Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I have a pen-pal (now email pal) that I have been writing to since the 3rd grade. We have never met, but we have kept in touch through the years. Sometimes more often and sometimes less often. I had sent her a Christmas card with a note in it that I was expecting and when I was due. After I had the miscarriage I tried to contact her, but she must have changed her e-mail address because it kept getting sent back to me. I heard from her this morning and in her e-mail she congratulated me and said it must be any day now. She was right, it should have been any day now. I wrote her back explaining what happened, it brought back those memories when I was writing it. I suppose that while I was on my way to work I was thinking about how I was going to respond to her. I knew that any response would have made her feel bad, but I had to let her know the situation. It is always awkward to tell someone who doesn't know what happened. It happened a couple of times at work with some people there.
When I was almost at work the Jack Johnson song If I could came on. There is a line in the song that states, "They say that new life makes losing life easier to understand." I thought to myself, what if that lost life was a new life? It doesn't make it any easier to understand at all. It is so much more difficult to understand that. Your grieving process is so different.
I grieve for my grandmother and think about the things that she wasn't here for, but then she lived her whole life and saw so much. I have memories of her from so many events in my life. When you lose a new life you grieve for what you don't have and the memories that you can't make. I will never get to hear Lia say her first words or take her first steps. I will never see her off on her first day of school. These are memories that I don't have, but I long for them. Yes, there will be other babies, I know this in my heart, but they will not be Lia. I will always know that Lia should have been ______ this year. (Fill in whatever milestone you wish). I also know that if I did not lose Lia, my next child may not be here. It is hard to think about it sometimes. In my day dreams I can picture Lia growing to be a beautiful little girl, but that is not reality. I will never see Lia Rose grow up, again that is a memory that I will never have. I do not get to look back and remember her childhood when I am older. I get to think of all the things that should have been. She cannot be replaced, she will always be my first child.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I am trying to be optimistically cautious with this as I know it is going to be a difficult week. I do not want to set myself up for disappointment, but how can I help it? It just seems like one big coincidence. Well now I just have to WAIT and see. (ugh---I still hate that word)
Monday, May 25, 2009
Thursday evening we went to Cafe Buenos Aires to celebrate a friend who graduated with her Doctorate. It was a nice relaxing evening with good food and good people. Those are two of my favorite things to be perfectly honest with you. The combination can't be beat. Friday I got to just chill out, do a little shopping and had a lunch date with a friend who I haven't seen in a while. It was nice to be able to chat about what I have been through over the past few months. There were actually some things that I could laugh about and I guess in a way that felt pretty good. I can talk about losing Lia Rose without crying and that feels good too.
Saturday was another beautiful day filled with food and friends. We were off to a barbecue and it was delicious. There was a newly pregnant girl there and my friend had warned me. I wasn't sure how I would handle it, but I did just fine. A few sad moments, but I snapped out of them. Later on I had to check with my husband because I didn't think she was so nice and I wanted to make sure that it was the case and it wasn't because she was pregnant. He agreed with me and I felt a little better.
Sunday was a day spent wandering around Manhattan and I mean that quite literally since I think that we walked something like 80 city blocks. It was another gorgeous day, we weren't sure because of the threat of thunderstorms, but it couldn't have been any better. We went to a street fair and wandered around Central Park which was a blur of people and activities. We found the Alice in Wonderland statue which made me smile. I have a picture hugging the Mad Hatter. The architecture and foliage in the bark is truly spectacular. Do you think it is the most famous park?
We then got to go the Guggenheim for a Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit which was very cool seeing as he designed that Museum. His work was so ahead of his time and much of what was on display in this exhibit was never built or destroyed. John is very interested in his work and designs. Lunch was at a little Greek place that we found on Columbus Avenue called Kefi,we were starving, but the food was wonderful. Then it was the long walk back to the car. My legs ached, but it was that good kind of ache that makes you feel like you accomplished something great.
Monday was the catch up day...Laundry...cleaning...shopping, but we did have a great breakfast at Maureen's Kitchen in Smithtown. Yummy...I feel good having accomplished a ton of stuff in the house and outside as well.
Long weekends like this make me not want to work at all. There are 14 days left with the students though! That puts a grin on my face. I am hoping for another week with more good moments than bad moments. I really do feel that Lia Rose would have come to the world this upcoming week and that she wasn't waiting for her due date so these next few weeks are bittersweet. I do have lots of fun stuff going on though...That helps.
Again I start the week feeling refreshed and renewed. I like to start it on a high note this way it takes a lot to bring me all the way down. I hope that I stay up, but time will tell on that one. I am sure that there will be moments.
Friday, May 22, 2009
John and I started last weekend with a nice dinner at one of our favorite places, but we don't go too often. It is called Lucy's and it is delicious. It is a quaint little place in the Town of Babylon. Another reason I like it is because my grandmother was named Lucy. It was so nice to be out to dinner and relaxing in decent weather and it was the start of what was going to be a very nice weekend and week.
Saturday we planted Lia's weeping cherry tree. We dug up the spot where we were adding to the tree and it looks beautiful. We will be adding a few more plants to that area, but I am not sure what yet. It is nice to look out of the window and see something so pretty. It was purchased with a gift card from some of my co-workers from one of my buildings and I think that it is perfect.
Sunday was a get dirty outside day because we planted a good part of our vegetable garden. It wasn't the nicest day, but it felt good to be digging in the earth. Now we get to watch our seedlings and seeds hopefully grow and produce lots of good food to eat. We did well last year, and this year we planted a bigger variety. Now we have to WAIT! Again, with waiting. It is a word that I am really disliking more and more. Trying to be patient is difficult.
I got through the work week pretty well too. One of my buildings was closed on Wednesday and Thursday because of, as the kids say "the swine." I had a swine flu vacation day on Wednesday and only had to go for a half day yesterday and now it is a four day weekend. My parents and I went to the beach and it was so refreshing. It is my favorite place and one of the reasons I don't want to leave Long Island.
I am feeling hopeful this week. We are trying again and that is one less thing that I have to wait for now. I am hopeful that we will be sent a brother or sister for Lia Rose very soon. Maybe I am too hopeful, but I need to have that hope. It is the hope that keeps me going everyday. Lia should have been born the first week in June (June 4th was her due date). I think she was coming in May. She is my angel now and I know that she is always with her mom and dad.
(on a side note, I haven't played around with adding links or pictures too much, I hope that it works)
Sunday, May 17, 2009
I have been thinking about what should have been coming 3 weeks from Thursday(officially) and being hopeful about what will be. How do you balance it all? There is just so much on my mind. I am trying to relax about it, but I don’t think that I was relaxed about anything the first time. How can I be relaxed about it now?
People forget, people don’t realize that every day is still hard for me. Their lives go on as usual, but mine is forever changed by what has happened. I am so grateful for the people who do remember and who, although have never been in my shoes seem to understand. Many people forget. That is something that is difficult for me.
I know there is hope inside somewhere because I can see myself as a parent, but right now that seems like the distant future. It feels like a child playing the mother. Will it happen? When will it happen? Will I have to wait a long time? I want a family. I want a brother or sister for Lia Rose. I want to feel the joy of having a child and not the pain of losing one. Is it so much to ask for? I don’t think that it is.
Monday, May 11, 2009
I did it! I made it through my “first” mother’s day. I say that it is my first because I am a mother. I have a child who is buried in a cemetery near my house. Her name is Lia Rose Grande. She was born and sent to heaven on January 2, 2009. Does this make me any less of a mother? I gave birth to a baby, a perfect little baby, who was not strong enough or big enough to survive in this world. I did one of the hardest things a mother will have to do, which is lose a child. I held that perfect little baby and fell in love, a love that was so strong that it truly amazes me. And then I think….
In Sunday Mass yesterday during the Ave Maria, I cried. I cried for my daughter, I cried for my husband, I cried for me. I also thought what a paradox. My daughter could have been born any day now, instead we are trying again. The other paradox is that right now, birth to me is not associated with new life, it is associated with loss. The innocence has been taken away like the ground being pulled from under my feet. Birth and rebirth are all associated with new-life and new beginnings. I could look at it as a new beginning which would be “Life after Lia” but somehow that just doesn’t seem right. I mean it is a different life for me now, but it isn’t a new life. I don’t feel reborn, I feel a bit beaten down.
I talked with my mom yesterday who tries very hard to understand, but really can’t. She has never been in my position. She has never lost a baby. I do my best to explain to her, but it is still tough. I know that she wants to take my pain away, but she can’t. No one can! I don’t want anyone to anyway. It will evolve and one day the pain won’t be so great. My mother told me that next year there will be a sister for Lia Rose. I really want to believe that, but right now I am having a tough time. I am trying to stay so positive, but it is quite difficult. I told my mother that I could just not be sure that would happen. I never had thoughts like that before Lia Rose. Now I just have an endless amount of questions. Will this happen again? Will I be able to conceive? What if I am not able to conceive? Can I go through something like this again? Am I strong enough? These questions never occurred to me before Lia Rose, but they occur to me now in “Life after Lia.”
Today at our church there is a special mass for couples trying to conceive. It couldn’t have come at a better time since we are starting to try this week. We are going to go. I could use some extra blessings. I just want it to work!
I have previously written about pennies from heaven and if I believe in that, then I have to believe that 10$ bills from heaven are even better. My husband and I were in 7-11 yesterday morning getting cups of coffee. He went to pay and when I looked down I saw a bill on the floor. I picked it up and went to hand it to him because I thought he had dropped it. He just looked at me and said, "That was Lia Rose letting you know that she is thinking about you today." I knew at that moment that I really had to try to have a good day. I think all things considered I did ok.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
I want to wear a big sign that says, "Don't forget me! I am a mother too! I just don't have my child here. She should have been making my belly nice and big, but she came too soon!" Maybe a sign that says, "Mother to an Angel!" Something anything...
I got a card for Mother's day from my Mother-in-Law yesterday. It was like a mass card so there are people praying for me somewhere. All over really she sends us cards like that all the time, but this one made me cry. She acknowledged the fact that I was a mother and that makes me happy. I am not sure who else will and it hurts a little bit.
I don't think people know what to do for me as far as Mother's day goes. I know what I want is to be thought of as a Mother. I am a Mother. I am a Mother to Lia Rose Grande who was born 22 weeks too soon. I went through labor and delivered her and held her just like any other Mother, but I did not get to come home from the hospital with a baby. I fell in love with my baby girl, who was already an angel. I think that is the most unfair thing!
It is very bitter sweet for me. We are finally able to try again and really she could have been born any day now. My due date was June 4th and then they told me June 1st I was convinced she was coming into this world in May. Unfortunately she came into this world in January.
What do you say when someone asks, "Are you a Mother?" Do you pick and choose who you tell or do you just keep it to yourself. I don't know...but I am not sure I am prepared to hear those words tomorrow.
With what price we pay for the glory of motherhood. ~Isadora Duncan
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
How long has it been since you lost your child/ren? Has your grief changed at all? Is your life becoming any easier or is it just harder as time passes?
I lost Lia Rose on January 2, 2009, so just over four months ago. My grief has definitely changed during this course of time and I am sure that it will continue to change. I lost her at 18 weeks pregnant and at the time I thought that I would never get through a day without crying. Just last week I realized that I had gone five days without shedding a tear, but then have cried pretty much every day since then. I see an evolution to the grief though; it is definitely not as profound as it was when it first happened. About a week after we lost Lia Rose, it was an extremely rainy day. I truly felt like I shed as many inches in tears as it had rained. I just cried all day long. It was cathartic. I think that I needed to do that. It was the only day that I cried like that. I feel like I do really well and then something happens and I hit a brick wall. Taking a few steps backwards from where I was. My due date is coming up on June 4th and I feel like getting past that will be a huge milestone in this grieving process. I am anxious because I really do not know at all how I am going to be that week. Sometimes my anticipation is worse than things actually are, but there have been a few times where that is not the case. I do feel as time is going on it isn’t necessarily easier it is just different. It isn’t all consuming like it was at first. I can think about it and be sad for a little, or a while, but generally go back to my day.
How do you feel when you see pregnant women when you are out and about?
I see pregnant women all the time. I know about 20 some odd pregnant girls. Many of my friends are currently pregnant. Some have just recently given birth, which has been difficult for me. Some are due after I was. I am a school-based speech pathologist and working in a school I am also always surrounded by a couple of pregnant women. I am not sure what it is or why it is happening, but there are some that I am fine around and others that I have a tough time around. There doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to it. I really can’t explain it. When I see pregnant women out and about often I just think, I wonder if that is what I would have looked like. Some days I handle it fine and some days it sets me off. It is the unpredictableness that makes me crazy. If I knew that something was going to bother me all the time I could handle it, but one time it does, one time it doesn’t. It is just so inconsistent.
What’s your therapy in the aftermath of losing your child/ren? Do you go to counseling? Do you do artwork or some kind of exercise or do you simply just let yourself be? What helps you?
My husband and I have actually gone to therapy together and separately. It has been extremely helpful to me to talk to someone who is not involved in the situation and reassure me that I am and we are doing ok. My husband has been extremely supportive through this situation and so have most friends and family. It has helped me to talk about and write about what has happened to me. I reached out to friends when I needed to even if it was on Facebook or an e-mail. I didn’t always want to talk, but I found that chatting with friends was helpful. Talking to people who have had losses has also been helpful to me. In particular, speaking to someone who also had a loss at 18 weeks was an excellent support for me. I have written some poems and participated in the March for Babies through the March of Dimes raising a nice amount of money since I only decided to do it one month before the walk. I didn’t know if I would feel well enough because I had surgery the month before. I am trying to do things that will help me honor and remember our daughter and that really helps. My co-workers got us a gift card to a nursery and we were able to buy a weeping cherry tree to plant in our yard for her. I think they are beautiful and it will always remind me of our angel.
Carly has done an amazing thing. After finding that I found another of her projects Love Reign Over Me which contains a link to Under the Tree. My next posting will be answering the questions from that. http://scarletriver26.blogspot.com/
Sunday, May 3, 2009
My due date is one month from tomorrow. I am sure that if I were pregnant now, I may not be the happiest camper and I would probably be getting pretty nervous, but having been through what I have, I am going to attempt to enjoy my next pregnancy as much as I can. As long as I can get around the being terrified part!
It is a gift. So many people do not realize this at all. We have no control over what happens to the life that is growing inside of us. We can do all the right things and be so careful and it still may not work out despite our best efforts. It is truly an amazing gift and I wish that I could have experienced it without losing that innocence and excitement, but that is lost now. I know that I am going to have to remind myself to be happy, not because of anything else except that I will be scared.
I can't imagine anything that I want more than to have a family. I would be so thankful if this experience never happened to me again. I would be even more thankful if it never had to happen to anyone. I wish that more people could understand even if they have not been there, but it is next to impossible. The feeling is indescribable. There is a piece of me that is with Lia Rose in heaven and I am sure that she has left a piece of her with me.
I go forward this month with a heavy heart, but with hope for the future. I know that I can do it as difficult as it may seem. I will get through and be a stronger person for it.
Friday, May 1, 2009
It felt so good to do something in memory of Lia Rose, and knowing that the money that we raised will help with the efforts to save babies. Maybe with enough research they will be able to do something about cases such as mine. Like they say "One day all babies will be born healthy." It would be a wonderful thing if that could happen.
My brother made t-shirts which came out great. I thought it would be hard to see her little footprint there on the shirt, but somehow it felt good. I know that she was smiling down on us that day some extra smiles, because I am fairly certain that she is always smiling down at us.
It was a great day with friends and family and I appreciate all the people who walked. It was a tough day, but I am so glad that I did it.