Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Another Day

Dear Stevie,
I feel like I've recently took a turn for the worst. I've just been in a really sad place for the last couple weeks, and it's not looking like I'm going to emerge from it until after the holidays are over. It's actually kind of strange. I haven't cried in weeks, but I haven't felt much at all. I feel numb. Apathetic. Like the life has just been sucked out of me. I've been super busy at work, and I've been able to get everything I need to get done, done. But when I'm not working, all I want to do is lay in bed and watch my shows on Netflix.

I am dreading this next month. Absolutely dreading it. I don't want to do Thanksgiving. I want to skip Christmas. And then when I think about not celebrating either, that makes me sad too. You know I try so hard to be positive all the time, but right now, my life just sucks. This just really, really sucks. I don't want to do any of this without you, Baby.

I was planning on spending tomorrow (Thanksgiving) with my mom and dad and little brother. But now, on top of everything else, my grandma is not doing well at all (they just moved her into a hospice care facility), and my family will be out of town this weekend visiting her. I know I could spend tomorrow with Dad's side of the family, but frankly, I'm just not up to it. With my family, I would feel okay crying at the dinner table if I needed to, and my parents would totally get why I wasn't in a happy, festive mood. If I were to go to the in-law's Thanksgiving tomorrow, no one would mention you. No one would understand why I was sad. I would feel like a weirdo, like a major Debbie Downer if I were to have some sort of emotional breakdown in front of them. I hope this doesn't hurt anyone's feelings that might be reading this (because both of our families are great). I'm just not brave enough or strong enough to spend such a painful, emotionally-trying day with a lot of extended family members I am not very close with. I wish I was, but I'm not I guess.

So I will pretend like tomorrow is just another day. I'll stay in my pajamas, maybe order a pizza, and watch some more of my shows. I'll survive Thanksgiving, but I won't enjoy it. I really hate that this is what my life has been reduced to, but it is what it is, right?

I'm sure some of you out there are thinking I'm being overly dramatic. Thing is, I'm actually ashamed I feel like this. I truly wish I didn't.

I miss you, I miss you, I miss you.


Ps. If you would, please keep my grandma (and the rest of my family) in your thoughts and/or prayers. It's been really hard, especially for my mom, to see her suffer. Thanks so much.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

From SVU to Bones: a Timeline of Healing

Dear Stevie,
I discovered that there were 10 seasons of Law and Order: SVU streaming on Netflix about three days after you died. This would turn out to be a life-changing realization, as SVU kind of saved my life. I literally did nothing but watch episode after episode of this show for six weeks straight. We're talking like 10 episodes, eight hours (sometimes more!), every single day. I'm convinced it's the perfect show for any new babyloss mom. Seriously, they should start sending bereaved mothers home from the hospital with a couple seasons. Here's why:
1) There are no babies.
2) There is no real long-term plot (each episode is its own complete, stand-alone  little story) to follow along with. So if you happen to zone out, or cry your way through an episode or two, you won't be missing anything.
3) You get to watch really bad things happen to other (fake) people, and in a sort of sick and crazy way, this is comforting.
4) The good guys always win, and the bad guys always pay for their crimes. When everything else in your world has just turned to chaos, it's nice to escape to a world where everything just makes sense, where justice and fairness rules.

Eventually, I ran out of SVU episodes (much to your father's relief!), and moved onto my new show: Rescue Me. This show was still nice and dark (you know, big dangerous fires, death, 9/11, all that good stuff), but was also hillariously funny. I wasn't in the mood for 'funny-funny' yet, but was definitely up for some good black humor by this point. Rescue Me also had much more of a larger plot to follow, and characters to become invested in. There were even a couple babies thrown into the mix, and I could handle it.

Now, I'm onto Bones. This show is actually kind of dumb, I know, but I've become completely obsessed with it. There's still the grisly crime element there, but it's a lot lighter than anything I've gotten into thus far. And really, I only watch it for the cuteness between the two leads anyway. It's like a reallllly long romantic comedy. It's interesting to me that six months ago, I wanted nothing to do with lighthearted happy...anything, and now I am at a point where I am 'oohing' and 'awwing' over two fictional characters, rooting for them to finally get together. I want these (fake) people to find happiness.

I've got about a season and a half to go before I'm out of Bones episodes. Then who knows what I'll find to waste my time watching. At this rate, I could be onto A Baby Story before you know it! :)

So often I feel like I'm stuck, like I'm not making any progress. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am moving forward, in so many ways. All the way down to my silly TV show choices. 

I love you, baby.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

And in my hour of darkness...

Dear Stevie,
Look what I won from Carly's awesome giveaway last week. Aren't they beautiful?

The quote on the first image comes from the lyrics to 'Let it Be' by the Beatles. You can read about the significance of that song here. Basically, it's always been one of my very favorite songs, and since you died, I've listening to it about 239845978457 times. It's gotten me through some pretty rough patches. It just speaks to me.

Thanks, Carly, for these beautiful images. I love them.

Missing you tonight, baby.


PS. Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope has been featured in a couple of nice articles recently, if you're interested in checking them out. Awesome that people are putting a light on this issue! Here are the links:

Florida Sun-Sentinel
Cleveland Examiner
Valdosta Daily Times

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I just noticed I have a bunch of new followers! Awesome! If you're one of them (anyone who started following in the last couple months...), would you mind leaving a comment, introducing yourselves, and posting the link to your blog, if you have one? I'd love to add some new blogs to my reading list! :)

Thank you guys for all your support, and for being a part of Stevie's story.


Monday, November 8, 2010

6 Months

Dear Stevie,
6 months. Wow, I really can't believe it. You've been gone an entire half a year. Have I really made it through 182 days without you?

There have been days where I do nothing but sit on the couch in a zombie-like state, and others where I have this incredible drive and energy unlike anything I've felt before, and all I want to do is "go, go, go."

I've had times where I cry so hard I laugh, and others where I laugh so hard I cry.

I've spent hours cursing God for taking you from me, and I've spent hours secretly crying out his name in the darkness of the night.

I've lost a few friends that I thought would stick around, and I've made many new ones who I know will be there forever.

I've felt silly for caring so much, and guilty for not caring enough.

I've had many moments where I think I'm such a failure, and many where I feel like I'm the strongest person I know.

If anything, the last 182 days have taught me what its like to really feel. Happiness, sadness, anger, jealously, guilt, hope, strength, weakness, peace, bitterness, vulnerability, empathy, excitement, confusion, clarity, apathy, passion, sorrow, joy, hate, love. I've experienced them all, sometimes at the same time.

The painful emotions cut deeper than they ever have before, but you know what? The emotions on the other side of the spectrum--things like passion, strength, love--I feel them with such intensity now. It's like my capacity for feeling has expanded 10-fold. When I'm sad, I'm sadder than I knew was possible 182 days ago. But when I love, boy do I love so much deeper.

Andrea once explained it as a sort of pendulum theory. On the left you have sadness, sorrow, despair, all those icky emotions. On the right, you have happiness, joy, love, passion, strength, all those 'good emotions.' When you died, the pendulum swung so far to the left, farther than its ever gone before. But now it also swings farther to the right. Before you, my pendulum was kind of stuck in the middle most of the time, and now, it swings so far in both directions.

I recently saw this quote from Harlan Ellison somewhere: "I know that pain is the most important thing in the universes . . . For without pain, there can be no pleasure. Without sadness, there can be no happiness. Without misery there can be no beauty. And without these, life is endless, hopeless, doomed and damned."

These last 6 months have been hard, no doubt about it. But in the last 182 days I have felt more than a lot of people ever feel in a lifetime. And in a strange, hard to explain way, that's something to be thankful for, I guess.

I love you so much, beautiful little girl. You've changed me forever.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Mothering You

Dear Stevie,

This weekend I had the chance to meet a really amazing woman for lunch. Her name is Sherokee Ilse, and she’s the author of Empty Arms, which is actually the book the hospital sent me home with when you died. But she does way more than write books; she’s pretty much been a crusader for the pregnancy/infant loss cause since her son, Brennan, was stillborn 28 years ago (three years before I was even born!) She has been such a strong voice for survivors of pregnancy/infant loss, and really, has completely changed the type of care women receive from hospital staff. I personally had a pretty wonderful delivery experience (I mean as ‘wonderful’ as it could possibly be, under the circumstances), and that is largely thanks to Sherokee’s work. 

So anyway, to have the opportunity to meet her was really special for me. I was honored that she would take time out of her busy schedule to sit down and talk with me, listen to the dreams I have, and offer so much support and guidance. It was amazing to talk face-to-face with someone who not only “gets” the pain of losing a baby, but also more than understands the driving passion I have for making a difference in this community. Someone who, like me, sees themselves as a “woman on a mission.”

At one point during our nearly three-hour conversation, Sherokee talked about her work over the last 28 years has, in a sense, been her way of “parenting” her son. I just love that thought. And I think it's so true. Throughout my pregnancy with you, totally went into "mothering mode." When you died, my new role as a mother, a parent, didn't die with you. And it still hasn't gone anywhere. I don't have other children to put my parenting energy into, so I had to find something to channel it into. At first it was blogging, then I started doing some baby name pictures for other moms, then of course Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope took off. 

As your mom, I don't get to rock you to sleep at night, or kiss your chubby fingers and toes, or dress you up in a little poodle costume for Halloween. But I'm still mothering you, in the ways that I can. In my heart, I know without a doubt that had you lived, you would have changed this world. Since you didn't get a chance to make a splash in this world on your own, I see it as my job to do it for you. To give meaning and purpose to your life. 

Just look around at this community, and it's obvious so many of us feel the same way. There are so many of us blogging, working on memorial baby name projects, starting nonprofits, participating in walks and 5ks, etc etc, etc. It's incredible, really. 

Incredible that as women, the desire to be a mommy to our babies is stronger than even death itself. 

I love you so much, Stevie. I am so proud to be your mom, and I promise to "mother" you for as long as I live. 

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