Tuesday, March 23, 2010

E-Mails Never Sent

Have you ever written an e-mail and just hovered over the send button? I've done it before (many times), gotten worked up over something, written a scathing e-mail, and eventually thought better of it, never sending it to its destination. In most cases, the mere act of writing the e-mail made me feel better. I just came across one of those e-mails (I wrote this when I was pregnant with Faith, with hormones raging and obviously alot on my mind):

While I can appreciate what you're trying to do and you're truly altruistic view of people, you can't just group "mothers" and "maternal people" in the same category and you also can't group people who don't have kids with people who have kids with people who've lost kids. People who've never experienced the loss of a child only have a certain capacity of understanding and sadness for what I've gone through. They can't imagine it, they can't put themselves into my situation and be as empathetic as you'd like to think. Sympathy, sure . . . empathy, probably never. It irritates me that you think I'm not being positive about these moments that I've experienced, moments that you have not been there for. You have NO RIGHT to tell me how I should be feeling. Yes, you're just the outsider. And your optimistic point of view may be due to the fact that you've NEVER lost a child or experienced any of the situations that I'm talking about. You've never been on the other side of that conversation, when you experience the visible discomfort in people's eyes after I've told them that my son has passed away. Even if there's sadness behind their reaction, it's still something they didn't want or expect to hear and, for the most part, it's something that they don't want to discuss further. It's awkward. Children aren't supposed to die before their parents. So how, exactly, do you make the best out of that situation? I wasn't talking about any kind of people, I was talking about all people. What's happened to us is a freak of nature. No one, except those who've been through it themselves, can ever feel comfortable with that situation.

One of the worse things to say to a person experiencing pregnancy after loss is "well everything is going to be fine this time around" or "this baby will be completely healthy". It negates what I've just been through and makes my pregnancy easier for you to swallow, not me. I'm still anxious all the time, I'm still thinking about the distinct possibility that anything could go wrong at anytime. It's not because I'm being a pessimist, it's because I've been there and I know it can happen. If you want to tell me that I'll learn something as a parent this time around, fine. I know I will be learning new things as a parent everyday for the rest of my life. But don't word it like you have NO IDEA about my last pregnancy or about Dylan. For all intents and purposes, I already consider myself a mother. There's no telling me, "WHEN you become a mother. . . " Again, if you do that, you've just written off my son and his life.

You keep reminding me that I'm not being positive or optimistic about any of this. That really hurts and irritates me. You have NO idea, and I can see that in your reaction. More often than not, I give people the benefit of the doubt. What you read on my blog happens to be those times when I just can't. Most people have written both Justin and I off and do not even address it anymore. Fine. That's perfectly fine. They don't know what to say, and THAT I can understand. But I most certainly cannot understand, nor should I have to, the people that find it necessary to say something that completely writes off our experience and what we've been through. WE'VE HAD A CHILD! WE ARE PARENTS! Do I really have to explain that to you? There's no fresh, optimistic approach to looking at childloss. It sucks. And Justin and I have done an incredible job healing and moving on with our lives, never forgetting, and also integrating Dylan into our daily existence. You can't imagine. You can't! Everyone is naive to the situation, do you know something that I don't know? Did someone else experience this? I have been so open-minded about what people say to me. I try not to be hyper-sensitive about all of it. The things that end up on my blog are major to me, obviously big enough for me to write about. I don't just publish posts about how irritated I am everyday, about how for the most part people have found it customary to just sidestep or ignore or avoid situations where they have to talk about Dylan. That's my life, I've come to accept it. I don't expect people to understand, I expect better of my friends that they could have a greater sensitivity towards what we've been through and are continuing to go through EVERY, SINGLE DAY of our lives. Not for our own friends to say things like, "Oh, you'll know when you have kids." or "Maybe you should have a more positive outlook." WTF!

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Positive Side of Loss

Okay, you know how I love lists (and apparently quizzes), so I will answer the question posed by the Butterfly Mommies blog in list form.

What positive things have come from the loss of your baby?

5. Writing - It has been so therapeutic and healing to return to my writing roots. While I hate that my crippling pain and grief had to exist in order for me to have something to write about, I am honored to share Dylan's story in this way.

4. Community - While the stories that I've come across have ranged from somewhat similar to radically different, the common bond that babylost parents share and the friendships that result from "meeting" in this way have proven extremely helpful. When you're constantly surrounded by people in real life who have no idea what you're going through or no idea what to say to you, it's both calming and refreshing to be reminded that I'm not alone in this journey and that it's absolutely okay to grieve how I need to.

3. Perspective - The little things are just that, little. I've learned not to sweat the small stuff, and I've learned that I don't fear much anymore. I've faced the absolute worst that this world can throw my way - outliving a child.

2. Character - I am strong, I am a survivor. Losing Dylan proved that to me like nothing else could. From the grace that I exhibited in the face of adversity to the hope and courage that I had to find in order to survive a pregnancy after loss, I've certainly grown as an individual.

1. Faith - As Justin so eloquently put it the other day, "Dylan put us right with God." Truth be told, I know that I still have alot of questions when it comes to God and why things happen the way they do, but I am closer to God. I'm getting there, I'm no where near perfect. I know, at the end of the day, there's nothing I want more than to live my life so that I may end up reunited with Dylan in Heaven one day.

A Blog Parade!

It's a blog party and a "Getting to Know You"-type session, and I love doing these because it's easier to answer a few questions than to start writing on a blank page. I'm always the one that my friends say is the Most Likely to Respond!

1. What's your favorite time of the day, and why? My favorite time of day is late evening because I'm home from work, enjoying dinner with the fam, and just unwinding from whatever stresses I've faced in the day. I've always been a self-proclaimed night-owl anyway.

2. If health wasn't an issue, what food could you live off of? I could absolutely live off of PASTA, particularly my mom's spaghetti with meatsauce or lasagna. Mmm, just the thought of it makes me want to get some right now.

3. If you could have one wish granted (besides wishing for more wishes), what would it be? The first thing that pops into my head is just so automatic (and the reason why I put it on this blog). I would absolutely wish that Dylan was conceived and born without any medical problems. That he could be here now, healthy and happy, and turning 2 this year.

4. What's one thing that you get teased about a lot? I get teased about my height (or lack thereof). I'm just barely grazing 5-ft, so of course I get called "shorty" or "'lil bit" alot. And I'm always the shortest in every picture . . .

5. If you could choose one movie, book, or TV show to spend your life in, which would you pick? What type of character would you be? Okay, this is another easy one, but just may show you how big of a dork I really am. Absolutely, LORD OF THE RINGS!!! And I would be an elf. I love the story, the undertones, everything about it. And the elves are just so magical and mystical and "glowy" (for lack of a bettter word)! This is Justin and me from a Halloween party dressed as Galadriel and Frodo . . .

6. If you could have one talent that you don't already have, what would it be? My first inclination is to say photography, but I guess I would clarify by saying professional wedding photography. Because I already have a camera and I already take pictures, but I would love to GET PAID to go to weddings and snap one of the most beautiful and memorable days of a couple's life. It would be amazing to be such an integral part of that!

7.If money were no object, where would you go on vacation? I would love to return to Maui, HI where Justin and I were blessed to be able to spend out Honeymoon. It's one of the most spectacular places that I've ever been to, and I would love to go back!

8. If you were an awesome singer, which genre would you sing? This is a copout, but pop music. If I could sing, that's what I'd see myself doing. I'm a poptart at heart! And if I could be better than awesome, I would sing like Christina Aquilera. I think that she has the most amazing voice around (and I would even venture to say OF ALL TIME!):

9. If you could have a $10,000 shopping spree to one store, what would it be? Target, or Tar-jshaaay, if you will. It's a one-stop-shop, and I could definitely spend that money, even if it were only on formula and diapers.

10. If you could live in any point in time, when would it be? I guess I would choose the Roaring 20's, if only just to be able to wear the cute flapper dresses and have a cute finger-wave in my hair.

11. If every outfit in your wardrobe had to be one color, what would it be? BLUE, with bluejeans being my staple.

12. If you were one of the seven dwarves, which one would you be?(Doc, Grumpy, Sneezy, Sleepy, Bashful, Happy, or Dopey) Hand's down, SLEEPY, lol!

13. What's the last album you listened to? Kicked it old-school with Madonna's Immaculate Collection in the car on the way to work this morning.

14. What's something we'd be surprised to know about you? You may be surprised to know that I have a number obssession, almost to the point of OCD. I have to purchase things in certain amounts (ie. number of items), and pretty much anything that I can control the number on, I will. And the numbers have no rhyme or reason, just numbers that I like. You can throw any number out, and I will immediately tell you if I like or dislike that number. Just yesterday, I made Justin add another show to our TiVo cue because the number of shows we had on there was just not a "good number" . . . he knows all about it and puts up with it gracefully! :)