Monday, November 22, 2010

Addison at One Year Old

First of all, thank you so much for your messages letting me know that you care about me and how things are going. It just means so so much to have you girls out there thinking about me and shooting your good thoughts into the universe.

Addison's first birthday was October 28th. I geared up for the day, knowing it might be tough. I went to work and had a therapy appointment scheduled for that evening. I decided that I would honor Addison by having a good day, and I actually did. I feel like I've done a lot of work in the past several months to become more emotionally healthy. As much as I want to hold on to Addison, and perhaps even linger in her space, I have realized that I have to let go--just a little bit--in order to keep on living. My therapist does sand tray therapy (go ahead and Google it--I know you want to). When I first started seeing her, just a couple of months after Addison died, she wanted me to do a sand tray to honor her. I wasn't ready by any stretch of the imagination to do one. I felt I would be saying a permanent goodbye if I did one. But as Addison's birthday approached, I felt like I was ready to honor her, not as "closure," but simply as a way to remember her in a positive way. After therapy, I picked up a little birthday cake, and after dinner we lit her candle and ate her cake. Calvin is still terribly confused by why Addison had to die. He says he used to love her THIIIIIIIIS much, but now he loves her just a little bit, because she left us. I think none of us understand why she had to leave so soon.

And about 2 days after her birthday came my semi-breakdown. I became temporarily obsessed with researching cool cap therapy in full-term infants. I still have so much anger and frustration about how the doctors dealt with Addison before and after she was born. When I went to the hospital because she wasn't moving, they never did an ultrasound. They didn't push for an emergency c-section. When she was born, they told us she simply lacked surfactant. Twenty-four hours later we found out the wretched truth--that she had pretty much choked herself out in utero but didn't finish the job. Part of me feels that had they immediately taken her that night via c-section and started cool cap therapy, she might have had a chance at life. But then my brain takes over and considers the possibility that even if they COULD have gotten her from "brain dead" to simply "severely cognitively handicapped," that would have been no good. But sometimes my heart doesn't want to listen to my brain. I just have so many questions that will never be--can never be--answered. The "what ifs" do the worst damage. And I think that's what I'm trying hard to work on--moving past the coulda shoulda wouldas and into reality. What happened to Addison, happened, and as terrible as it is, nothing can be done to change her fate. And life marches on with or without me. Painful as it is, I must continue to choose to keep moving on with life. Not only for me, but also for my husband, my living child, and my unborn child.

I'm 22 weeks pregnant with a little boy. Calvin is beside himself with excitement, although he does ask from time to time if this baby will live or die. He wonders the same about himself, and I try to reassure him that he has MANY years left on this planet. Oh how I hope I'm right. This pregnancy has been physically easy, but mentally tough. I have struggled with a subchorionic hemorrhage that initially caused me to gush blood while we were on vacation in Florida during Labor Day weekend. And after that, the SCH continued to grow, and even very-temporarily forced me on bedrest. After a short reprieve, I bled horrendous amounts for 2 straight weeks and thought for sure I was losing the baby. But at my perinatologist appointment last Friday, the hemorrhage was no longer identifiable on the ultrasound. For the first time, I had a glimmer of hope that this pregnancy would actually result in a living, healthy baby. I can't picture holding him or bringing him home (that seems WAY too optimistic), but cerebrally, I imagine that he might live.

It's nice to feel the baby kick, but in a way it is terrifying, because now I've assigned myself the full and total responsibility to keep him safe. I will need to do my kick counts and be aware if he stops moving for too long, and act accordingly. As diligent as I could possibly be, I know I can only do so much to keep him safe, but the pressure we put on ourselves can be tremendous, can't it?

And so is my constant internal battle between holding onto Addison and living in the empty space she left that I fill with tears and sadness--and living in the here and now. The reality that my future does not include Addison breaks my heart. The reality that I can't picture her as the toddler she should be, because she will forever be trapped as a one-to-seven-day-old infant, is enough to cause me to be institutionalized if I dwelled on it long enough. There is no reason that this terrible thing happened, no silver lining in the cloud of despair, but even so, I am trying to accept her life and death as part of my own life story. She will always have her place in our family and in my life, but it can no longer be center stage.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Giving hope a chance

Chris and I met at the perinatologist's office yesterday. I was terrified; he looked pale and frightened. We compared stories of our drives over--we both felt like we could pass out at any moment. The anxiety level was sky high. It didn't help that the perinatologist's office is INSIDE the hospital where Addison was born.

After a 45-minute wait, it was our turn. I recognized the tech from our appointments when I was pregnant with Addison and we started chatting. She started to remember us as well. The doctor certainly acted as if he knew who we were. He was kind, compassionate, and at the end of the appointment told me to call him anytime. And I believed he meant it.

But what I really want to write about is the total and utter RELIEF that I now feel. What an emotionally exhausting visit! The nuchal translucency result looked good--likely no Down's. Anatomically, the doctor said everything looked normal. The blood results for other issues will be back in a week or so. The subchorionic hemorrhage was obviously still there, big, looming, scary...but he seemed certain it would resolve with time. And he got the money shot. He thinks we're having a boy. We are thrilled. We know that nothing is 100%, nothing is totally certain, I will never feel completely confident that we're brining home a healthy child in March. But I am ready to feel cautiously optimistic. I'm ready to HOPE. And for me, that's a really big deal.

PS: Thank you all for your loving, supportive comments. It really touches me to know that you are there are rooting for me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

White Knuckling

I feel like I'm hanging on by a thread. I don't know exactly how far along I am (about 12 1/2 weeks) probably because I'm too scared to get attached to this baby. Frankly, I don't know if it's alive or dead right now. But I'll find out in just about exactly 12 hours. I will see the perinatologist tomorrow. Finally. And then I will see if there is still a heartbeat. I will also see if one of my scariest thoughts has become reality (some terrible genetic fuckup with the baby). VERY secondarily, we may find out if this is a girl or a boy. But, really, I can't even get that far in my head because I don't know if we will even see a live fetus. I have absolutely no instinct about this baby; my instinct has failed me in the past, anyway, so why would I trust anything I feel? I had another pretty decent bleed a few days ago, and I've been spotting very dark blood nearly every day for a week. I just don't feel good about it. I'm nervous. Okay, I'm downright terrified. And so I wait, but not much longer. I hope I can sleep tonight.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Life or Death? Please let it live.

We were at Disney World in Florida for Labor Day weekend. Calvin is 4, and just barely over 40 inches tall, so he was able to ride a lot of the fun rides.

Sunday morning when I wiped there was a tinge of brownish blood. I thought...well, here we go. Either I'm going to lose this baby or not. No more blood the whole day. We enjoyed ourselves at Magic Kingdom and tried not to think about what might happen.

I've actually never had bleeding or spotting during a pregnancy. None with Calvin or Addison; none when I had a missed miscarriage in 2008 at about week 10. They just found there was no heartbeat during a routine check-up. But I know it's not a great sign, even if it's not always prelude to disaster.

Today we were scheduled to fly back home to Georgia at 6:30pm. I woke up around 8am and felt a small gush; I thought maybe I had peed myself. In the bathroom I ended up bleeding quite a bit of red blood. I inspected it and saw a few small clots. It's pretty much the last thing I wanted to see. My intuition failing me, all I could rely on was my instinct to get home so I could get to a hospital. Unfortunately, Labor Day is not the day to get a flight easily changed. So we were stuck.

We decided to go to a hospital to get checked. After nearly 4 hours, we got an answer. It's a subchorionic hemorrhage measuring 4.2 x 3.7 x 2.5cm. The good news is that the baby is alive and measuring right on target - 10 wks 6 days. I was told I could travel home (and we just made it back) but was instructed not to carry anything heavier than my purse. Of course I had been schlepping Calvin around all weekend when he got tired of walking.

The bad news is the unknown. At this point, it can go either way. Either this baby will make it, or it won't. And even within that simplistic-sounding statement, there are so many either/or scenarios. My big fear is the genetic fuckup. Either there will be one or there won't. I'm not "allowed" to talk about fear and anxiety to many people in my real world. They don't want to hear it, and make me feel as if I am creating my own destiny by fearing the worst. If I had that much control over my world, Addison would be alive and healthy and I wouldn't have to be going through another fucking pregnancy right now.

So I'll see my doctor tomorrow. I'll call when his crappy-office-hours office opens at 9am. I literally have 3 days available to take off from work for the rest of the year. I don't even care. Sometimes life takes a priority to work. And this is one of those times.

It's hard to let myself feel all these feelings, so I'm not. Not yet. I fear I will have a literal nervous breakdown if I lose this baby. I just don't want to lose it. I just can't go through it. I don't want to have to explain to Calvin why another baby died, when we just had the guts to tell him there is another baby in my tummy. I don't want to waste more time on pregnancies that don't equal babies. Damnit, I want this baby to live and thrive and grow and be born healthy. Hey, Universe, is that too much to ask for?


Sunday, August 8, 2010

It Lives

My first OB appointment was a major test of emotional strength...which I failed horribly. But the bottom line is that I'm not as far along as I thought, so that is apparently why my symptoms seemed to disappear last week. It's actually more likely they never fully had developed.

I'm happy to say that I'm good and nauseated now. Sick as ever. Puking my guts up and still wanting to heave again. I never thought I would be happy about that, but I am. As of today I am apparently only 6w4d. We saw an ultrasound of a bean and a pretty steady 119 heartrate on Friday. According to the size of the bean, I apparently ovulated on day 19 of my cycle and had a definitely positive test just 12 days later. That is so incredibly odd, but whatever. I didn't really know it was possible to get a positive reading so early. In fact, I was getting the really faint images of the "line" just 9 days after the alleged conception. My period was due and I thought I was further along than that, otherwise I would have never been testing so early. My cycles are still effed up, but I obviously ovulate (even if on wonky schedules) and I'm still as fertile as ever.

So, I had a breakdown in the exam room (after the first ultrasound with a crappy machine and before being ushered into the Ultrasound Room with the good machine and a tech) and I was just sobbing and telling my husband something to the effect of, "I can't lose this baby; I can't go through this again." It was almost like I was watching myself from a distance in that moment. I want to be positive and say it's all going to be okay. I want to at least give this thing a chance, in my head, to turn out well. I am going to try. I really am.

And my poor new OB. I have been the most low-key, low-maintenance OB patient EVER in the past--even through my missed miscarriage. But now this poor new guy is going to have to endure me in my "new normal" state. But he said all the right things, and took us in his office after the exam, and patiently went over the game plan of how we will attempt to avoid a dead baby this time around. All I can say is, GO TEAM!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Trusting Myself

I'm fighting the paranoia. I'm approaching 7 weeks pregnant (maybe) and yesterday I had a definite "it's dead" day. I don't see the doctor until Friday, so I have no choice but to wait it out until we can see if there is a living baby in there. And, of course, I'm not so naive to think that seeing a heartbeat this early will equal a living baby in 30-something weeks.

I had a 10-week missed miscarriage before I got pregnant with Addison. From the beginning of that pregnancy I felt that something was wrong. I said out loud, on multiple occasions, "either this is the best pregnancy ever, or I'm going to lose this baby." I had seen and heard the heartbeat at 6 weeks; who knew it was going to disappear over the next month. Well, I kinda did.

And then with Addison, I had a feeling like everything would be okay. As sure as I was that the one before was going to fail, I knew that pregnancy would last. And I was right--for the most part. I mean, she died, of course, but not until much much later.

And now here I am. And I don't know what to think. Because I can't trust myself. I can't trust my intuition. I can't trust my body. I can't trust the natural process of a baby growing and thriving and being born. Part of me says, this is a boy. I can feel it. The other part of me says, this baby will never even live long enough to become a baby. (It would help if I would just puke already!!) And so I wait.

Poor Chris is more paranoid than I am because I'm giving all sorts of crazy signals because I'm so confused. I think he's already emotionally preparing for going in on Friday, finding no heartbeat, and scheduling the D&C. It's not like we haven't been down that road before.

I'm glad I have a very busy job because the days go by quickly and my mind is occupied the whole day. It keeps me from grabbing my boobs constantly to assess tenderness levels, or attempting to determine whether I have any smell aversions developing.

Anyway, blah blah blah. I bore myself to tears. I hate worrying, even though it was in my nature even before losing Addison. And now that trait is set in stone.

Monday, July 19, 2010

For one night only

After I gave Calvin a kiss goodbye this morning, he said, "Mommy, when you have a baby in your tummy I will kiss your tummy and the baby will like it." I told him there was no baby in there, but I would let him know if there ever was. Then he said, "But everyone has two babies." I guess he meant two LIVING babies.

I related this story to my co-worker this morning and then commented with a sigh, "I wish he knew something I don't know."

Ovulation testers were a total bust this past month, but I'm still 3 days late for my period. We did manage to have sex on day 16 and day 20 of my cycle. I never saw a clear "ovulation" reading on the damn sticks, although the closest I came to seeing the pink line darker than the control line was day 20. Day 16 was just for fun. I complained to my mom's voicemail this weekend about my frustration with my cycle, where's my period, am I ever going to have normal cycles again...and she responded with a voicemail wherein she actually said the words: "just throw out the ovulation sticks, relax, make love every other day, and it will happen." Seriously?
I thought she knew better than to say crap like that--at least to me.

Well, turns out my whining was for nothing, because 5 pregnancy tests (3 brands) later, I finally got a reading I could trust 100%. Thank goodness for digital pregnancy tests. Yeah, I have a college degree but can't tell if it's a "real line" or an "evaporation line." I guess I've become one of those "4 out of 5 women" they talk about in the commercial who can't accurately read a pregnancy test. Doh!

So, for this one night only, I am going to bask in the glow of happy that I feel. Tonight I will not stress about possibly losing this pregnancy or finding out some terrible news about the fetus down the road. I will not worry about brain damage or cord accidents or SIDS or genetic fuck-ups. I will let go of fear and anxiety for this one moment and just be...well...happy.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fear with a capital F

I was in the shower this morning when it hit me. The memory of holding Addison for the last time. Of course, I didn't know it would be the last time. And even in that moment, Chris and my mom and my sister Sarah and I all discussed how good she looked--that she would seemingly hold on forever and make this even more difficult for us all. It seemed at that time the state of limbo we were in--with her being alive but not really, just waiting patiently in the hospice for death to come--was the worst it could possibly be. That once she died, we could get about the business of mourning and get past this terrible thing. For the longest time, I had this idea in my head that I couldn't shake--the idea that I could have "closure." I'm realizing there is no such thing. People talk about starting new chapters in their lives, moving on, looking ahead. It's an illusion. It doesn't really happen like that. This so-called closure is actually a slow, painful drift through time, punctuated by strong floods of shit that knock you off the lifeboat you were barely clinging to in the first place. At least, that's how it's feeling for me these days. One of those shitstorms hit me this morning in the shower. I had that guilty, horrible feeling again because I actually WANTED Addison to die once I learned of her condition and prognosis. To then have her around one day--one minute--one second longer--just seemed to cut the wound deeper. During the visits I had with her those days that she was "alive" I held her, rocked her, breathed her in, memorized her, and told her to let go because there was nothing to fight for. A brain dead baby born in a coma has nothing to live for. No hope. No future. So we pumped her full of morphine and hoped that she would somehow forget to breathe. Quickly. I thought during those days how pathetic it is that we don't allow for euthenasia in this country. We can put down a dog who is suffering, but not a human. For Addison, it would have been the most ethical, loving and kind thing to just end it for her. I felt that way then; I feel that way now; and I will live with the guilt forever for having these feelings. I can justify them in my head, but to be a mom with those feelings toward her own daughter...well, that is unforgiveable. The week she lived was hell, and my life has become hellish ever since. Perhaps I will choose to punish myself forever for hoping, during those horrible days, that she would just die already.

I know, now, that I can never replace Addison. I would never even want to try. I think in those first weeks and months after she died I subconsciously thought I could replace her in a way. Like, if I just got pregnant and had another baby, it would create a wrinkle in time that would undo Addison altogether. With 8 months of grief under my belt, I'm now fully aware of the emotional trials and tribulations I will likely endure during a future pregnancy. I follow enough blogs to know there is no such thing as a "happy ending" after losing a child. I turned 36 a few days ago. I thought I would be done having babies. And yet, our family seems incomplete without 2 living children. I realize that the overwhelming emotion I have surrounding a potential future pregnancy is fear. That's not even a strong enough word to accurately describe how scared I am--about everything pregnancy related. I know too much. The door has been opened and I have entered, against my will, a world that I never even wanted to know really existed.

And yet, I've begun peeing on sticks for the first time in my life. I've been pregnant 3 times. I have timed sex 0 of those times. I've certainly never peed on a stick to figure out likely ovulation. But I'm getting older, and the fear that I won't be able to get pregnant "by chance" is one of my oh-so-many fears:
I'm afraid I won't be able to get pregnant.
I'm afraid to have a daughter to show me what Addison could have been.
I'm afraid to have a son, which would mean never raising a daughter.
I'm afraid the pregnancy will end early.
I'm afraid to have a c-section too early.
I'm afrait to wait too long and having the baby die before birth.
I'm afraid the baby will have a chromosomal disorder due to my age.
I'm afraid I will have to make a real choice about the future of my unborn baby.
I'm afraid the baby will be born with severe problems.
I'm afraid the baby will die of SIDS.
I'm afraid I will lose everything I currently have and everything I don't even have yet. I'm just plan afraid.

Forget grief and rage and guilt (the standards I've been feeling). Overwhelming fear is the current overriding emotion right now. And even with fear in my soul, I have to do it. I don't want to wait. Even without trying to get pregnant, I'm scared. So I guess I'm not choosing to face the fear; I'm choosing to continue down my path in spite of it. And what if....everything worked out. What if I got the line on the stick and conceived and got the line on the "other" stick weeks down the road and the baby lived and thrived in my womb and it was born healthy and lived to be able to tell me "I love you." What if. I will still mourn our loss of Addison. And I know our family will never be complete without her. But such is life. I have no other choice but to continue living in spite of the pain and fear. I guess I'll just shoot good thoughts out into the universe. Universe, would you please cut me some slack?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

6 months

You would be 6 months old today. I still feel empty and broken and alone here without you. True, I am surrounded by people--by your dad and brother especially--but I turn inward. Time stands still now that you're gone. I have no desire to diet, to exercise, to shed the rest of the mid-section goo that was supposed to be naturally depleted by "the breastfeeding diet." Perhaps I want to look as shitty on the outside as I feel on the inside. But I think that's over-thinking it. I think I just feel awful and dead and don't give a shit about much at all. And my appearance falls squarely within the category of Who Cares. I don't look forward to seeing new sights or doing new things or going new places. Addison, I think of what you would look like--who you would be becoming now--with all your crawling and babbling and new rice cereal eating. I wonder if you'd have a mouthful of teeth like Calvin did at this age, and if your hair would be thin and fair--curly or straight. I can hardly take the teeter-totter of emotions I feel between trajedy and apathy; it's not a broad range of emotions, for sure, but the only ones I feel. The huge sense of loss that words cannot adequately describe versus the total apathy for what life has to offer. I teeter one way, then I teeter the other. Usually I force apathy because feeling anything is just too much. Out there in the world, I don't think they really know what's going on within me. It's all I can do sometimes to not shut down completely. The rest of our family needs me, after all; I probably need them, too. All I know is that without you here, having them here is the only thing that keeps me going day after day after empty day. I really thought 6 months would feel differently than it does. I thought it would feel less...horrible, I guess. But there is one thing I know for sure: I miss you and love you and wish you were here where you belong.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mommy.... Addison's belly button was like a raisin. Addison flew away like a butterfly.
...I wish baby Addison could sit in the backseat with me.
...that is daddy and you and baby Addison (looking at her urn).

Yes, Calvin. Her belly button was like a raisin. Maybe she did fly away like a butterfly. I wish she could sit back there with you, too, sweetie. Yes, that is daddy and me and baby Addison. But I'm glad I have you.

I just miss her. And he would have been the best big brother ever.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I've always been a big dreamer--the night kind, that is. My whole life I have had vivid, disturbing dreams that I remember on a consistent basis. In my most recent disturbing dream from this week, the final scene was me finding my 3 1/2-year-old son's body in a clear plastic body bag in a park, along with a man's drivers license. I did not recognize the man, but the ID apparently belonged to the person who did terrrible things to my child, the climax of which was taking his life. And in my dream I actually uttered the words, "well, it could be worse." When I woke up, in that hazy-dazy in-between asleep and awake, I remembered those words and knew that they meant it would be worse to NOT know what happened to him and/or who was responsible. Like if he just disappeared one day into thin air; became a missing child. Seriously, what kind of sick mind creates images like that and scenarios like that and justifications like that? It's time to turn off Nancy Grace.

I obviously have a major fear of losing my only living child. I've always been kind of protective, but it's natural and easy to be protective of such a young kid. I'm wondering how I'll do as he gets older. I don't want to be one of those crazy controlling parents, and I know I can't protect him forever from every bad thing in the world, but I would like to think I can. All I can do is keep my eyes open, be vigilant, aware, teach him to do the same (without creating fear in him), and hope for the best. I really hope he lives a long, healthy, happy life. Isn't that what I hoped for Addison, too?

I had a very long dream the night before Easter. The short version is that I was given a bird to care for while the owner (a woman who was kind of like my sister-in-law, kind of like my aunt--I don't know who she was supposed to be) was away. At times the bird was small and hung out in the hoodie of a sweatshirt I was wearing. At times it became bigger, baby-sized, and I held it as such. And long story short, a sapling appeared on a branch through the window, and it hopped onto the branch. I tried to grab the bird, small as it was in this scene, but it bit me. And then it flew away. And I was forced to tell the unknown woman/owner what had happened. That I lost her bird. And there was another side-story about me throwing away some kind of plaque she had that recognized the adoption of this bird. Or something like that. Well, once the bird flew away, somehow I felt it was reasonable to discard the plaque. I donated it to Goodwill, actually. And then I realized my mistake and went to retrieve it, but the owner realized how important it was to me and used this as a bargaining chip. He demanded a huge sum of money in exchange for it. The whole thing was very convoluted, and there is so much more to the story. In the morning I related part of the dream to my husband, who said, "wow, your brain is trying to work through some issues." But I don't know how my brain thinks these kinds of dreams are helpful for the lucid, awake me. Even if, on a subconscious level, they're helpful and I'm processing my issues, remembering them once I'm awake leaves me feeling sad and disturbed and helpless.

Many days I feel like I'm getting worse--not better. Time is supposed to make this pain more bearable, right? I'm supposed to eventually come to terms with this unbelieveable thing that is now part of my personal history. I'm supposed to take this most wretched thing and twist it into something I'm grateful I was able to endure, and find the good in it. Right? I'm so NOT even close to any of that shit. My therapist tells me that wallowing in the pain of my loss for a bit is fine, but marinating is not helpful. My question is: what about drowning?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

To my knees

I remember now why I avoid looking at the pictures of Addison. Watching the naive happiness on our faces in that first day contort into total numb the next. And then watching Addison's skin color and whole face change during that week of her life. The week that WAS her life. As we starved her to death. Hoping for her death not only for her, but for us. Being in a position that absolutely no parent should ever have to be in. The pictures that document her transformation from a beautiful perfect newborn baby, to a statue, to the dust that is now literally in a statue on our mantle. It sickens me. It breaks me down and brings me to my knees.

Where is my fucking period?

I'm just so confused right now. I had Addison, full-term, 10/28/09. I got my first period exactly 11 weeks later on 1/13/10. My second period came on 2/13, making that a 31-day cycle. I have yet to see a period since 2/13/10. Even if I got my period tomorrow, that would make this a 34-day cycle. Right? I just don't know. It's not that I need to be pregnant right now--we only lost Addison a mere 15 weeks ago (but who's counting, right?). It's just that I would like to understand what the fuck my body is doing so I can hope to get pregnant in the nearish future. Then again, I think I got pregnant with Calvin during a cycle where I didn't have a period. My body is lame. And I know I'm not pregnant right now because I got negative tests on 3/9 and 3/15. It's just strange because I could have sworn I was going to start my period last week. And that feeling lasted for a few days and then faded. And now I feel like it's never going to come again. And I'll never get a chance to get pregnant again. Because....well....let's get real. Not much sex is happening over here in this house these days. Yes, there have been a few times in the past month (once on day 15 of my last cycle, which is the day in the cycle I got pregnant with Addison). But obviously that one didn't take, which is no surprise. It's not like I tried that hard, considering we only did it once. On one day that may or may have been a day kinda near ovulation. I've never used an ovulation kit or a thermometer in my life. I wouldn't know where to start. And I think the anxiety that would cause would be too much. And that is a can of worms I am not ready to open.

Okay, I've officially entered The Rambling Zone.

I started back to work 3/1. Went to visit my fam back in California 3/6-3/16. And I've not been able to see my therapist. Three weeks is just too long to go when it's only been 15 since losing one of the 2 most precious things I've ever had. I'm so glad I have an appointment on Friday.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Daddy's Tattoo

Chris got this tattoo tonight (his first) for Addison. These are tracings of her actual footprints. It made me kind of emotional when I saw the finished product because it's so perfect. It's exactly her.

Addison, we will never forget you. And for as long as I have life and breath, I will love you.

Monday, March 1, 2010

New Ink

The Bluebird of Happiness flying away with a piece of my heart. That's for you, Addison. Because you are that piece of my heart.

It's my fourth tattoo and I've never been a bleeder. But this one bled like crazy. I wonder why.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Too Much

The loss that surrounds me feels a little much right now. An old friend just lost her 23-year-old nephew this week. Another friend of our family (mostly my sister) lost her 23-year-old brother-in-law this week. I have been helping out my husband's cousin with her 2 kids (I consider them my niece and nephew) this week while she visits her husband's grandmother in ICU at a hospital 60 miles away. Granted, she is 88 years old and she may pull through, but it's still a stressful and scary time. Although none of the stress/grief is directly on me, I feel it all around me.

I saw my therapist today, which splits me wide open. (I did a sand tray, which I need to Google. It was an interesting process.) And tonight Chris and I went to a Compassionate Friends meeting. While those meetings are incredibly helpful, it is always sad to FEEL the pain in the room. If it's not brushing up against your cheek, you're definitely breathing it in. The pain is so very real.

And so I'm feeling a bit BLAH.

I pulled the box out from under my bed containing my "work clothes." Being pregnant at the time I was downsized last April, I just packed up all my slacks and blouses and put them away. Sadly, I just haven't been motivated enough to lose those last few pounds after I had Addison. Not having the "breastfeeding diet" to rely on really sucks. And this time around, it feels like my body shifted A LOT. I have a few pair of pants I fit into, and that will get me through for now. Ugh. But in a strange way I don't feel that insecure about my body (even though I probably should) because I know what it's been through--what I've been through. And so I'm cutting myself a little slack. I'll get back to where I need to be eventually. Or I'll get pregnant again and it just won't matter for a little while. Whatever works, but I'm not going to stress about it.

I'm hoping to get some enjoyment out of my last 2 days with Calvin before I go back to work full-time. I'm trying to put the anxiety and sadness all around me away for a little bit. Easier said than done.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Happy 38th, Sweetie!

Since it's 1:14am local time, I guess your birthday was actually yesterday, but Happy Birthday anyway!

I wanted to give my sweet husband, Chris, a shout out on his birthday. He likes to stalk my blog (especially when I'm having a rough day) at times, which is okay with me. It's not like I'm writing anything in here that I don't tell him anyway. It's cute that he comes here in an attempt to "find a reason" for when I'm especially sad. I have to remind him that the reason is simple--we lost our daughter. So that means he will eventually read this.

Chris, this post is for you. I love you and I'm so proud of you and I love the life we created together. It would be perfect, save for losing our sweet Addison. But even that I am grateful to be doing with you. I don't know if I would survive this without you. And, of course, raising Calvin with you is a total joy. I love hanging out with you, laughing with you, eating good food with you, trying to find karaoke places (even when they won't let us in because, well, we're not Korean) with you, watching silly t.v. shows with you, reading the Sunday paper with you. Everything in life is better because of you. I just love you and I'm glad you're mine. And I'm yours. Forever.


Friday, February 19, 2010


As I flipped through the free local rag that is delivered on Thursday afternoons, I lingered over the Death Notices as I am wont to do these days. It was a tough week, apparently. The ages of the first 4 unlucky souls were 48, 63, 63 and 63. Gosh, that is just too young to die. My mom is 63. And then came the next one:

Infant Rachel M---- died January 29, 2010.

I know babies die. But obviously my awareness has been permanently altered. Now, instead of reading that and thinking to myself, "gosh, that's sad" before moving on to the next thing, I linger and try to imagine the mom and dad. Do they have other kids? Is this their first? Are they crying right now? Are they not sleeping tonight? I wonder how they're feeling right now--how they're coping. Gosh, they live in my city. I wonder if I will meet them at the perinatal loss support group next month. Or maybe I will pass one of them in the grocery store tomorrow. I wish I could do something for them. I wish I could do something for myself.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bits of Nothing

I got the job offer (re-offer) the day after my interview last week. They basically offered me the old job back at the same pay. I countered, but they didn't play ball. No biggie (kinda). But because quality daycare is so insanely expensive, and this job doesn't pay as much as it would back in California, it's kind of hardly worth doing it. Okay, that's not totally true, but I wish they did throw me a bone when I asked for a tad bit more.

So now I'm spending lots of time trying to find suitable daycare for Calvin--preferrably at a "school" that has Georgia Pre-K funding and spots available for the fall. I can't believe Calvin will be 4 in July. Boggles my mind how quickly he is growing up. We're going to tour 3 more locations tomorrow. I know when I find the right place I will know it. Just gotta find that place.

I'm having some anxiety about going back to work. I was only there 7 weeks before I was laid off. That was almost a full year ago. Obviously, some anxiety is normal, especially considering what has been going on with us lately. But I know going back to work will be good for all of us--for me, for Calvin (he's dying to have more consistent interaction with kids his age), and for our family's budget. So it's off to work I go. Well, in a couple of weeks that is (March 1).

I want to get another tattoo. I want to honor Addison. The ones I have are generic and really have no meaning (butterfly, heart, dragonfly with trail of stars). I just think they're pretty, really. Like any other accessory. But there is a lot of pressure to do this one right because it really means something. I'm still thinking about it.

My therapist wants me to do a sand tray to honor Addison. She mentioned it at my session today and I broke down in tears. I don't even know why. We really hardly talk about Addison. We talk about communication issues, growing up in dysfunctional families, building self esteem. These things are important, and I'm really learning a lot from her. I took psychology and even minored in sociology in college. None of this is really new for me. But it all takes on new meaning when you actually embrace the information given. So, the sand tray. We're going to do it next week. I don't totally get it, but apparently you just "play" in a sand tray (choose wet sand or dry sand tray) and use figurines she has all over the room to symbolize the experience with Addison. I feel a lot of pressure to do it "right," and I expressed that to her. But of course there is no right or wrong. We both know how fucked up I am already--who cares what I do in the sand. :-)

So, it must be something about people who cut hair for a living. I suppose there aren't many things a stranger can discuss with a 3-year-old besides siblings and Yo Gabba Gabba. Chris and Calvin both went to get haircuts this past Saturday. I went back with Calvin, but ended up backing off because he did a better job of not squirming this time when I wasn't hovering (he is very ticklish, so sometimes I need to help hold his head while they use the clippers around his ears or on his neck). Another employee there hung out for a few minutes with Calvin while he got his hair cut, and then she hurried up to the front of the store. She looked concerned and asked, "Did your daughter die?" I said, "Yes," as I quickly tried to recall who this person was and how she knew that information. She went on to say, "Oh, your son told us." Yep, that's my boy. He knows he has a sister; he knows that she died. And I'm glad he knows he's a big brother. He has actually taken to using one of her soft blankets at bedtime. At first I was hesitant to let him use it due to the Freak Factor, but after he asked a few times to use one of "Addi's" blankets, I finally gave in. Seriously, his sister freakin' died. Is using her blanket really going to damage him? It's funny because we never referred to her as Addi, but somehow Calvin has started referring to her as such. Coming from him, it's especially sweet.

I've avoided blogging lately because, frankly, it requires too much concentration. Even staying somewhat on topic is difficult for me right now. I really hope I don't crap out at this job. Ugh!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I love to torture myself

I just caught the end of a documentary on TLC about a young couple taking methadone in order to get off heroin during their pregnancy. Like a train wreck, I could not look away. Baby immediately went to NICU (obviously) and was given morphine to help her with withdrawal symptoms.

The mom was appropriately upset about her baby having to stay in NICU and said:

"If I start to think about how long 4 weeks is, it's a long time."

The baby went home after 5 weeks.

If she thinks 5 weeks is a long time to be separated from her baby, she should try forever. Yeah, it's great the mom got off heroin and started on methadone and stuff, but seriously. SERIOUSLY. I'm just having an It's Not Fair Pity Party for a moment. Indulge me.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Jobs, Money, and other stuff

I had a lot to discuss with my therapist yesterday. First was my appointment with the perinatologist, which I already went into detail about.

Next was the fact that my former employer called me to re-interview for my old position. That interview will take place on Monday. I'm just not sure what I think about that whole situation. I started the job the first week of March 2009. I have a lot of insurance background, but this was a different type of insurance, so another woman and I were in a 7-week training class. I really enjoyed learning this aspect of insurance (short term disability claims) and thought it would be a good match for me. However, since I apparently conceived Addison February 14th or 15th, I found out a couple weeks into the new job that I was pregnant. I was VERY worried about having to drop that bomb on my new boss. Well, turns out I didn't have to. I finished the 7 weeks of training and started my first day "on the job" on April 20th in my cubicles with a brand spankin' new name plaque, only to be called to a conference room with a couple of Suits at 10:30am. I was downsized, along with a bunch of other employees, after just 7 weeks on the job. However, the benefit package was killer (15 weeks severence was just one of the things they gave us). I pulled Calvin out of daycare and actually saved money during those first 3 months. Then, for the first time in my life, I applied for Unemployment Benefits, which I've been receiving ever since. Frankly, it seemed like such great timing that I would be let go while I was pregnant. I was able to take care of myself and spend time with Calvin before the baby came.

At first I thought it was perfect timing that they would call me back now. Then, almost immediately, I felt like I didn't want to have to go back to work at this moment. But I've been feeling that, for many reasons (including the fact that Unemployment isn't going to last forever), I really need to jump at this opportunity. I don't know how many of the former employees they are interviewing (I did talk to my former trainee buddy and she is also interviewing), but they have only one--or possibly two--spots to fill. So there is a chance I won't even get an offer. Anyway, I guess I'm just telling the story for self-talk purposes (like pretty much everything else in this blog).

The third thing I wanted to discuss was a crazy life insurance policy issue. Addison was born on a Wednesday. By Thursday evening we had a diagnosis, prognosis, and our world crashed down around us. Chris immediately let his boss know what was going on. I was discharged from the hospital on Saturday. We took Addison to hospice on Sunday. She died Wednesday night.

Well, the craziest thing happened on the Monday she was alive. We were at home when Chris got a call from the HR person at his office (he works for a huge international company). She told him how sorry she was about Addison, and then, knowing full well that Addison was going to die any day now, told him that the company had a dependent life insurance program. Chris was hesitant at first, but agreed to make a 3-way call to the benefits division to get a life insurance policy set up on Addison that would become retroactive to her birth date. After Addison died and Chris returned to work, the HR person told Chris that she would help him file the claim for the life insurance policy when he was ready to do so. (Seriously, have you EVER heard of an HR person going out of their way like that to help an employee and actively seek to spend the company's money?) Long story short, we got a check for $10,135.47 in the mail this week.

This brings up all sorts of emotions for me. Of course my husband and I both have independent life insurance policies on ourselves. We have a child that will need to be financially cared for, should one of us die. However, I have always believed it to be wrong to get a "pay off" after the death of a child. I was so fanatical in this philosophy that I called my insurance carrier to cancel the $5,000 "freebie" rider for my son that was automatically attached to my policy when I set it up 3+ years ago. I always figured if he died, forking out cash to cremate him would be the least of our worries. Oh how my thinking has changed.

We are very budget-oriented people. My husband doesn't make a whole lot of money as a legal assistant, and he is in school for his Paralegal Certificate. Overall, we are quite frugal. I love to get a deal. Okay, perhaps I'm obsessed with getting good deals. I clip coupons, pore over the weekly grocery store ads, transfer prescriptions between drug store pharmacies to get the gift cards, buy second-hand toys and clothes for Calvin and clothes for myself (I'm not ashamed to shop at Goodwill), and refuse to eat out without a coupon. I frequent,,,,, get the point. There was a time when my husband and I owned a home, 2 cars (read mortgage, car payments, and $30k in credit card debt). Owing so much money made us feel trapped. We moved to Georgia and have been determined to live within our means. We are amazed at how well we can live here compared to Southern California, even within our budget. We now rent a little house and have no debt other than a car loan balance of about $6k. The other car (minivan) is paid for.

I never really believed the life insurance money would come through. It always seemed sketchy that we could have this baby in hospice, just waiting for her to die, and THEN buy a policy on her for $ .48 a week or whatever it cost us. We both really thought there would be a denial on the claim. And we were okay with that because, frankly, who has a baby, finds out she's going to die, and then has MONEY even remotely enter their conscious thought. Obviously, the thought of a life insurance policy never entered our minds before HR made the call to Chris. So when it really happened, it was just weird. And I'm not going to lie. I deposited that check into the bank and immediately made an electronic payment to pay off our car loan. So now we're debt-free and it feels good. And we have money in the bank. Within our budget, $10k means A LOT for us.

But in some small, crazy way it feels like we traded our baby for $10k. I know how twisted that sounds. And of course I know that we would have given damn near anything to have a healthy Addison with us now. We would have paid millions--if it meant financing or begging or stealing or all of the above--whatever it took, we would find a way to get it, if any amount of money would have saved her. To have her here and healthy is all that we cared about. But it still makes me feel guilty.

We are considering options for donations to make in Addison's memory. We definitely want to give to NILMDTS, for starters. But even so, it feels like blood money in a way. So I discussed these thoughts with my therapist. I need to say things out loud. I need to share my emotions. I need to hash and re-hash in order to rid myself of the crazy feelings.

But in going through this life experience with death, I've changed my view of how money plays into it. I think a $5k rider is absolutely appropriate to carry on any child. I've learned that when shit like this happens, the LAST thing you want to think about is balancing your budget. In the hospital when we found out Addison's fate, Chris and I walked downstairs to the Starbucks and got lattes. I didn't eat much in the hospital, but I drank a latte every day. We didn't care what budget category that was coming out of. Hell, I just wanted the caffeine as a way to say SCREW YOU to the universe because I wasn't going to be breastfeeding and having to think about my caffeine intake. And I was pissed about that.

As the early weeks passed and we lived in the haze of picking up cremains and looking at urns and receiving "Sorry for your loss" cards by the handful and making sure our living child was fed and bathed...the last thing on my mind was paying bills. Honestly, I couldn't tell you what was on my mind during those weeks. Not much of anything, I guess. And the budget fell to bits with the arrival of Christmas. I didn't care about getting deals. I was in survival mode and I had a list of people to buy presents for, dammit.

Wow, this has turned into a strange rambling. It sucks because all my thoughts of jobs and money and school (I've thought about going back) just fades down to nothing in the face of losing my child. My baby girl.

Addison, I just miss you. I want you. I wish you didn't die. I love you so much and will love you forever.

The Results Are In

I got a call from the perinatologist's office today. All the lab results came back negative. So it appears that Addison probably did just have a cord accident. I'm not surprised, so I have no outstanding emotion one way or the other about this conclusion.

Struck By Lightning

I always knew bad things happen, but now it feels different.
Bad things can happen.
Bad things might happen.
A really really bad thing happened and it could happen again.

I saw the perinatologist last week. I had to check in at L&D to see him. As I was walking up to the doors, as if on cue, a new mom was being wheeled out with her newborn wrapped up, dad pulling the car up to meet her. The wave of emotion caught me off guard. Thankfully I had tissues in my purse. I met with the insurance woman, then she sent me upstairs. I was spared the sight of more pregnant women, as I was the only patient in the waiting room.

The doctor met me in an empty office and I sat across the desk from him. I wondered why we didn't sit in his own office, just one door over. He had my medical chart, but he didn't have any of Addison's medical information. "Did they do a brain scan?" he asked. I whipped out a copy of her chart and he read the reports. I also took out a photo of her--the one taken by the staff in NICU that was given to me an hour or so after she was born--before I had any idea what a nightmare my world was going to soon become. As I passed the photo across the desk to him, the wave of emotion hit me again and tears flowed. I apologized and mumbled something about him probably having a lot of experience with emotional women, being a perinatologist and all. He told me, "You have every right to be emotional." Then he paused and said, "You know, if you plan to add more children to your family, you need to wait until you can go to L&D and see other moms with their babies before you get pregnant. You need to be able to talk about this and not get emotional." I told him that would probably not be for a long time, and besides, I'm going to be 36 years old in a few months. After lecturing me briefly on The Risk For Genetic Fuck-Ups Don't Really Increase Considerably Until After Age 40, he said, "I have a patient who lost her full-term baby and got pregnant sometime within the first year. She is 18 weeks along and has 18 to go, and she's hardly functioning. If you are going to have another baby, in the next 3-4 years is when you'll want to do it."

I just nodded. Silently.

But my brain screamed: Seriously? Fuck you, dude. THREE TO FOUR YEARS? You don't know ME or what's best for ME. You just don't want to have to deal with another weepy patient. Did you know I go home and care for my 3-year-old and manage to act like a normal person? I'm functioning just fine, considering the shitty circumstances of having a dead freakin' baby. Yes, I'm sure I'll be WAY anxious when I do get pregnant, but I will get pregnant when my husband and I decide we are ready to try--not in 3 or 4 years from now. But thank you for your professional opinion on the matter.

In all honesty, I get what he's saying. I do. But he really doesn't know me or how well I'm doing outside of a 30-minute conversation with me regarding why my baby died. I just met this guy. He's not my therapist. You know?

So, back to the peri, he studied Addison's face, and noted that she didn't appear to have any observable genetic weirdness going on (duh!). Apparently the placenta HAD gone to pathology, and he shared the report with me. It was totally normal. No sign of infection. No meconium staining. Cord gasses normal. NOTHING was wrong. Somehow, someway, her blood pressure dropped during that last week. And it was severe enough to cause major changes in her brain. And we'll never know why. He said he would run all the tests to see if there were clotting issues or anything else that could have been contributing factors, but he didn't think we would find anything. I asked what his gut feeling was, and he said: "My gut is, you were struck by lightning."

We discussed The Next Pregnancy (you know--the one that should happen in 3-4 years) and how I would be closely monitored, have semi-weekly visits at the end, and how they would go ahead and do a c-section between 36-37 weeks. Then the nurse took about 20 vials of blood to be sent to the lab and they sent me on my way.

The thing is that I know everything is going to come back as NORMAL. We will never know why Addison's blood pressure dropped 10 days before she was to be born. And that sucks. But I can deal with it. As long as we rule out whatever can be ruled out, I can live with a lightning strike. But I also know losing Addison does not make me immune from future losses. Perhaps next time it will be a miscarriage at 10 weeks, like the one I had before I conceived Addison. Or perhaps it will be a miscarriage later in the game, or even a stillbirth. Or perhaps, since I'm getting older, it will be some genetic fuck-up that will force me to have to make decisions way more important than which hospice to take my brain-dead baby to. Or perhaps it will be an uneventful pregnancy with an early delivery, necessitating a NICU stay due to immature lungs. Or maybe--just maybe--an uneventful pregnancy ending in a completely healthy baby. Although the odds are with me on that one, I don't DO odds anymore.

I'm trying to come to peace with the fact that bad things do happen, can happen and just might happen. Not just to any future babies, but to me, my son, my husband, my sister, my mom, to whoever. I guess I'm finally growing up.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

From the Mouths of Babes

Calvin's Mother's Morning Out class has been doing assignments wherein each child must bring 3 items to class that start with a certain letter of the alphabet. This week is the letter "D." We started discussing possible things he could bring and the conversation went like this:

Calvin (3 1/2): How 'bout a dog?

Me: That sounds good.

Calvin: Or a dead bug.

Me: Hmm...I don't know about that.

Calvin: A dead person?

Me: (Chuckling) I don't think a dead person would fit in your bag!

Calvin: A dead baby would.

....Man, I hope my poor kid isn't going to be psychologically damaged because of losing his little sister or because of how I'm handling things.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic

Actually, the opposite is true. Everything having to do with Addison is magically SO wrong. My appointment for this afternoon with the perinatologist (which I've had for 2 weeks now) was cancelled this morning because the doc is sick. I will have to wait another 10 days to get some tests done to rule out clotting disorders or anything else that might have contributed to Addison's death. It's like the universe is telling me that she should have never existed. That the fact she got so far along was really a fluke. I keep running up against these brick walls when I try to get anything accomplished in regards to Addison. It's so strange.

In the meantime, I'm having these thoughts that I'm not sure about. Last Wednesday, exactly 11 weeks after giving birth, I got my first period. I'm a very irregular period person, so I never know when I'm going to get it, or when I'm going to ovulate, or anything like that. However, we did figure out exactly when Addison was conceived because we happened to have sex only 2 times that month--and it was 2 days in a row (which never happens!!). Turns out, those days were day 14 & day 15 of my cycle. So it appears that I do (or at least did that time) ovulate 14-15 days after my period. The thought I'm having is about trying to get pregnant again. Tomorrow will be 12 weeks since Addison was born. I talked to my shrink about my fear of getting pregnant too soon because I want to make sure I don't have a "replacement baby," but she doesn't really seem to believe in that concept. She made me feel like it would be okay if I got pregnant whenever. Which of course made me feel better. So, it's not that I'm going to buy ovulation testers or anything, but I thought maybe I would want to have sex somewhere around next Tuesday. You know, just to give it a go and see what happened. I'll have to think about that more. I'm not 100% sure I'm ready for the emotional roller coaster that will be pregnancy. (And for the record, Chris is okay with trying for another one whenever I am, as difficult as it will be for both of us to get through another pregnancy without going totally nuts.)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

No big deal

So, my friend, B, who is 26 weeks pregnant called last week to tell me about her struggles to name her unborn son. A little side note: We were pregnant with our 3 1/2-year-old sons together (born days apart), suffered early miscarriages back-to-back (mine first), and then she got pregnant towards the end of my pregnancy with Addison. I must confess that I was incredibly grateful when she found out she was pregnant this time with a boy. She really wanted a girl, but I know how hard it would have been for me if she was having a girl. And it IS all about me, right?

So B tells me that they have a first name, but they're working on a middle name. She and her husband have decided they would like it to be a family name. There are very few males on her side of the family, so it will likely be a name from her husband's side. So she emails her MIL asking for a list of family names. Well, apparently, B's husband has an older brother who died before he was born. MIL had a son Eric who died at 4 years old, and later had B's husband. (I regretfully admit I don't remember how/why. My concentration is somewhat limited these days.) So in the email, MIL says that her brother (B's hubby's uncle) feels like they should use Eric as the middle name.

She didn't know how to respond to the email because she doesn't like the name Eric (and has an ex-bf with that name). My suggestion was that she email MIL back and thank her for the suggestion and tell her that they would definitely consider it. In my opinion, naming the baby is 100% up to B and her husband (dead baby in the family or not), and although it would be an absolutely touching gesture, they are under NO obligation to use the name. Okay, so easy enough.

However, I was stunned when B started in on this whole idea that MIL is over the death of her son and it's just not a big deal in the family because MIL isn't an emotional kind of person and it was a long time ago. Now, this is a very dear friend of mine, who knows all the intimate details of Addison's birth, death, and the week in between. So I couldn't believe that she would actually say those words to me. And that she would think that ANY mother--even 30-something years later--would consider the death of her child to be "no big deal." I tried to be as gentle as possible when I told her that there is no way her MIL doesn't think about Eric on a very regular basis--even now. B really didn't buy it, and pushed back on that idea a little, and that made me sad.

It made me realize how little empathy we can sometimes have for others. Without feeling a specific type of pain or loss, it's really hard to imagine ourselves there--and hard to imagine the deep, intense pain it would cause. More than that, I think it's just too much work to let yourself go to that imaginary painful place, so we generally choose to live in ignorance. To a degree I get that, but at the same time it made me sad that B will never really understand what I've gone through and what I'm still going through. That she thinks someday I will just "get over" losing Addison and it will be "no big deal."

Saturday, January 9, 2010

It hit me really hard while we were at an early dinner/late lunch today. I don't know why it popped into my head, but we were discussing a craigslist ad I saw a week or so ago. It made me so sick to my stomach to think about the life this child might be living. (Keep in mind the email address associated with this ad had "vixen" as part of it.


Date: 2009-12-31, 1:16PM EST



And the tears started while I was sitting at the table, and I had to retreat to the ladies' room. Where I sobbed. I think it's been awhile since I sobbed. I know what happened to Addison was just bad luck. I know it was a terrible accident and it was no one's fault (not even Addison's). And it's still so unfair. There are children brought into the world by people who have a pretty blatant disregard for their safety and well-being. There are children brought into the world by people who actively seek to hurt, exploit and violate them. There are children born into tragic circumstances. I am not only incredibly sad for the children destined to live these lives, but I'm angry that their parents successfully had them.

I love Addison so much and wanted to care for her and love her and raise her. That's all I wanted to do. And it was taken away from me. And Chris. And Calvin (who asked me out of the blue yesterday why Addison couldn't get better and come home). The anger and sadness sometimes gets overwhelming.

Oh, I am seeing my Perinatologist for a follow-up in 2 weeks (they call it pre-conception testing; I call it post-death testing). Whatever you call it, hopefully we will rule out anything that may have happened to Addison that could happen in the future.

And I found a shrink I think I will like. I'm seeing her for the first time on Wednesday. I'm hoping to work through these feelings with her. Here's to hoping we mesh (or at least don't clash).



Why did you have to go and do it, Addison? I know it was an accident, but why?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Looking over my shoulder

I'm doing okay right now. Surprisingly okay, actually. And it makes me nervous. I've had some great opportunities in the past week to speak with a few people extensively about Addison's birth, death, and the short period in between the two. I think that is such a healing thing for me--to speak with people who really give a damn about the dirty little details. Who ask meaningful questions about what happened--about her life. While talking about Addison I have cried a little bit here and there, but no sobbing outbursts or anything like that. Even in private, I haven't broken down and cried in days. A lot of days, I think. And I'm starting to get nervous that either: a) I'm a heartless person who is "over" the death of her newborn in just 2 months; or b) I'm about to be blindsided by some seriously tough emotional days. Neither is acceptable to me, and both scare the crap out of me. Honestly, being in the position of having a dead baby is totally wrong, so I guess any emotion (or lack thereof) is going to feel wrong, too.