Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009, it's time for you to go now.

Frankly, I'm just ready for this bullsh1t year to be over with. I know I'm just in a bad mood, but 2009 has been nothing but trouble. Actually, 2008 definitely had it's bad moments, too, like when Chris lost his job. But the silver lining was landing his current job just 2 months later. I also had a 10-week miscarriage and D&C in September of 2008. That hurt, but in many ways I was pretty quickly accepting once it happened. I found the silver lining and told myself that I really wanted to lose 10 lbs and find a different job before being pregnant anyway. I was in no hurry to get pregnant again, although we weren't using any birth control methods. And then came 2009.

We moved into a new rental house and I started a new job the first week of March. I found out I was pregnant a few weeks later (conceived 2/14 or 2/15--incredibly, we had sex 2 days in a row, which never ever ever happens). I hadn't lost the 10 lbs, so I was starting the pregnancy with more junk in my trunk than I would have liked, but I was still 15 lbs lighter than when I got pregnant with Calvin, so I knew it would be okay.

I never got a chance to tell my new employer that I was pregnant because on April 20,
after just 7 weeks on the job, I was part of a massive downsizing. I was actually planning on telling my boss that week because I was 12 weeks pregnant, had another OB appointment, and the jig was pretty much going to be up. But the silver lining was my killer 15-week severance package (not bad for only being employed by them for 7 weeks!!). I was able to pull my then-almost-3-year-old out of daycare and stay home with him while getting paid full salary for a few months. We were able to pack some money away in our savings account until I started receiving unemployment benefits.

During a really horrible rainstorm in September, Chris drove his '99 Honda Civic through a puddle on his way home from work that had actually become more like a small lake due to flooding. His car was a total loss. But the silver lining was that he started driving my Galant and we used some of our savings, along with the insurance money, to pay cash for an '03 Honda Odyssey (a minivan) for me to drive. After all, in just several weeks I would need a car that could accommodate 2 carseats and a Sit N Stand stroller and all the other baby-and-preschooler-crap. Besides, what family in the burbs doesn't need a freakin' minivan, right?

Well, friends, the silver linings stopped there. Addison was born. And then she died. In fact, it was others who try/tried to find silver linings for us:

She is in heaven (bullsh1t!)
She was too good for this earth (bullsh1t!)
She is now my angel and will watch over me (bullsh1t!)
I should feel lucky to have given birth to one of God's angels (bullsh1t!)
Good thing you have Calvin to take your mind off things (seriously?)

It's just all so wrong in so many ways, and I'm sick and tired of putting on my fake thin smile when I hear these things that are meant to give me comfort but give me NONE.

I have to go on a quick tangent to bitch and moan about my 60-something-year-old neighbor who stops by occasionally with goodies or just to check in on us. That is very kind of her, and her heart is definitely in the right place, but that is where the niceness ends. She knows I don't believe in God but ALWAYS stares me straight in the eye and gives me some ridiculous statement about Addison being in heaven. My favorite is when she told me: "It's okay to tell Calvin that Addison is in heaven. Even if you don't believe it, that's where she is." Look, lady. I lived the hard-core Christian way for the first 25 years of my life. I was a prayer-saying, scripture-reading, youth group-teaching, tithe-paying, proselytizing fool, and I get it. I do. And I probably deserve this crap now, after years of being the holier-than-thou version of myself shoving religion and God and Mormon doctrine down the throats of innocent bystanders. My personal favorite quote of mine was: "God is like gravity. Whether you believe in it or not, it's there." I am realizing now how unnecessary it was for me to try to "help" people by telling them that God is there and cares about them and has a plan for them. I think I was preaching to myself--trying desperately to get myself to really buy it. In the end, I realized that there is likely not a God/god. And if there is, he really has no interest in our day-to-day dealings on Earth. I have been trying to figure out why it is so offensive to me when people confront me with the God Comfort Crap. And I think I've come up with an answer. When a Christian tells me that Addison is in heaven, it is just like a Muslim telling a Christian that their dearly deceased is with their 72 virgins. Muslims believe what they believe; Christians believe what they believe; I believe what I believe. Let's just honor the code and shut up about God and angels and plans for me. Because if this is God's plan, I certainly did not sign off on it. If you want to say something that is helpful, say you are sorry. Because I am, too. I am very sorry my baby died and my life is now so horribly sad.

I don't even know what I intended to post about tonight, but it has clearly degenerated into a terrible rant of angry venting. I am sad and angry and lost and there are no words to accurately describe my pain and emptiness right now. Yes, I have a great husband and a great kid, but it's apparently not enough. I still want my baby girl. I just fucking hope 2010 is better than 2009 was.


  1. Vent away Rebecca. I hate it when people say such shallow things in an attempt to provide comfort. You should feel lucky to have birthed an angel?! Yeah, real lucky. What a ridiculous comment.

    I hope 2010 is better for you too.

  2. People buy into angels/God etc because it keeps society from going clinically insane. If you had a rational thought of "when I die, I'll be buried in the ground for x years" it's not as visually appealling as heaven. My kids have never been inside a church. Likely from the hard-core Christian upbringing. Both DH and I were raised strictly Catholic and I think they all need to get over themselves personally.

    I just found your blog and will continue following. You have a beautiful family.

  3. I'm not sure where my beliefs lie at this point, it is so hard to believe in the goodness of God when your child dies. That said, I waver. I WANT to believe my son Calvin is in Heaven and I WANT to believe I will see him again. That's where I stand on this. Like anonymous said, it's too hard thinking that my son is in the ground and that's it. The only thing that's kept me from going crazy, becoming an alcoholic, killing myself is the hope that one day I'll hold Calvin in my arms again. I'm so sorry Addison died. It's such a cruel world we live in sometimes and there is nothing that will right the pain you are in. Only time, and alot of it, will begin to diminish that crushing feeling inside. It's been over a year since I lost my son and it still hurts. Sending you hugs

  4. I'm so sorry you lost Addison - she's beautiful.

    My daughter Matilda was born on the 30/10/09 and died on 3/11/09 so was alive at the same time as your son.

    Your posts all sound very familiar to me.

    Lets hope 2010 is a better year.

  5. It's so comforting to know that I can be 100% honest, blunt, raw and ugly about my truth, and the responses are totally understanding and non-judgemental. It makes me feel human again, and I appreciate it.

    Maddie, I'm sorry we were both going through such crap at the same time. I'll definitely make a toast to a better 2010.

  6. Oh, those 'silver linings' would make me mad too. Thank Christ no one's said any of those to me! (and that 'thank Christ' is me being ironic... just in case it's not clear!)

    The first thing my husband's mum said to him when he phoned up to say we'd found out the baby had died was 'God has a plan'. Now, she is absolutely not religious, and he is absolutely not religious, so what made her say such a ridiculous thing I really don't know. I tend to forgive her by thinking that people say ridiculous things when they're suddenly confronted by horrible, shocking news, but it really upset him that she said that. I'm just glad she didn't say it to me.

    I still can't get over that 'you should feel lucky' one. That's one of the most insensitive things I've ever heard.

    It's hard, because I don't believe in God, or the afterlife, but I still want to think of my baby's spirit as 'out there' somewhere. Right now, its remains are in a box in the hospital, where they have been for nearly five weeks. There will be a hospital ceremony on Wednesday, so after that the remains will be cremated... but I hate so much that my baby is all on its own in a little box, and has been for so long. Even though I know that it makes no difference, it's only my own mind that makes it so.

    Anyway, vent away. If you're not allowed to vent after the death of your much-loved, much-wanted baby, when the hell will you be?

    Thinking of you.

  7. Just me back again - I found this article in the paper today - it's about cancer, but the 'positive thinking' seemed very similar to the silver linings you were talking about. Just thought you might be interested to read it.

    Hope you are doing OK.

  8. Beth, interesting read. I'm glad I found Glow in the Woods and other infortunate souls in this boat. I'm learning that my own anger, outrage, hurt,'s all okay. And in embracing my emotions--whatever they are--is how I will heal. I've never been one to live in denial of the truth (as I see it), but I have recently questioned my own sanity. I'm glad no one (who knows anything about this kind of horrible loss) has told me to suck it up and act cheerful if I'm not feeling that way. Sugar coating won't cure cancer, and it certainly won't bring our babies back. Thanks for sharing that article.