Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bite Me

This is dedicated to all the people who have said and done insensitive and just plain stupid things to us since Owen died. I have decided to get it all off my chest here and then try and let it go. Wish me luck.

Bite me to our midwife who, while I was laboring to give birth to my dead son, advised me not to wait too long to try again because one, it would make me forget "this", and two, I'm not getting younger. Nice, huh?

Bite me to my mother-in-law who, when we called her that Sunday to ask to her to help take care of J&K while we were in the hospital, told JD that she couldn't come until after 10 am on Monday because she had an appointment to get the oil changed in her car.

Bite me to the first chaplain they sent me in the hospital who immediately told me that I shouldn't be angry with God. My baby is dead, I'll feel however I damn well please and if God has a problem with that then its just too bad. He also told me not to grieve or miss the baby because he was never mine to begin with. You were preaching to the wrong audience, Father T. All you did was make me thank my lucky stars I wasn't raised Catholic.

Bite me to everyone has told me that they "know just how I feel because they have lost their grandmother/grandfather/dog." Yes, someone did, in fact, compare our loss to the death of their dog.

Bite me to people who, when making those kind of comparisons, justify it by saying "loss is loss." Anyone capable of saying that has never lost a child.

Bite me to the Medical Center for billing us incorrectly so that I get to spend hours on the phone telling clueless and unfeeling people our story. Bite me again to one particular woman for implying I might be making it up to avoid paying them.

Bite me to the nurse at our former practice for saying "Congratulations" when I arrived for my six week post-partum - You saw me in the hospital, you knew he died! Bite me again for then hiding from me when I was leaving.

Bite me again to my mother-in-law for asking JD if I was "better yet" 5 days after Owen was born.

Bite me to the security guard at Maternity Discharge who made fun of me as I tearfully thanked the nurse who cared for me after my delivery. I know you didn't know my story but was that really necessary? You could see I was leaving without a baby.

Yet another bite me to my in-laws for not coming to Owen's burial service. Yes, I get that you are uncomfortable with our religious choices and death in general, but couldn't you get over yourselves for one minute and be there for JD, your son???

Bite me to every woman who has easy uncomplicated deliveries and takes it for granted. I am so jealous of your innocence I could scream.

One final giant bite me to my very own body. Why couldn't you keep him safe?

This actually feels kind of good- care to add any of your own?

Monday, October 29, 2007

D- day

So today is the day. Owen was due today. While he may not have actually been born today, I have reason to believe that, had everything gone perfectly, he would be here by now. (K was born over 4 weeks early and J arrived exactly on his due date.) Up until now most of my thoughts have been along the lines of I should still be pregnant and I have found myself, for the most part, acting accordingly. I have had a difficult time doing anything that I normally wouldn't do while pregnant- drinking alcohol, lifting heavy objects, strenuous exercise, etc.- even though I know that there is no reason for me to avoid these things. Now, though, all I can think is we should have a baby now. The 'aching arms' feeling so many of you have talked about has become so real for me in the past few days. As I think about the upcoming holidays, all I can think about is how different things will be than we had planned. I always host Thanksgiving for our families and JD and I had spent many hours discussing whether or not we would be able to. "After all, we would have a newborn!" I said. Whether or not we would be able to spend Christmas eve at my dad's place. "All of us in the same room with a newborn??" JD said. We went over and over these things- what a waste.
Today is just Monday- nothing special, nothing exciting might happen today. It's just Monday. Owen has been gone for 13 weeks.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Sometimes I want to hold Owen again so badly that I fantasize about sneaking into the cemetery and digging him up and taking him home with me. I know there's probably not much left of him but I want what is there.

And yes, I am aware how crazy that sounds, but I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Stranger

One of the things I am struggling with quite a bit now is the loss of who I was before Owen died. I look at pictures of myself taken in the days and weeks before we lost Owen and I don't even recognize that person. There's one in particular that haunts me. A picture taken in June, about a month before Owen died. We were on vacation and in the picture I am on the beach, laughing. J & K are in the background playing in the sand. I am looking somewhere just beyond the camera lens. I look at this picture over and over. The woman I see there is content. I see her, smiling and confident, and feel an odd sense of detachment. I stare into my own eyes looking for clues- clues to what I'm not really sure; maybe some foreshadowing of the nightmare that will shortly begin, maybe some answer to how I will continue to survive. I envy her, but also pity her- she has no idea what's coming. I may as well be looking at pictures of a stranger- in some ways I guess I am.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Last Thing

So my dad called the other day and told me that when he went to visit my mom's grave, he discovered that Owen's stone was there. So on Saturday, we went to the the cemetery. I like how permanent it is. I need for something about Owen, other than his loss, to be permanent. Standing there, I realized it is probably the last thing we will ever buy for our son. There are so many other things I wanted to give him. Owen, I had so many plans for you, for us.

Friday, October 19, 2007


It's funny because I really haven't felt much anger since losing Owen. Everything I've read about grief and everyone I've talked to has mentioned anger as one of the initial stages of grief and I've been feeling like maybe I'm doing it wrong or something - until yesterday. We got a bill from the Medical Center where I had my prenatal care and where Owen was delivered. I was glancing over it and at the bottom I notice a charge for a Fetal Nuchal Translucency scan and the date of service- August 16, 2007. My heart just stopped and I was (and am) livid. I know my anger over what is obviously a mistake is irrational and misplaced but I can't help myself. I called the phone number on the bill and of course its a billing service not related to the Medical Center in any way and the woman I speak with knows nothing. I explain I believe there's been an error and I know I didn't have this particular service. And then she asked if I was certain. I almost lost it, through clenched teeth I told her that yes I was certain as the pregnancy had ended over two weeks earlier when the baby was born dead. She told me that she would have an account manager "look into it" and call me back. She never said she was sorry and no one has called me back. I think I hate them now and I am very very angry.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Eight Years

Eight years ago today JD and I were married. While this is not the path I imagined, there is no one else I would want by my side, holding my hand as we travel. This morning he woke me by placing a tiny box on my pillow, inside was a beautiful ring- diamonds for me, he said, and rubies for Owen. Like you, it is perfect for me. I love you JD.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day

Today, in honor of Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness day, I am lighting two candles. One for my Owen and one for your lost child.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

You Can't Miss What You Never Had?

I have the dubious fortune of having a dear friend who has also lost a child. I don't want to share too many details without her permission, but C lost her infant daughter at about 2 weeks of age. We were friends before children came into either of our lives and now have this bond that neither of us ever imagined. While I wish we did not share this, I am thankful to have her. She is one of two friends I have that still say Owen's name out loud and are willing to talk about him. Anyhow, the other day we were emailing and I admitted that I felt I didn't miss Owen. I felt horrible about admitting that, and sort of embarrassed too. I felt like I was doing something wrong, I mean how could I not miss my son? I knew I loved and love him, shouldn't I miss him? After thinking about it for several days, I think it's how I was defining missing that was wrong. I was trying or expecting to miss him the way I would miss J & K if the unthinkable happened and they were gone. I would miss specific things about them - the things that make them who they are. However, with Owen born still, I really don't know those things about him. I never heard him cry. I don't know what he liked or what made him fussy. I never saw his eyes open. I don't know what his breath smelled like. All I can do is imagine who he might have been. I've decided to change the way I think about it and give myself permission to miss what I never really had.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Destination Unknown

These past few days have busy, full of the mundane things that make each day fly by and leave you wondering what you actually got done that day. I went most of the day yesterday without thinking about Owen and I don't know how I feel about that. Actually, that's not true, I know exactly how I feel about that. I feel awful and guilty. After all, what kind of mother "forgets" about one of her children? But then again, it felt kind of good to feel a little bit "normal" again. I mean what exactly is my goal on this path of grief? To go days without thinking of him? To "move on," as so many well-meaning people have suggested I do? To remember him and not feel like I would do anything to have him here with me? None of that seems right. I don't know how to do this and I hate it.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Conversations in the Car

I was driving J, my 4 year old, to school today when he announced that there was a baby in my belly and it would be coming out to play with him when it got bigger. I reminded him that while, yes, there had been a baby in my belly, he was not there anymore. Baby Owen died and would not be able to play with him. He told me he knew that baby Fluffy (his name for Owen) died but that there were lots of babies in my belly and someday one of them would be big and healthy and would be able to come home and play with him. I wish I had his confidence. I had a vision of what my family would look like and it did not include photographs of a dead baby, my dead baby. Oh Owen, I wish things were different.