer is a reminder that he was real. He wasn't just an idea or a hope he was a baby made of flesh and bone and sinew. Ten fingers and ten toes. 

It is heartbreaking, everything is. The sunny weather, the empty car seat, the walking trail, the stretchmarks, the statutory holiday, the overgrown garden, the bins in the basement packed with onsies, the market on Saturday mornings, and yes, the play pen in the laundry room. 

I was once pretty good and burying heartbreak and starting fresh. One sad ending only meant a new sweet beginning. I could hold down a lot of the gunk from my life enough to move on. This is not possible now.

This is the thing that never goes away (fully), that you never start over from, that you never ever forget. This is a child. Yours. 

I will never know where this grief thing is going to take me next. I do know that hiding the evidence will accomplish nothing. The evidence is inside me, on my skin, and in my heart. 

You never forget. 



(funny, the filter used to edit this photo was called 'hope')




Xox 

Hayden's Mama




Friday, July 25, 2014

Taking back the reigns



I can't remember the last time I felt truly in-control.

It must have been before we lost Hayden. It must have been before the single most important thing I have ever done failed miserably and completely dissipated at my feel at the last minute before it was due to complete. Having that happen really sets the tone for your ability to perform normal tasks afterwards. Simple tasks....1.Go to the cupboard and find a pot 2. Put the pot on the stove 3. No wait, put water in the pot first 4. Okay, now turn on the burner..wheres the lid? Oops that might be too much water... "OK, screw it.. I am not making Kraft Dinner, I'm not even hungry, and I don't remember how to use a fork".
Literally, every day, things were re-learned. I didn't drive my car for a long time after. As soon as my hands were on the wheel and the other cars were moving past me I felt like I was going to cause an accident, I was going to fail at this too...I can't drive, I can't cook, I couldn't deliver a living child so how can I do anything else?

When the reigns have been violently grabbed from your hands during the most important event of your life and the direction you were headed suddenly is not the place you want to go everything changes, YOU change.

My brain is firing neurons in random directions at all times. I try to stay focused on one thing, sometimes I can but many times I am sitting in the middle of a million things I have to do staring blankly into space. Watching a single dust particle dance in the light of the sun coming in through the window. Not really thinking about anything at all just the stillness. Still after Stillbirth.

 I am slowly figuring out how to be "Sam" again... passionate, impulsive, funny....creative, attentive,
in-control.
I stand in front of the tomatoes in the produce section getting anxious trying to figure out whether I should get the "On-the-Vine" type or not. The same indecisiveness that overwhelms me when staring at my son's urn contemplating removing the screws and taking his tiny bag of ashes out to look at them and hold them for the fist time. My anxiety spreads even over all aspects of my life these days.

Change is taking place, though slowly and inconsistently. Last night I met with 2 amazing women over lattes and chocolate milkshakes. We told our stories and talked about the possibilities for the Support Group we are planning to start in our community. We shared ideas and resources and got excited about what we could do to help others. I am a leader, or at least I was at one time. I CAN do this.
I have been called inspiring, strong, amazing lately, all sorts of things I don't necessarily feel. Taking this group, this project with my sisters in grief, taking it on full force will be something I can grow with, grow back into who I was with. I want to be a place of refuge for other women, I want to be someone who makes changes in the way our health care treats these tragedies. I want to be more than Still.

So, now, almost 4 months later, I remember how to get in my car, start the engine and commute without causing fatal injuries. I remember how to use a fork, in fact, I remember how to use chopsticks. And I don't give up cooking Mac n' Cheese because it's too complicated, I've went back to making spaghetti sauce from scratch and cutting Julienne carrots for salads.

I can't promise I will not break down at the sight of myself in someone else. I can't say that I will follow the rules learned in that Grief Counselling course I took years ago. I will be human. I will be a grieving mother just the same. I will be unapologetic about my inability to stay Still and silent in the face of another woman's pain. Anyway, that is not what I would want to offer her. I would offer my own tears so that somehow they can take away some of hers, I would offer open arms and a strong grasp. These are the things we are made of now.

Somehow, in my attempt to take the reigns back, my uncontrollable amount of love and desire to support will teach me how to be in-control once again.







Sunday, July 20, 2014

Guest Post: "Jacob's Story"

My baby’s 6 month birthday is next week, and I have never had the opportunity to buy him anything.  I never bought him an outfit to come home from the hospital in, or a blanket that he will still love when he’s a toddler, or a baby outfit for his 6 month pictures.. But yesterday we purchased his headstone. My baby died inside of my body at 20 weeks old. A part of me died with him.

I am the mother of three boys, Jayden is 9, Joshua is 5 and Jacob is my angel in heaven. I struggled with secondary infertility for almost four years before finally being blessed with my third pregnancy. I found out about our little miracle October 2013.  We were all so excited! We took our boys with us to our first doctor appointment and they were able to hear their little baby’s heartbeat and see him wiggling during the ultrasound.  I had a healthy pregnancy, I felt nauseous daily but never threw up. I was concerned that I had a fever almost every night but dismissed it because someone was getting sick or just over getting sick. It was winter, so I figured there were just normal winter germs going around.

 On January 21, 2014 we all went together again for my 20 week ultrasound, excited to finally know if we were having a boy or a girl. Within seconds of my baby’s image being up on the screen, the tech said “I don’t have good news, do you want your boys in here?” The sound of my screams and cries still haunt my boys as my husband ushered them out of the room. There was no heartbeat, my baby was dead.  My world literally stopped in that moment. How could this be possible? How can I go back in time and change this? How am I ever going to breathe again?

We decided to be induced that day, and left the ultrasound still not knowing if our baby was a boy or a girl. Honestly, I didn’t want my baby to be dead inside of me any longer. I expected my labor to be quick and when we left our boys with my in-laws to go to the hospital, I kissed them and told them I would be home before bedtime. My labor took much longer than I expected and they had to give me double doses of the medication to induce labor. The hospital’s social worker came to talk to us about our options of what we can do with our baby’s body. That was the moment that it sunk in: my baby is truly gone. There’s no going back, there’s no fixing this. We started to plan for a burial before we ever held our baby.

I’m a religious person and I believe in life after death. I could feel my baby’s spirit near several times during labor. It was by feeling this spirit, that I knew we were having a boy. We didn’t have any boy names picked out, I was hoping for a girl and have a beautiful girl name, but I told my husband that we were having a boy and that his name would be Jacob Michael.

As my labor progressed, the pain became more intense.  I didn’t want any medication, although I had epidurals with my previous children. I wanted to feel this pain. I wanted my physical pain to match my heart. I felt like the pain was all I had left of my baby.  Because I was only 20 weeks along, I didn’t have to fully dilate.  I can recall hearing the sound of a heartbeat from the other room, and a woman crying out in pain as she birthed her healthy, live baby.  The pain my body was feeling didn’t come close to the aching in my heart.
Sometime after midnight my water broke. From there, everything progressed quickly. My sweet nurse stayed right by my side once my water broke. I was dilated to a four when I passed a huge blood clot. Soon after, I could feel my baby’s tiny body slip from my body and I cried out “my baby”.  Jacob was born on Wednesday January 22, 2014 at 1:53am weighing a teeny 3 oz. He was here, but will never really be here.  I didn't see him right away, I was so scared to, and I will always live with that regret.  They confirmed that he was a boy. My doctor then had to deliver my placenta which wouldn't detach. That was the most horribly painful experience. Eventually they decided they needed to perform a D&C to remove my placenta and began prepping me for an epidural. I remember sitting on the edge of the bed, leaning into my husband while they prepared me for the epidural, and hearing a dad from the other room coaching his wife through labor. It was too much. I lost it. My baby was gone. My heart was broken. As I was laying on the bed during the D&C I kept thinking someone should be checking on my baby, and then I would remember that he didn’t need anything. But it was so hard to look over to the counter where he was, and know that he didn’t need me, he didn't need anything. My blood pressure dropped dangerously low and that kept me further from finally seeing my baby.

Finally, after a few hours after his birth, my baby was brought to me, already dressed in a little outfit donated by Share Parents. I was so scared to see him. I envisioned him to look like my other boys, only smaller but that wasn't the case. His skin was dark and his body was already changing from death. But all I was aware of was how cold he was. My baby shouldn't be cold. I tried to wrap him tighter in his blanket and hold him closer to me, I even breathed my warm breath on him. But he remained cold.  My husband and I spent the morning with Jacob, holding him, talking to him, loving him. Around 8:00am we asked my in-laws to bring our boys to say hello and goodbye to their baby brother. We spent an hour together as a family of five. I knew it was time to let him go and I will never forget the looks and sounds of my boys crying as the nurse carried Jacob out of the room.








We buried Jacob two days later, on a cold January afternoon.   Leaving his little casket to be put in the ground was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. For days I wanted to go back and dig him up and take him home with me. I find peace now in visiting his resting place, tending to his spot, and decorating it. To me, it is sacred ground.

I found out three weeks after I lost Jacob that the reason he passed away is from a virus called CMV. I had never heard of this virus before. It is called the silent killer because there are no symptoms.  I believe the fevers that I had daily were a sign of this virus. But my doctor said there was nothing that could have been done. There was no way to treat the CMV virus.


It has now been almost 6 months. I don’t cry every day anymore, I sometimes even laugh now. But I know that I am not the same person I was before January 21. I will never be that same person. I am forever changed by the death of my unborn baby. We celebrated Jacob’s due date on June 13. That was a difficult day. My boys miss their baby brother and are starting to talk about him more now.  I have met amazing moms and dads that have also suffered a loss and I am so grateful for their examples and friendship. It’s bittersweet because I know I would never have met them if my baby were still alive.  I try to live each day in a way to honor Jacob. I want to keep his memory alive and a part of my family forever.  I don’t know if we’ll have another baby or not, but I will always count Jacob as one of my sons.  I know that one day I will have my Jacob again, I know that all is not truly lost, it’s just so hard to wait. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Guest Post: Lily's Story


My story begins on October 5th 2013. My boyfriend of 8 years and I had just moved in together 5 months prior and kids were definitely not something on either of our minds.  We had a comfortable lifestyle of being spontaneous and carefree.  All that changed when my stomach bug wouldn't go away.  After a day of rock climbing and feeling like I was going to throw up on a mountain, a friend of mine suggested I take a pregnancy test.  Although we laughed it off, deep down I somewhat knew that I could be pregnant.  The next day while my boyfriend was at work, I took a test. And another test...and another test. I prepared myself for the talk we would have to have when he got home.  Although I was 29, I was absolutely terrified to tell him and to actually take that step in our lives.  I have never been the maternal type and I always thought I could live a life without kids and marriage.

He was absolutely supportive in any decision I made.  I decided to go to the doctor and first confirm everything was true because you never know if the baby is even growing correctly, if there is a heartbeat or if it was a false positive.  We went to the doctor the following week and she confirmed that we were 7 weeks along.  Then she pointed out a little flicker of light and said, "That is the heart beat".  That was the moment that changed both of our lives. I am a strong believer in everything happening for a reason and this was the time in our lives that this was supposed to happen.  We realized if we were going to do this, we were going to do this 100%.  After a surprise Disneyland proposal a few weeks later we got married. Everything just felt so right in our little world.

At my 19 week appointment we were told that that little bean in my belly was a girl.  I was over the moon excited because I am a daddies girl and wanted my husband to understand that feeling that a father has for his little girl.  I let my husband name her and he decided Lily would be the perfect name.  We both came to the middle name "Jay", a nickname I call my husband Johnny. I also think of a happy little jaybird when I hear that name. Everyone in our lives were excited for us and little girl things were being bought left and right.  This was to be the first grand child for my family so you can only imagine the excitement when I broke them the news! Unfortunately, that ultrasound would be the final photo I have of my little girl as they never sought to do another ultrasound again because I was healthy and there was no need.

Around 6 months I started having issues possibly related to anemia.  I would randomly black out and was having horrible migraines.  I called the advice nurse and they would ask me questions about passing out but never once was I told to come in to be monitored.  I didn't question them because I assumed they knew best and if feeling her move was all that was important, so be it. I had an appointment scheduled a day after I had a black out episode.  I told the dr. I was concerned for the baby and they sent me in for blood work.  Again, they didn't monitor the baby or my fluids or do an ultrasound.  My blood work came back fine but I was anemic which was true before pregnancy too.  I basically put myself on bed rest, quit my job and focused on resting.

Going forward I never passed out again and was feeling pretty okay throughout the rest of my pregnancy.  My 40 week appointment came a day after my due date (June 5 2014).  I was SO bummed that she hadn't come yet.  I was told not to worry because the first baby is usually late.  I was told to schedule being induced on June 12th if she doesn't come beforehand. That day I felt like I should have pushed for an ultrasound or to be induced sooner but I kept being told "You're young and healthy, don't worry".

On Monday, June 9th I started to have contractions. I called the Dr. to see if I should go in and I was asked if I felt her kicking.  Come to think of it, I didn't feel her much that day but I ate something sweet and waited for the kicks.  Lily Jay was a kicker the whole 9 months and on June 9th, she stopped kicking.  I thought it was weird but I was told it was probably because she had no more room to kick.  Fair enough, that totally made sense.  They asked if I wanted to come in or wait for the contractions to get stronger.  I decided to go in and start this process to finally see my baby girl.

I checked into the hospital and when they went to check the heart beat, there was no sound.  I was thinking, maybe that's not the right machine and they were looking for something else.  Then the Dr came in with the ultrasound machine.  That was the moment our lives crumbled, there was no movement.

The Dr. calmly said, "I'm sorry, there's no heart beat".  I couldn't even cry because I was in such shock, I didn't understand how this can even happen. The dr. said, "It just does, it can just happen".  He then explained that I would have to deliver her naturally since a c-section was pointless at this point. I begged to just have the surgery done because I didn't think I could mentally handle all of this.  Unfortunately my crying and begging was denied and I prepared myself to deliver my precious Lily Jay. 

The next day on June 10th at 5:17pm, after 24 hours of labor my little angel was born. Weighing 5lbs 15oz and 21inches, happiest moment of my life was the saddest day of my life. The baby I loved and carried for 9 months was gone.  My body was empty, my arms were empty and now my heart was empty.  She was literally the most beautiful baby I have ever seen and Im not just saying that because I created her.  She looked JUST like my husband did as a baby and had his beautiful full hair. My husband and I spent time with her the next day and promised her that she would never be forgotten and she would always be our little girl.

Although I was offered to have an autopsy done to possibly determine a cause, I denied having that done.  I wanted my angel to rest peacefully untouched, unharmed and pure.  They sent in placenta for testing to see if that showed any cause. At my followup appointment I was told that my placenta was smaller than normal, which happens at around 42 weeks and can cause the baby to get less blood and oxygen.  I was dumbfounded, then why hadn't my baby been checked at 40 week if there was a possibility that this could happen? The answer I was given was that I never gave them reason for monitoring because I was healthy throughout my pregnancy. I hated hearing that because I knew in my heart I should have had better care, monitoring and ultrasounds done but trusted that the drs. knew best. I also kick myself for not demanding an ultrasound to see how big she was at 40 weeks. I know dwelling on these "what ifs" won't bring her back and will ultimately hold me back from moving forward, so I try my best to not do so.  Instead of dwelling, I want to be a voice so that more babies don't have to have their lives cut short. I filed a complaint with the hospital and demand that they start monitoring babies more, especially if the mom is having health issues.  Also, just because the parents are seemingly young, healthy and in physically "good shape", that doesn't mean that their concerns are less valid than parents who are sick, use drugs or are older. Nothing will bring my baby back but if my complaint can somehow fix the way the doctors are trained then maybe some babies will be saved so that another mom doesn't have to endure the pain that my family has gone through.

Again, I am a believer in everything happening for a reason and I like to see  Lily as only a positive in our lives.  Although the outcome was not ideal, she made me and Johnny way better people.  We got married, moved out of a less than ideal neighborhood, my husband went back to school at night and I left a stressful job. She made me realize how much I do need children to feel fulfilled and  she made us realize that things that seemed to matter and make us upset, don't really matter.  She made us appreciate life more, live life more and to not sweat the small stuff. We decided to have her cremated so that we can spread her ashes in places that make us happy.  We live in San Francisco and love to drive up and down the coast.  The weekend before she passed we took that long drive and talked about all the places we were going to take her. I will keep my promise and take her there, spread some of her ashes and just know that every time I see the ocean, she's there. Another way we want to honor her is to spread her ashes in the soil.
l and grow lilies. The most important thing to me is to not let her be forgotten and I will honor my little ones life the best I can. 

To all the mommies who are going through this, you're not alone. I feel alone a lot too but just know that at least in the U.S., that 1 in 160 babies are stillborn.  There are a lot of mommies out there who are feeling the way you do and if you can reach out to them, you should.  I have been using instagram as a way to connect with other moms in the same situation and it helps heal the hurt.

And to Lily Jay Lucatero, thank you. You have made both of your parents who they are today. Fly high my angel, mommy and daddy love you.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Since you left

Dear Hayden,

I know you're not going to read this. That's OK.

I just want to tell you about what Mommy has been doing since I last saw you. We have been apart for 107 days, 2 hours and 53 minutes.
That is 2,570 hours
154,253 minutes
This is all the time I have been given so far to try to process why this happened and figure out how to go on without you.
Your Daddy and I have missed you very much. We have missed you every one of those minutes. Our love for you keeps growing just the same as if you were here with us. I don't even know what you would look like now. Would you still look so much like me?

We lost you at the beginning of spring. There was snow on the ground then and we had to shovel the driveway most days just to leave the house. Now it's the middle of Summer and the buzz of the air conditioner hums as I write this. The mosquitoes are trying to get in through the screen window and my forehead is damp from the heat. Fiddle head season came and went, I didn't even bother to pick any this year. It's now too late to start the garden, I wasn't up for it I guess so the weeds are overtaking it like a tiny jungle (not only was I not up to it- I also thought everything I touched would die). I didn't even plant my favorite, Rosemary, I loved baking fresh Rosemary bread, come to think of it, I haven't even baked bread since you died.

Baby steps. That is what life is for me now. Just as you would be taking in the next few months, baby steps are what I have been taking in the wake of losing you.

Here are some of the things your Mommy has been doing since we said goodbye.

Only 2 weeks after we lost you I lost my childhood best friend. My great grandma died 4 days before her 100th birthday (you died 4 days after your due date) and on my way home to Bathurst for her funeral in the middle of the night at the gas station it cost $44.44 to fill my tank.



   In her casket I placed this note. I couldn't wait to introduce you to her. It was a family dream to have pictures taken of the two of you.
 Your Dad and I took up knitting! Yup!
It helped keep our hands busy and our heads focused. Your father is a VERY good knitter! He got really in to it for awhile and we sat through endless YouTube videos explaining different techniques.

 
We got Poppy a new bed from Costco, she LOVES it.

 We made a fire.

We took you home in the urn your Grampy built. It is in the same place where your crib was once set up

A June bug landed in my coffee. It's OK though, there was only one sip left.
I did our taxes 


I sent funny pictures to your Daddy during the day when we were apart. 


 I started taking some progress pictures, the belly sure has gone down but it                                                   is still very apparent that you were there!

Your daddy and I hung out with the largest axe in the world.

I bought a floppy hat


I put on a puppet show for my favorite little kiddies at the library



I took funny pictures with Hitch

I tried "Juicing"


Realized I truly enjoy solids. Made delicious veggie burgers with the gunk that was left from juicing.

Became OBSESSED with Civ5 and began world domination.


Went camping with your daddy and Poppy


Married your Daddy and became the official step mom to your big brother D


Took a wedding selfie



Survived Hurricane Arthur with minimal damage and only 3 days without power



Started corresponding with the Author of "Still." She told your mommy she is very sorry we have to live without you, she understands this kind of thing.

I try to sit outside in the mornings when the sun is shinning bright and listen to the birds. I imagine you as a sun ray on my eye lids and smile.

And most recently, I went strawberry picking! 



A lot has happened but nothing has changed. Not with the way I love you or the pain I wake up with. I am desperately waiting for a sign from you telling me this is all going to be OK, that you will make sure your Daddy and I have more babies and that you will watch over them and keep them safe and alive.

I miss you beyond rhyme or reason.

Xox

Your Mama



Tuesday, July 8, 2014

"Cord Accident"

It has been over 3 months now.
I've been waiting to find out 102 days.
Edge of my seat, nervous thoughts, anger and paranoia moving in and out of me depending on the day and the minute. At least that part is laid to rest.

Cause of death: "Cord accident"

I am relieved that it was nothing I did or could have prevented. I am relieved to know I am capable of having healthy babies. But there is something lingering over this that hurts very deeply. He was perfect! I always knew it but now I have a doctor's words to confirm it. Hayden was well developed, well grown, every organ and every body part was absolute perfection. This was a freak accident. An unfortunate turn of events in the last few hours he was in my womb. How do you get that far in a pregnancy only to lose your baby at the last minute?

My son was eight pounds and three ounces of perfect.
He was 21 inches long of healthy.
He was ready to survive outside of me.
He should have came into this world screaming and kicking.
Instead he came in to it sleeping. A forever sleep.
I am not sure what this all means for me.
What will I become? Better or worse?
This will ALWAYS be here.
You don't lose a child and eventually get over it.


The doctor told me that sometimes the cord gets pinched a certain way. He likely did not suffer and that it probably happened very quickly. She said these things happen, rarely, but still happen. I am a statistic. I struggle with the ideas of random occurrences versus fate. Either this was just a result of something that had nothing to do with anything, just bad luck for me I guess, or, this was a burden I was chosen to bear. I can't even get in to this kind of thinking now, I am numb and my brain is in shock. I have no fancy words, I can't remember how to form sentences with metaphors and I can't think of any other word but "perfect" and am trying really hard not to sound repetitive.

I used to lay in bed an fantasize about time travel. I would think about the possibility that I could bargain my way in to going back in time to the day before we lost Hayden. It would be Nick and I making that trip together and I would think about all the occurrences that happened in the days and weeks since which we would have to go on pretending didn't happen. A little secret that only we knew. I would think about how I would go about convincing the medical staff that I needed an emergency C section even though he was alive and well. I would picture myself needing to put on a huge show of complete hysteria just to remain hooked up to the monitors. I even thought maybe we would have to approach our doctor before making the trip to the past and get her to agree to come with us so that there was no way anything could go wrong. She would know that we needed to evacuate Hayden right away before he died and everything would be fine. She would have to vow not to tell anyone and to go on like she didn't know the future even though she did. I fantasized about this all the time in the first few weeks. I thought of every detail. Now that it has been 102 days I am unable to think that way anymore. Too much time has passed now, I no longer dream of ways to bring him back. I guess that means, in a way, I have accepted his death. Now I am stuck in a place of grief and memory. Fading images of his little face close to mine, forgetting what 8.3 pounds felt like in my arms, trying hard not to but inevitable forgetting.

A cord accident. Simple as that. I think about all the times the garden hose became twisted and the flow of water to my plants ceased. How I would scowl and go up my lawn looking for the cause. My beautiful son. My first child. All of these things I make associates with, all comes back in full circle to this feeling.

I can't say anything else, I can't end this blog right because I am no longer able to think. I keep trying for a poetic way out or a literary Que to leave. These words are in shock just as I am, they can't finish their thoughts either or make sense. So instead of trying to find an exit strategy I will just end it abruptly.

- Hayden's Mama

Monday, June 30, 2014

I married his Daddy!!

This past Friday I married Hayden's father.

Nick and I had been "engaged" for sometime. We exchanged our desire to marry each other quite awhile ago, before Hayden was even a 'glimmer in his daddy's eye'. Instead of an engagement ring we got matching hand tattoos of each other's initials and I rarely called him my fiance because I find that word sounds so cheesy. At the same time, I didn't like calling him my boyfriend either because our relationship was so much more than that. It was about time we did what we had to do so that I could be considered his wife.

With Nick returning to school and a variety of unexpected expenses we never really had the financial security to start talking about a wedding. I also hated any time I tried to plan anything as it was not "me" to fuss over silly things or organize a fantasy event for such a simple legal process. Pinterest was my moral conflict. Our getting married was a personal choice and I never imagined walking down the aisle, a big fancy dress, or serving a bunch of people food as a part of that. Friday we did it our way, and with the help of friends and family it was even more special than we planned.

When I told Nick I wanted to go get a marriage licence I was sitting in the bathtub. In the weeks of my recovery after giving birth to Hayden I spent a lot of time sitting in the tub. I needed to soak a few times a day to properly care for my stitches and relieve some pain and discomfort. I have always been one to really try to be a bath person- the idea of soaking with bubbles and oils while reading a good book has always been an appealing one but every time I set out to do it I last about 5-10 minutes before getting out. It is just so boring! I get restless and give up. I didn't have a choice in those early weeks after losing Hayden though, so the bathroom door was kept open and I talked to Nick as I sat there.

We decided to go to Service NB the next day to get a marriage licence. I told him I just really wanted to do it, now that we lost our son and bonded deeper than I ever thought possible it was time we made this official. And in doing so it would further honor our son. We got married BECAUSE of him.

We originally thought we would run down to the court house in our everyday clothes and just do it alone (or as alone as possible as there was an obligation for witnesses). I am happy to say it didn't exactly turn out that way.

My friends are the most incredible creatures. They drove hours to be with me that day. They did all sorts of magical things for me to create a wedding that was more than just us signing legal documents in our flip flops ans teeshirts.
Look at me getting all dolled up!! This was all THEIR doing and I am forever grateful!




 I wore Hayden's necklace (ofcourse) He was with us the entire day. It was his 3 month birthday! We chose the date to turn the number 27 in to something a little lighter on the soul.

I saw a rainbow the evening before as I was following my friends into a store, rushing because it was about to close. They told me I NEEDED a silver belt and were determined to locate one, I staggered behind as I stared into the distance at it. An overwhelming feeling came over me. He was happy for us. A sign from the sky that our son was attending our wedding.

His father is the most important thing there is to me. So often  my boots are heavy and I am lingering over the edge of reason with this grief. He is always there with me, sometimes he is about to fall too but either way I know he is always holding me. I found some words recently that touched me deeply because they were so true, I paired them with a photo for added emphasis..


 xox

Hayden's (newlywed) Mama :)





Monday, June 23, 2014

Cheers to Birth!

I'm sitting here with a glass of wine. It tastes awful. All the alcohol I could shove (and did shove) down my throat since Hayden died was both desperately needed and surprisingly disgusting. There were many nights during my pregnancy I so longed for the taste of a cold beer. I dearly missed that clumsy little feeling of a good buzz. I don't need to even say this but I would give up alcohol for the rest of my life to have my baby here in my arms, crying his little red face off as I scramble to find something that will comfort him. It's funny now, looking back- all the complaining I did! Like as if pregnancy was a cruel joke. Of course in truth I loved every bit of it but I sometimes think of the things I would say and shake my head.
Sharing pictures of my final days with him, a side shot 'selfie' in the mirror with words like "Hayden, I love you but GET OUT!". So funny because it was so uncomfortable and I was so HUGE and I just wanted to end it. What I wouldn't give to have him with me one more day, kicking the crap out of my ribs and making me almost (and sometimes actually) pee my pants from his heavy head on my weak bladder. I guess what I am trying to say in a round about way is that everything in life is meaningless now. Does that make sense? Everything I wanted, everything I loved, everything that made me happy, EVERYTHING in general is now bittersweet and much less important than the one true joy I knew. After we left the hospital empty handed with an empty car seat we silently drove straight to the liquor store. What else was there to do? We couldn't go home just yet. Everything in our apartment had Hayden written all over it. The crib, the blankets, the clothes neatly folded, the play pen in the living room, the stroller at the door. There was a pot on the stove still with Raspberry leaf tea I was drinking profusely to bring on labor and strengthen my uterine muscles- and whatever else that stuff was supposed to do. The bathtub was still full of the water I sat in to ease my painful contractions, wet towels on the floor, evidence of a woman about to have her baby and leaving for the hospital in an excited rush. Our apartment was a crime scene of what should have been, evidence laying everywhere of the fate we were supposed to have. So we silently drove to purchase wine and beer. We spent that night at Nick's parents house unable to go home. My grandparents were in Saint John and planning to make their way to visit before going back home up North knowing the baby would probably (hopefully) be here. When I called (or my mother called, I cannot remember) my grandmother from the hospital to tell her that Hayden was dead and I was going to deliver him soon my grandfather was in surgery getting stints put in. I guess I never had the chance to think about it until now but she was sitting alone in the waiting room of a hospital an hour away as her husband was undergoing a relatively safe but you-never-know kind of procedure as she found out that her only granddaughter whom she raised from a little girl was about to give birth to a dead baby. I wonder what she was thinking and feeling. They met us at Nick's parents about 20 minutes after we arrived. We were alone in the house for 20 minutes at first pouring our glasses. It was early in the afternoon but no one questioned our choice of beverage. My grandfather is an emotional man. A big, strong, hulk-type cry baby of a man. I sat on the couch and showed him pictures we took of Hayden the night before, I left my phone with them because I couldn't take it anymore and walked out of the room allowing them to "meet" their great-grandson the only way they could. We heard my grandfather let out a wail and say to my grandmother "That is one strong man to be able to hold his son like that".
I knew which picture he was looking at. And yes, he IS a strong man.















No matter how many glasses of wine I consumed in those early few days I could never get "drunk". I did what I could to numb myself but shock and grief were too overpowering to allow my body to truly react to any alcohol. I am not trying to say that I have become an alcoholic since losing my son, just to clarify, in no way is that the case. But really, what would you do?

I'm kind of stalling because what I really sat down to write was this:

There is a feeling that has been lingering lately and I need to figure out how to express it. Earlier this evening I shared this raw thought to my fellow BLM's (new acronym I learned - "Baby loss mama") on the incredibly supportive Facebook page "S.O.B.B.S" (Stories Of Babies Born Still- if you are reading this blog and looking for a support network check that out!). I posted it there because I knew they would all understand even though I couldn't quite get it out right yet. I received an incredible response from many other women thanking me for finally saying what they so long felt like saying. Some of these women talking about babies they lost 25 years ago (that's the same amount of time I've been alive!). Here it is, I'm going to say it publicly and hope I don't offend anyone...Why do women who give birth to living children receive credit for their incredible labor process and women who give birth to dead babies don't? Maybe this doesn't make sense to you yet so let me further explain. When someone we know and love gives birth to a baby we congratulate them on their strength through hard labor and perseverance through the pain. They are women of force and credibility! They did it! It's beautiful and amazing and we tell them that it was. We tell them it was because IT WAS. They do deserve every credit they receive because I can tell you first hand, birthing a baby is no
picnic! When women experience a stillbirth they are said to have "experienced" a stillbirth. My stillbirth was more than an "experience", let me tell you that! I gave birth too! I cried, I pushed, I screamed, I grunted, I felt the excruciating pain. I almost squeezed Nick's hand right off and stared desperately at him for the will to go on when I didn't think it possible. For crying out loud I busted a blood vessel in my freaking eye pushing out that 8.3 pound baby! I had a REAL birth even though it was a stillbirth, where is my gold star? Stillbirth but STILL birth. I don't remember anyone telling me I was amazing for that (except Nick). I'm just "strong" because I am waking up everyday after losing my baby. Really, I am not strong because of that..I have no choice! I experienced the beauty of birth too..I felt my child move through the birth canal until his body finally left mine.. that intense and spiritual separation..only difference is my baby was dead. Isn't that something?? Am I not like everyone else who went through the incredibly powerful struggle of labor and birth, that beautiful and horrible thing that makes us  WOMEN? Yes I am and it's time someone started congratulating me for that instead of simply telling me they are sorry for my loss. In my loss I gained too. I gained the status of a Mother. I gained access to the same club every woman out there with living children received. I did it too! And I did it knowing I would not keep the product of my pain. To me, that is even more commendable. To all of you beautiful women out there who have birthed dead babies, CONGRATULATIONS! I am proud of you for making it through that beautiful and sad journey of labor. Giving birth when you already know you will not hear that first cry of life from the child you carried in your womb for so long is a truly powerful and life changing thing. Birth, no matter the outcome is serious business... Cheers to that!!

Now that my wine bottle is empty and the fruit flies are beginning to congregate it is time I signed off,

Thank you again for reading,

XOX

Hayden's (slightly drunk) Mama

Monday, June 9, 2014

My traveling musician

I haven't written in awhile, I guess I have been holding off for a number of reasons. The first reason being that in the wake of recent events I did not know what was the most import thing to say. It's not that these "events" were of too much importance and could not stand to compete with each other in the race for the focus of my next "blog" but simply that I was battling between writing about something that was positive or something that was negative- both of those things come to me sometimes almost simultaneously. Khalil Gibran puts it very wisely and I came across these words of his at the most perfect time for me to completely soak in to them, to stain myself with them, to become one with them because this is truth and this is my truth right now.

The second reason, the more personal reason, is that I began to pick away at myself towards defeat in saying that these "blogs" held no real purpose anymore aside from my own self-satisfaction from writing- "Why don't you just get a journal then?". I know I thought my initial birth story touched people deeply as it was pretty descriptive and raw and on a subject that is not often talked about. I know that is the initial response and that the rest of this journey is kind of obsolete to anyone else but me. you heard the unspeakable, the unbearable, the unbelievable- and now you move on. Who would want to hear my whining and my personal philosophizing on the subject of grief? Am I a broken record? Am I now just on the borderline of self pity? Hovering over the edge of a traumatic experience that is now 10 weeks and 4 days since past? Quite frankly, who gives a shit anymore? Do I want to subject myself to the continued blog that goes un-noticed? Why would I put myself out there like this to the online community if I think that no one is going to read it anymore?

The reason I am writing again is because I now KNOW people are. Over 17,000 page views since I created this blog 2 weeks ago. I don't know if that is a substantial number for anyone who has a serious online presence or not but it seems like a substantial number to me. I have received messages and emails from people all over North America thanking me for writing. It didn't hit me until I was about to go to bed last night and checked my e-mail. I received a beautiful e-mail from a complete stranger who made me realize that my documenting of the loss of my son is important. She hadn't experienced this herself, in fact she wrote me as she held her sleeping baby in her arms. This woman gave birth to her living daughter the same day I gave birth to my dead son. She told me that my story has changed who she was as a parent and thanked me for making her a better mother. She told me she thinks of me and Hayden each time she is on the brink of insanity from 24/7 care for her infant and changes her outlook from frustration to appreciation as she imagines what it must feel like for me to continue life without having those moments. After reading that email and calling Nick out from our room to read it too I spent the the first few hours in bed wide awake thinking about what this impact on other people meant for me and for my baby who is not here. Nick slept peaceful with his arm over me nuzzled into my neck and I could not drift away for the life of me as I marveled in what this new found feeling meant. "Hayden was here."

Another email from a complete stranger came today from a woman in South Carolina  who recently had a healthy baby, she told me she had been following my blog and that she has told all her friends and family about Nick, Hayden and I. She told me how strong I was, how much of an inspiration I was, and then she signed off with these last words - "I'm so glad you shared your story. You deserve some recognition for how wonderful you and your family are, and I just wanted you to know that it reached all the way down here. Hayden's getting a little taste of the South :)."

My son, my precious creation, my little Hayden who was only alive long enough to know the world from the inside of my womb has his name and legacy floating around in places I could never imagine myself having the chance to travel to in my life time. What a little globe trotter!! I always thought I knew exactly what Hayden would have been like. Curious, talented, wise, a traveler of life, an open and free spirit. I knew these things about him before he was even born, when he was still just a life inside me growing and dependent completely on my body. At my baby shower we did a game where everyone wrote down what they predicted Hayden would be when he grew up on a little piece of paper and placed it in a "time capsule jar" which he was supposed to open on his 18th birthday. No one knew what the other had written yet when I looked through them later that night with friends THREE times people said he would be a traveling musician! (One said a traveling horticulturist which I guess still adds value to  the globe trotter theme). How is that possible? What are the odds? His legacy is like music now, and his story and mine are reaching people in places I never thought possible.

















I know this will never be easy, I knew that from the beginning, but I know now that it even though it does not really get better good things come from it. I have a voice now, I have a reason to write and a purpose to speak out. I can help women "become a better mother" and I can help other's who are going through the same tragedy feel they are not alone. So for those of you who have thanked me for my story, for my honesty, my bravery and my strength, I now thank YOU for the encouragement that this all means something and matters. And, most importantly, for letting Hayden have an impact on this world.

-Hayden's Mama xox


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Stress won't make a "Rainbow"

I would call myself a moderately private person. That is to say that I don't mind having an open life, I do have a Facebook account and, obviously, this blog, but I am modest enough to keep my personal life personal. Today I am going to deter from that a bit because I've had a bad morning and want to "talk" (write) about it and also think this may relate well to other women out there who have recently (or ever) experienced stillbirth. 

Yes.. SEX. I am going to share a little bit about that.

For me, there has been an indescribable strong desire to become pregnant again since shortly after losing Hayden. I know that for some that may seem strange and for others completely normal. In my research of the various emotions we feel after losing a child in birth there are many people who cannot imagine trying to conceive another baby so soon and others who desperately need that. There is also the contrast of some needing to feel that closeness with their partner and others who cringe at the thought of being touched. Whatever you happen to feel after this unfair fate is totally fine, there are no rules to this. 

In the first week after Hayden I so badly needed to feel intimate with Nick. The depression, shock, grief, and incredible feeling of emptiness was more than I could bear and to be as close as possible was all I wanted. Unfortunately, the injuries of natural labor prevented a lot of that. What a sick joke. What a huge "F-You* to be added on top of everything- the actual PHYSICAL inability to consummate our love for each other after a tragedy. It took me almost 5 weeks to heal and that was really difficult for me to accept. The waiting...If Hayden were here and we were busy adapting to new parent life, fawning over our beautiful baby and filled with the every day joys that came with his mini milestones I am sure "sex" would have been the farthest thing from our minds. Instead, we were left with nothing. Nothing... after 41 weeks of pregnancy, 41 weeks of dreaming, 41 weeks of waiting, 41 weeks of planning...nothing. 

In my need to try for another baby ASAP (our "Rainbow" baby, as we call it in the stillbirth and miscarriage community) I decided to get on top of my fertility understanding. I downloaded an APP on my iPhone called "Kindara" ( check it out here ) which is a gem for anyone interested in learning about how their cycle works and looking to increase their chances of either getting pregnant or staying unpregnant. My first period after birth came on the 18th of May, about 7.5 weeks after Hayden. I started taking my temperatures every morning to follow my natural cycle as it took its course and find out when the best chance to conceive would be. I guess the only issue is that when you get in to the "fertile" stage you will only know that you ovulated the day after you ovulated when you experience a temperature spike. Today I found out that I ovulated yesterday and yesterday was the ONLY day we did not try to conceive. I had an absolute melt down this morning when I charted my temperature and realized I missed out on my first great opportunity to get pregnant. I've heard it is common to be moody on your ovulation day and yesterday I was just cranky and we were both tired, I didn't even realize we forgot until after we were both practically asleep. I drove Nick to his job site this morning so I could have the car today, it is raining and gloomy and I didn`t want to feel isolated with such a heavy heart. The morning traffic on the way home was brutal and I spent 30 minutes in a barely moving lineup of cars alone with my thoughts. Thank heavens for my dear friend (also) Sam who took a desperate early a.m call and talked me through my panic, and for my Mother who did the same.

Today I feel angry with myself, I feel dissapointed and depressed. I borrowed one of those Birth Date Wheels from my doctors office which calculates when your baby would be born based on ovulation/last period etc... I looked at it ALL the time "Oh!! Look!! We would have our baby by January if I get pregnant now!" (what I said last month before my period even returned) or, more recently,  "Nick, check it out, we could have our baby on your birthday in February if we get pregnant during this cycle!"....Now, now that I probably screwed up my chances this month the only thing I have to be hopeful for is the possibility we conceive our baby next, and to be honest, there is something I don't like about that possibility. If we get pregnant on my next cycle then we would be having another March baby. Something doesn't feel right about that. I had a March baby and he died. March is now a very dark month for me. I would prefer to leave that Month alone for the rest of my life if possible, and hopefully, if it is considerate enough, it will leave me alone too. 

I know, I know I know.. everything will fall in to place when it should/ it will happen when it is the right time/ blah blah blah.

I am sorry to be so demanding here Mr. Life, God, Lady Fate..but I NEED this. I am counting on the joy, excitement (and yes, fear) of becoming pregnant with another sweet baby. I want my smile back and I don't want to wait too long. 
Here I am at the end of my 1st trimester with Hayden- so full of excitement and wonder


Thank you for reading, sorry for the details..

Xox,

Hayden`s Mama