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.