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This is a post that has been swirling around my head for weeks now. Time is a major factor now, choices have to be made when I have a few minutes of free time. Shower? Eat? Clean? Work? Chill? It’s amazing how all those things that seem important just aren’t when choices have to be made over what to do when I have 45 min to myself. But today, writing this post is most important.
The build up to Silas’ birth/death day has been looming since mid August. September has taken on a new meaning for us- the change of seasons just brings anxiety and sadness instead of excitement and relief. It has such a physical and emotional effect, we don’t even need to talk about it. Once it happens, we just give each other that knowing look. Yeah, it’s here again.
I’ve spent most of this month bringing Zephyr over to Silas’ tree. I have some beautiful pix of him sitting there, playing with sticks and leaves. This has been an important ritual for me after Zephyr plays on the swings. It’s been just something I do now. But it’s just so sad. No time passing will ever take away the woulda coulda shoulda’s. They are just as present today as they were Sept 26, 2008. 20 years from now, I will feel this loss as much as I feel it today. This I know.
Zephyr will never have his older brother and it breaks my heart. I am often just astounded that this happened to us. Especially when I look at what an amazing little creature Zephyr is. He is perfect in every way (even when he refuses to nap or wakes 4 times through the night!) and I think about how many of these traits his older brother would have had too. I sometimes think that Zeph has some little brother characteristics in him- like somehow he knew that’s what he was supposed to be. He is often fearless- diving off the bed or climbing on everything he sees. He is adventurous, chatty, funny, observant and super sweet. Don’t get me wrong, there are tantrums – this is a kid that knows what he wants. But he is just a delight and I wouldn’t want to spend my time with anyone else.
Tomorrow we will go plant some bulbs at the tree, because we need to honor our little Silas with some new life. Zephyr will never take the place of our first born. He brings complete and utter joy to our lives, but the hole in our hearts from the loss of our first will never be filled completely.
At just past 18 months, it really feels like Silas is slipping away from me. All focus is on this TTC business. But yesterday, 2 kids asked me about him. One of my 5 yr olds, who knew me back when I was pregnant, said,
“Lani, why did your baby die?”
Right in the middle of our yoga class. It really caught me off guard. I told him we can talk about it after the class was done. I just went right on with what I was doing as if nothing was said. It was like a punch to the gut, but I couldn’t let it affect me as I was teaching.
After class, while the kids were putting on their shoes, I just told him that my baby was really sick and that was why he died. I told him that most babies don’t die, and even if you are sick, it doesn’t mean you will die either.
He said “just like my baby sister? She didn’t die.”
I said “yes, just like your baby sister.”
It was a sad conversation, but obviously this little boy is still struggling with the death of my baby. I find it incredibly interesting, but I know this little boy really loves me so maybe he just really doesn’t get why something like this could happen.
The second incident happened with my older kids. I started a new class of 2nd-4th graders. A 9 yr old girl, who doesn’t know me, was looking at the charms on my necklace. She looked at one and asked me what it said.
I said “It says Silas, which is the name of my baby that died.”
she kind of looked at me curiously.
I said “it’s really sad.” pretty matter of factly.
Both she and another student said “yeah, that is really sad.”
Then the conversation was over. We continued with our class. That’s how it is with kids. They ask, get an answer and then move on to the next thing without missing a beat. It just was strange that after all this time, 2 kids would bring it up- one knowingly and the other not.
The other day I went to the park to see Silas’ tree. We never go to the tree, it’s just too hard. But I was in the park for my bootcamp so I figured I’d go see if the bulbs we planted last fall were blooming. There were no buds on the tree and none of the flowers had popped through the earth. I found it so sad and so strange, since all over the place there were flowers blooming like crazy. I was pretty devastated.
Then yesterday I was there again, and what do you know? the tree was full of buds and some daffodils popped through and were blooming beautifully! I really need to go take some pictures. In 3 days, all this change? I don’t get it. Did I somehow look at the wrong tree? I can’t imagine that is possible. I am so perplexed by this – but I don’t really need to question it. I just know that Silas’ tree is starting to bloom and maybe those flowers signify that I will have some new life growing inside me soon as well.
The 2nd round of meds didn’t work so now we have officially begun the IVF process. It takes longer then doing a regular cycle of fertility meds, so the wait is a bit more excruciating. My body is in the resting phase right now, and with it, comes higher doses of hormones that really make me dizzy and nauseous. But it’s not terrible- I can handle it.
My box of very expensive meds will show up on my doorstep soon. With the co-pays being as high as they are- you can just imagine how much these meds really cost. Again, we are super lucky to have this treatment covered by insurance. I feel blessed to be in CT which has a mandate that will cover 2 IVF’s until I’m 40. Good thing we’re doing it this year b/c I’m turning 39 at the end of the month.
So with my not so good news, there has been a lot of really great news for my fellow babylost- congrats angie, monica & aliza! All 3 gave birth to beautiful little boys. And with the news of babies being born, also comes the new pregnancy news. One friend who had a baby the same time as me is now pregnant again. You can just imagine how that must feel. But of course I’m thrilled for my friends and of course slightly jealous. How can I not be?
We seemed to have gotten through the letdown better this time. Not sure why, but I just have to be thankful I guess. Last month was rough and I fully expected it to happen again. I have so many hormones coursing through my body, it’s amazing I can even function sometimes. But I do, because I am on a mission and I need to stay focused. It has almost become my second job. I spend more time at the clinic then I do anywhere else. I have a perpetual bruise on my arm from so many blood tests.
While waiting for our results of round 2, we took a trip to Florida to see my parents. It was super relaxing and really fun. My parents are so wonderful and supportive and just made sure we were happy the whole time. It was a great little getaway. It’s amazing how normal our lives seem on the outside. You see pictures of us and we really look happy. And on occasion, we are really happy.
Tonight we were listening to the Wilco show streaming through the computer. The windows were all open because it’s a super warm night- just like we love. We heard the opening notes of California Stars, our wedding song, and just had to dance and hug each other tight.
Through all this shit, and what it is is total and utter shit, we have each other and that is the most important thing of all.
There is this humongous fly that is buzzing around me as I write this. I keep trying to get it with a rolled up magazine and I keep missing it. I swear it’s like how I’m feeling right now. As though happiness could be within my grasp but I keep missing it. It slows down, lands, and then *poof* it’s gone again. It’s unsettling. As much as I LOVE summer, I am looking forward to saying goodbye to the flies that are a constant as the chilly mornings & evenings have arrived.
But I feel like I’m constantly cleaning. I am not sure how 2 people can create that much mess, but it seems true. Then I think about how it would be cleaning up with 3 of us and really that is what I want. I’ve made a promise to myself that I won’t ever complain about it, ever. Well, maybe not ever, but it is amazing how much bargaining you do with yourself when things feel so out of your grasp. I guess I just need to be busy doing all the things I can control. The cleaning, cooking, gardening, working, exercising- it’s what I do to keep busy and occupy my mind from getting the best of me. My mind is always getting the best, though, especially this week.
Because this is the week, that fateful week a year ago where it was all uncertain. I read back to Chris’ posts from this time last year and it is so heartbreakingly hopeful.
Surprisingly, for now, I am doing ok. Today was an alright day- we seem to have them sometimes. The sun was shining and we sold tons of coffee. But I am ready to be over the hump. I want the other side of this. I told a friend today how I’ve already felt the worst in my life, and that this week can’t possibly be any more awful than I have already felt this year.
We’ll get through it, I guess, with the help of friends & family and each other, since there is no other choice. I know how busy this week will be so hopefully it will be over before I know it.
As always, we appreciate the love being showered on us right now. It’s amazing how anniversaries do that. I am planning on going to Silas’ tree and planting some bulbs that will bloom in the spring. That is something I can do to honor my baby boy. There will be other things, too, that we do, but I’m just not sure what they are right now. We’ve never done this before.
I do want to remember my baby this week with some of the only memories I have with him. I need to look at these pix sometimes to remember how it felt, to just remember the only time I had with Silas. Our time with him alive was fleeting and has faded too much from my memory for my liking. I had plenty of time with him inside me so those memories are what I have to cherish. It is all I’ve got.
We are coming upon a year since the loss of our beautiful baby and almost everything is a painful reminder of what we don’t have. Jeez, a year? How on earth did that happen? I had so many plans for myself, of what I thought would be by now. I never lost that weight, I’m still not pregnant and yeah, I still don’t have my baby. It’s still unfathomable to me even after all this time has passed. I’m not sure how that is possible- with all the therapy and tears, why am I still in disbelief?
Yesterday Chris said “you’re in disbelief, that you are still in disbelief?”
I had to laugh at that one. That was after we both had ourselves a good cry as we headed up to the farmer’s market yesterday. My memories of the markets at the end of my pregnancy are still so vivid. Especially the waddling back and forth to and from the port-o-potty. And of course the constant questions about my belly.
“Is this your first?” yes.
“Is it a boy or a girl?” we don’t know.
“how much longer?” any day now.
I loved it though. I loved talking about it- as uncomfortable as I was, I loved the attention. I felt amazing to be growing this baby- this big baby inside me. I knew that my world would change any day and I was excited.
I see pregnant women and cringe, knowing they get those constant questions, knowing that I’ll get them again one day and my answers will require too much thought.
I ignore the new babies and big bellies and it still feels so awful. A year later and I still can’t handle it. My jealousy of pregnancies and babies is raging and there is no way to stop it. I had no idea how I would be a year later after this horrible mess, but I definitely assumed I’d be pregnant and that would help.
Chris said to me this weekend that he feels that this was Silas’ year. That maybe we didn’t have room for a new baby just yet, that we needed to focus our love on him. I want to see it that way. But it doesn’t make any of it any better really. It seems like we are always trying to talk ourselves into feeling better somehow- I don’t know how we haven’t cracked yet. Maybe it’s because we’re always so busy.
We’ve both had a lot going on with work and we’re still ironing out the car situation now that I no longer have mine. I’m borrowing one from a friend for a few days and we were given one (that is being checked out by our mechanic) by other amazing friends. Everyone is still looking out for us- but sometimes it makes me so uncomfortable. We have had to take so much this year and it gets hard to do after a while. I want to give so much back, to everyone, but I have nothing in me. I give it to my yoga kids and Chris but that’s all I have.
We’re planning on going to New Hampshire to spend Silas’ day with his peach tree. We just can’t imagine being home. A few days with family, hiking and rockband should help ease some of the pain.
In the meantime, I’m just going to continue thinking about Silas and my disbelief, because even a year later I don’t think I want to accept it just yet.
Something really crazy happened today.
A friend mentioned to me that “wow, it’s been 11 months already.”
I had to look at the calendar to realize that today is the 25th and marks the 11th month. I haven’t been paying attention to the dates. I guess I’m just focused on next month, that this one just went right over my head.
It upsets me though. I am so focused on getting pregnant, that I’m forgetting to think about my little baby who is gone. Who is not here with me right this second. It’s a tough spot, one in which I don’t feel too comfortable. I’m still working on the holding on to Silas – getting pregnant with a new baby conundrum. It’s hard to do both. Because of that, I guess I let this important date slip by.
We watered Silas’ tree yesterday. Chris said how both terrible and satisfying it felt to do it. His tree is so beautiful and perfect, but in most ways it’s not comforting at all. It makes me sick to my stomach actually. I should not have a tree instead of my baby.
Today, some of my sweet little girls patted my belly and asked about my baby. These are my 4-5 yr olds who I teach yoga to- who I taught all last year when I was pregnant and who I still continue to teach now. They know what happened but obviously still don’t get it.
One of them said “is your baby in your belly?”
I said “no, there is no baby in my belly.”
“you will soon?”
I said, “yes, hopefully I will have a baby growing inside soon, I’ll let you know when I do, I promise.”
It’s in these moments that I feel the most raw. I get inside these little minds and understand how they don’t get it. How I can be pregnant, deliver a baby, but not have my baby? It makes no sense. Their innocent questioning always knocks me over. I stay strong though, I have to. I answer like it’s totally normal and ok. The teachers usually look up in horror with their jaws dropped open. They never know what to say.
Last week was a really bad week. I was completely shut down, unable to cope with what life threw at me. This week has started a little better. I feel ok, able to answer challenging questions, communicate with my amazing husband and just take care of myself.
It’s so crazy but my crossword puzzle addiction is really helping. It is something I’m focusing on and feeling good when I complete one. It’s altogether just satisfying. I will take the satisfying over anything else right now.