You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2011.
I’d like to thank my friend Angie from Still Life With Circles for putting this project out there for us to participate in. Angie is an incredible force in this community and her blog was one I read daily way back when. I don’t read many blogs these days. I write on mine every so often, but it feels different then when I first lost Silas. Back then, it was my lifeline. It was what kept me sane. I devoured blogs, commented daily and made a group of friends who also lost babies around the same time. Our lives have progressed differently since then. Some went on to have subsequent babies pretty quickly, others, like me, took a lot longer, while still others have yet to conceive again. Though our paths were different after our losses, our stories & comments kept each other sane and able to move forward through the early months of heartache, pain and devastation. I will always cherish those beginning friendships and the strong connections we made. These women just got me, they knew what I was feeling and were there for me no matter what.
I sometimes go back and read my early posts, from when I guest wrote on my husband Chris’s blog Elm City Dad. I was raw, angry, sad, depressed. You name an emotion and I felt it. I was honest though about how I felt. I knew people in my life were reading, people who knew and loved me. It didn’t change what and how I wrote, I knew that they actually used our blogs as a tool to help them deal with us. We told it like it was- putting it all out there with real, honest emotion.
I think that because of our blogs, we are still super close to all our friends. It was their way of connecting to us in helping to know what we were going through. Our friends found it easier to contact us because of it. Having email, text, fb, gchat and blog comments gives us so many outlets to communicate and I appreciated every single one of them. I didn’t need my friends calling me. I didn’t need people to worry about “how I was doing.” My blog shared that, and if you took the time to comment or email or text, I let you know that I was ok. They knew and understood I couldn’t see their new babies, couldn’t send a gift or call/write to congratulate them. The jealousy, oh the jealousy. This part of me was a huge loss- not being able to see, hear, watch, read about babies. They were everywhere and it was almost impossible to navigate.
Those early days were so incredibly hard. I couldn’t lose the weight, couldn’t get pregnant, didn’t have my son and really couldn’t make sense of this world that came crashing in on me. I am one of those people though that couldn’t hide in my bed all day, every day, even though I thought that was what I wanted. Chris and I went out, saw friends & lots of music. Leaned on our amazing families & friends a lot. I practiced yoga, went to bootcamps & therapy, and continued my work as a children’s yoga teacher. I struggled through it all, but I think that because we continued to live life, through our loss and grief, really brought us to where we are today. We are still devastated by our loss, but we don’t wear our grief on our sleeve. We worked through it, around it, inside and out. I will always miss him, til the day I die – but my heart isn’t aching like it did in that first year. Sometimes I can’t believe I’m still standing, and other times I am proud to be still standing.
I am finally pregnant again, exactly 2 years & 8 months later. It took a really long time for that to happen. I think for me, it made this journey a bit more tumultuous. My time was spent grieving the loss of my sweet little first born son Silas and then it was spent trying to get pregnant again. After awhile, it turned into just trying to get pregnant again. Silas was there in my heart, but his loss wasn’t my focus anymore. I was determined to get pregnant and after a year of trying on our own, it was time to venture into the land of infertility drugs. I couldn’t believe this was our life. First we lost our child at birth, and then we can’t get pregnant? That just seemed truly fucked up. I mean seriously? We tried every fertility treatment out there, and finally, became pregnant after our 3rd IVF attempt. I am currently 13w4d and was feeling great until last night. We had a bit of a bleeding scare, but found out I have placenta previa and it’s pretty common. Now I am just told to take it easy which I’m attempting to do.
This pregnancy is fraught with the feeling of it being our last hope to have a child. It finally happened and I wont let anything take it from me. Last night, right after the toilet was filled with blood, I sobbed with the thought of having to start this process over again. It can’t possibly be happening. But the bleeding stopped, the ultrasound showed a heartbeat and a healthy baby, and I’m now required to chill out. At this point, I will do what I’m told. Chris wants to wrap me in bubble wrap and put me in a closet and not let me out til I’m ready to birth this baby.
Now that I’m finally here though, I am finding a new relationship with Silas and his loss. I still get choked up when I see my friends kids who were born around when he was. I sometimes can’t believe I could be parenting a 2 1/2 year old. That always breaks my heart. I am constantly now required to answer the question “is this your first?” This brings up all kinds of feelings and emotions about whether to share and break someone’s heart? or pretend Silas didn’t exist? It’s a very challenging question to answer, no matter how I choose to answer it. I always hesitate and I still haven’t figured it out it in the moment.
Silas taught me so many lessons. He taught me that everything in life doesn’t always work out & things don’t happen for a reason (sometimes shitty things just happen). He taught me patience. He allowed me to fall even more in love with my husband (which I didn’t think was possible). I gained a better appreciation for what I have & more empathy for those who are suffering. Over time I’ve learned that when shitty things happen to me, I don’t have to blame myself for it. Blame and guilt, 2 huge emotions that come with loss. I worked through those emotions, and while I’m not completely healed of them, I don’t beat myself up anymore. Silas Orion will always be a light in my life, will always hold a space in my heart and will always be the big brother to the next little Gallagher to come our way.
Don’t you think that would make a great reality show? I mean, there is 16 and Pregnant, Pregnant in Heels, I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant- it goes on and on. But no 40 and Pregnant? I’m sure the networks are on it. Especially the whole IVF thing- I know there are a few shows out there that have dealt with this issue a little, but it seems that people still haven’t a clue what it’s like. Between all the injections, ultrasounds & meltdowns, I think it would be a hit. And if it finally works (after 3 or more tries), then it can turn into that feel good story everyone would be rooting for. Throw a prior dead baby into the mix, and yeah, this story gets compelling. It’s all good though- I feel so blessed right now. I keep saying that, but it’s true. I guess I never thought I’d be where I am at 40. I remember my parents turning 40 when I was a teenager! So weird to be in such a different place.
This whole process to get to this point has been challenging, but here I am, 11 weeks and still going strong. I feel good- not so much nausea but enough to make me feel pregnant. I am showing already (and have been for a few weeks) which seems crazy to me but I’ve been told that happens with your second. I still feel like I just look fat, since I haven’t been eating too great (with all the bday celebrations and all) and not really working out these last 3 months. But I am accepting that this is where I am right now and soon enough that baby bump will show prominently and I won’t just have to blurt out “I’m pregnant!” when someone asks why I’m not having a glass of wine or beer like everyone else around me. Chris cracks up everytime I say it- like I am trying to find an excuse to tell people (maybe I am?) but I’m at that awkward stage where I just don’t look pregnant to the outside world, but feel just big all over. So I choose to share my excitement and happiness and it feels great to do so.
The dreaded 40th bday came and went and it actually was pretty awesome. The day itself (4/28) was perfect- with a delicious breakfast cooked by my sweet husband, an awesome lunch at my fave New Haven restaurant with my girlfriends, and then dinner with my siblings & their spouses at my brother-in-laws cousin’s restaurant in Westchester. My sister was out here visiting that week so it was perfect! I never get to spend quality time with both sibs and so it was truly special. The dinner was amazing and was a great way to celebrate this milestone in my life.
For the weekend, we went to Montreal with our friends. It was fantastic! What a beautiful and interesting city. We ate and drank (some of us) our way through the city. Just perfect!
And then it was time to celebrate Chris’ bday. It wasn’t a milestone like mine, but b-days still deserve much celebration and for days we did. It’s fun having back to back b-days, but it does get tiring and my body definitely doesn’t feel awesome from all the treats and heavy foods.
So now back to normal- or what is turning into a new normal. We finally picked our doctors/midwives and we are pretty psyched. We found the perfect group with the perfect balance of what we are looking for this time around. All the advice you all gave was super helpful and very much appreciated. Starting to figure out how to answer “is this your first?” by just seeing how I feel like answering in that moment. It comes up at least once a day and as soon as I start to show more, will probably happen constantly.
Mother’s day was yet again, really really hard. I had my breakdown while emptying the dishes- which I think happened the same time last year. I think it just really hit me at that moment how much I miss Silas and the time I lost with him as my son. Parenting a dead baby is hard, but hits hardest on a day like Mother’s day where everyone is celebrating and it is EVERYWHERE for weeks. I know so many friends who lost their mother’s at a young age, and then now all of us who lost our children- and with all the lost soldiers as well, it seems to be more of a sad reminder of who we lost then anything else. But I do try to cherish what I do have, and that is an amazing mom & mother in law and I feel blessed for the 2 of them in my life.
Waiting patiently to be out of the first tri. It’s almost here and I can taste it. In the meantime, I am FINALLY finding the warmth I so badly missed. LONGEST WINTER EVER. The sun is out, the back door is open, the kitties are playing in the yard, the garden is starting to be planted and I can finally wear my sundresses again. YAY!