Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Dear Stevie,
After you died, all of a sudden there were all these places I could never go again. Like restaurants. Not just a couple specific restaurants in particular. All of them. Restaurants were for celebrations, and after you died, I was clearly not in the mood for celebrating. When I was pregnant with you, we went out to eat to celebrate all sorts of little occasions. To celebrate telling your grandparents we were expecting. To celebrate the beginning of the second trimester (and my first full day without puking in about five weeks!) To celebrate hearing your heartbeat at the doctor's office for the first time. To celebrate finding out you were a girl. To celebrate the fact that we had officially reached the point of "viability" at 25 weeks. To celebrate...just because. So seriously, for at least two weeks after you died, I refused to step foot in any sort of eating establishment. Take-out, I could do. But the inside of restaurants were totally off-limits.

Grocery stores were another one. Dad or my mom or my friends would have to bring me my breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday for the first few weeks. The first time I tried to be brave and do some quick grocery shopping with Dad, I just about had a mental breakdown. Dad would say, "do you want some cottage cheese?" and my eyes would well up and I'd say, "I can't eat that! I ate cottage cheese for Stevie!" He'd try again and say, "do you want to get some ice cream?" and I'd freak out and say, "I can't eat that! Stevie loved ice cream!" After this went on for about half the items in the entire store, Dad finally said, "okay, what can you eat now??" "alcohol and raw fish and lots of caffeine," was my short answer.

I couldn't even go the mall, one of my favorite places in the world, for weeks after you died. I couldn't buy new jeans, because that meant I no longer needed my maternity ones. I couldn't buy new tank tops and t-shirts because they would easily fit over my flat belly. I couldn't buy a purse because I wanted to be buying a diaper bag. I think you can see where this is going...

Now, over nine weeks out from your death, and I've tackled most of the places I thought I'd never be able to go again. I've gotten over my fear of (most) restaurants. I can go grocery shopping without going crazy, and I can even purchase and consume (most) of the foods I ate while I was pregnant with you. I enjoy spending way too much money on clothes and purses again.

But there are still a few places I haven't been able to face quite yet. Of course there's the obvious (Babies R Us and every other baby store in the world, whether I ever shopped there or not). Then there's Subway. The fear of Subway is really limiting my workweek lunch choices these days, but I just can't stomach going in there. I ate at Subway like four days a week throughout my pregnancy with you. I am just not ready to go in and not have to say "oh, and can you please double-heat my meat...I'm pregnant," while rubbing my belly and ordering my turkey and ham on wheat.

Or Ikea. I don't know that I'll ever be able to go in that store again (which Dad will probably appreciate!) There's just no way I could effectively shop there for an economically priced dresser or table or couch right now; I'd be too busy remembering three days before you died, picking out all your nursery things. I'd be too busy crying my eyes out.

Or the gas station by my office, where I went for my daily instant mashed potatoes and Sprite fix during weeks seven through 10, when you were making me super sick and nauseous. I hated feeling so sick, but as I'd tell everyone, "at least it assures me that obviously something is still going on in there!"

I guess I am proud of myself for coming this far, even if I still have some fears left to conquer. Who would have thought--I'm not afraid of needles or getting tattooed or being on TV, telling my sad story in front of thousands of people.

But I'm too chicken to walk into Subway and order myself a sandwich.

Oh, Baby, I sure miss you today.



Andrea said...

Sweet Friend, I understand all those fears and applaud your efforts in moving forward, which is SO VERY HARD to do. You have reached a very big milestone in nine short weeks. Much love to you and sending all things positive your way as you journey on.


Julie said...

kristin, the places i couldn't go in the first couple weeks weren't so much about memories of pregnancy, but my fear of running into anyone at all who we know (we live in a very small town). i could not stand the thought of someone either asking about my pregnancy and having to tell them it was over, or telling me how sorry they were, in which case i thought i would just disintegrate in a puff of ash.

i hated going back to my OB's office for my post-partum appt, but it wasn't as bad as i expected it to be (i think after what we went through nothing could be as bad - and i can imagine awfully bad!). i have another appt coming up in about a month, and am not looking forward to it either - and yet, it is the first step of trying again, so i have mixed feelings. i still cannot handle baby departments or baby stores, or any place w/ lots of families w/ young kids.

Leanne said...

I don't have any profound words for you today or anything...not that I ever have anything profound to say, but you know what I mean. ;-) Just know that I'm thinking of you today, and I am incredibly proud of you for being able to do all the things you mentioned that used to be too difficult and sad for you.

Kelley and Chris said...

I know how you feel Kristin. I have a hard time with restaurants too...reminds of the times we sat at those same places and talked about our baby-to-be. There a couple in particular that I refuse to go to...I don't think I ever will again. :-(

rebecca said...

Oh I hear you on this one!!! I had another awful experience today in a place I felt would be relatively safe on a weekday...nail salon, I'll post on it in a couple of days, let just say it was a disaster & thankfully I was able to make it out the door before busting into tears (and this wasn't even a place I went to during pregnancy...I was too worried about the fumes harming the baby when I was pregnant)!

Glad to hear things have gotten a little better for you as the weeks have moved forward, it gives me hope!

Angela said...

As always I absolutely identify with your post. I still can't do grocery stores by myself. I went to Target the other day and had to deep breathe my way through the whole store.

So glad you are on TV again semi-famous girl :) Glad the message is getting out about us sad mamas.

Violet1122 said...

I battle fear a lot these days, as you well know. You should be proud of yourself for conquering some of your fears! I'm proud of you!

I don't know why some fears stick with us more than others. But, there is no need to rush anything. I have to remind myself, it's not a race - trying to get over my fears.

I think of you often, and I pray that you will have another BFP soon - and a healthy baby to hold in your arms.

Maggie said...

I can relate to this so much. I don't think I left the house for a good 2 months after Alexandra died. And then when I finally did, it was just so bizarre being out in public. It still is sometimes and I still haven't been to some places because last time I was there was when I was pregnant. ((((HUGS))))

Brie said...

I actually went to the mall 4 days after delivery, and announced to the check out girl that I had a baby 4 days earlier...She must have thought I was CAH-RAZY to be out shopping and leaving a newborn at home. Little did she know, I left my newborn and a piece of my heart at the hospital headed for the morgue.

After that experience ( which I think I was in shock), I didn't go anywhere that I went while I was pregnant for quite a while. I was afraid people would ask me about my baby and I would blurt out some totally socially unacceptable answer.

I'm proud of you for how you're handling being just 9 weeks out from the unexpected loss of Stevie..There will be good days, bad days and some of those "I don't know what to feel" days ahead..but keep those feet moving one foot in front of another

croleyc69 said...

I can relate to your feelings of not wanting to go places. I always thought someone would ask me where is my child. It's a empty feeling that is so different from others. I had miscarriages but my first one was a little boy , oh how I miss both of them and wonder how things would have been. I was alot like you I didn't wanta eat those things. It was scarey and too this day it still is hard at times. I pray for you so much.


Antoinette said...

In the past few months I have tackled many of my "fears" of the outside world as biggest issue was food shopping too. One day Anthony cooked my "favorite" pasta escarole, chick peas and broken up spaghetti...and he made it spicy just how I "liked"...when I took my first spoon full, I nearly spit it out "This is TOO spicy Anthony!!" and his reply "But you like spicy" and I just started crying so hard..."NO anthony, I liked spicy when I was pregnant, im not pregnant anymore so I like my old ways again".....its so hard and its just really strange how "foods" can even be a trigger...but we spent our whole pregnancy eating and worrying about eating and making sure we ate and we would have continued that cycle when the babies were born because of breastfeeding...but now, food just seems to be another reminder...but I have to admit...I do try to eat some things that I liked ONLY when I was pregnant because I like to think its what Alyssa liked to eat, so I eat it for her **sigh**......and YES I also said Alcohol and dont like raw fish, so i was ok with that, but I did eat LOTS of fish since mercury was no longer a

Tammy Johnson said...


I have been quietly following your blog(I am a member of the August 2010 board). I just wanted to say that I am so inspired by you and wish that I could express my feelings half as well as you do. I can't say "I know what you are going through" because I don't, but Stevie's story has really touched me and made me appreciative of what I have. You are such a strong person(even though maybe you don't feel that way at times). I am sure this Blog has been a blessing to so many people and i just wanted to say thank you for sharing the good, bad and ugly of your journey and for honoring Stevie's life in such a fantastic way. God bless you! ~~Tammy

Lori said...

I'm so sorry...There are still some places I just refuse to go. It was really so horrible for me in the beginning because I just felt like there was NO WHERE I could go without memories...not even in my own house--"I can't look out that window, I remember standing there and singing a song to Matthew as I watched the leaves." It was awful. My world gets a little larger again every day, but again, there are some places I just won't dare go for a long, long while.

Thinking of you...

Nicole said...

It's okay that you're still not ready to go to certain places. I am 8 weeks ahead of you in this terrible journey and I JUST went to Babies R Us about a week ago for the first time to shop for a friend. It was hard! But I still haven't been to Carrabbas... We went there at 23 weeks to celebrate when we found out Avery was "probably" as girl. And I still have not eaten fajitas since she's been gone because those were her favorite. You're not alone, Kristin! And you're still so brave!! :)

lis said...

i just found your blog and i am sitting her crying my eyes out for you and your little Stevie.

im so sorry that you lost her. i wish things were different.

i must admit though, i was crying before i got here. its been a crying kind of a day. i am 9 months + 1 day since my girls were born at 20 weeks and i feel the same way you do/did about going certain places, eating certain foods. i still drive by lowes and the sandwich shop we ate from the day before i went into the hospital and look at them in disgust with a sneer on my face, as if they had anything to do with what happened.

i hope you are well, at 9 weeks out i was a bonafide M E S S. ill be following along from here on out...


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