Milestones, Etc

Originally posted to Livejournal February 1, 2010

Dear Christopher Robin,

I know that you probably wouldn't have been born on your due date even if I had carried you to term, but it didn't make Saturday any easier. Your dad was home from Dallas this weekend, which made it a lot more bearable, but that's only saying so much.

Please, please, open the window

Originally posted to Livejournal March 25, 2010

Today is Christopher Robin's half birthday. Last week or the week before, I chose to look at today as his half birthday, rather than six months since he passed away. Last week or the week before, I was smack in the middle of an upswing and my therapist seemed pleased that I was holding on to the entire experience of Christopher Robin's life, rather than just surrounding myself with the ache of his loss. And I was, holding him entirely, a couple of weeks ago. I felt connected to the almost unbearable joy of carrying his life; I remembered the kicking of ribs and the sitting on of bladder with wistful contentedness. I am lucky that I even had him to carry and to love, even if his life was so cruelly taken away from him before it ever really began. Many families chase the joy of pregnancy for years without actually knowing it

Planet Crazy

Originally posted to Livejournal January 8, 2010

I'd be 37 weeks tomorrow, which means that the baby would be technically full term and ready for birth.  Today is Elvis' birthday and also the fifth anniversary of the first date Ian and I had.  Sunday makes a year since we got engaged.  In our naive excitement when they gave us our January 30th due date, we thought it'd be neat to have the baby sometime this weekend.  This year will be filled with many milestones, and each one of them will send us reeling. 

Pregnant Lady is Pregnant

Originally posted to Livejournal September 19, 2009 - six days before my son was stillborn

21 weeks and man, are they going fast. Pregnancy always seems like such a long period of time in theory, but all of a sudden we're over the halfway point and CRAP where the hell are we going to put this thing when it gets here?! Our house is plenty big enough, but the space isn't at all laid out for an amorous couple, a ten year old spastic case and a squawking infant. Add to that the awesome timing of trying to toilet train the baby when Jonas hits his teen years, and the remodeling of our decommissioned basement bathroom gets moved a bit higher up the list of house projects, suddenly ranking higher than the kegerator.

The sacrifices that parents make for our children... we really should get a bigger tax credit for it.

Originally posted to Livejournal October 5, 2009.

The reality of what has happened penetrates inch by onerous inch.  I've found myself trying to get out of bed in the middle of the night by rolling over and pushing myself up to maneuver a belly that just doesn't exist anymore.  At the store the other day, I almost picked up a baby food cookbook.   When I realized the implications, I cursed and Ian had to steer me out of the cookbook aisle.  I worried the pages of the diabetic cookbook that I'd picked up so I could learn how to better cook for Mom and focused on two of my four daily tasks: breathing and walking.

Fear. Hope.

Originally posted to Livejournal October 6, 2009

Today was our postpartum visit to make sure that everything is healing as it should after the birth. The girl at the front desk was checking me in, and upon seeing my appointment in the calendar, looked up with a wide grin and said "You just had a baby?!" I murmured that he was born at 21 weeks. She asked how he was doing and I responded blankly "He passed." Her face slackened and she whispered her apologies.

Happy Birthday, Christopher Robin

Originally posted to Livejournal September 25, 2010

Today is a mixed bag of emotion, but I guess that's been the case for every single one of the past 365. A year ago today, Ian and I learned that our son's heart had stopped beating, and all of the hope that we'd try to maintain in the previous two days had been in vain. I labored naturally for seven hours, pushed for just a few minutes and felt my son's lifeless body slide from my own. We held him and kissed him and told him how much we loved him, and even though our hearts were breaking more than they'd ever broken before, we were glad to be his parents. That we would never, not for one single solitary second, regret making him and loving him, even if it meant that we could have gone on being strangers to this new depth of sorrow.

My life is completely changed now; my heart feels new things that I had never experienced, and feels previously ordinary things in completely new ways. Christopher Robin's loss triggered in me an emotional chain reaction that brought to the surface every previous loss that I had endured, and every previous heartache that I had survived. Therapy is helping me collect all of these stories into a kind of blueprint detailing how I ingest these things, and I am beginning to understand myself in ways that I never thought possible. This is one of the hundreds of gifts that Christopher Robin has given to me. And while I would have preferred to go on being blind in my "craziness" yet cherishing my living and healthy son, I was never asked to choose. Life, or the universe, or evil spirits, or karma, or fortune made that decision for me, and I was left with the aftermath of crisis and tragedy. This was when my choices began, and I have chosen hope. It's the only thing that really makes sense to me anymore.

Pregnant Lady is Still Technically Pregnant

Originally posted to Livejournal September 24, 2009.

My water broke yesterday at 21 weeks; far too early for a fetus to really be viable. We stayed overnight in the hospital and got sent home this morning because labor didn't progress and I'm not showing signs of infection so far. We've got an appointment with a perinatologist tomorrow afternoon where we'll see if there is any amniotic fluid around him. If there is any fluid, that may mean that his membrane could be sealing itself, and we'll have to play it by ear day by day with me on bedrest until the actual onset of labor, which could occur at any time.

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