Monday, December 31, 2012

A New Year

Looking back I can't help but think, 'this was supposed to be the best year of my life so far.' It definitely started out that way. But it has ended so incredibly opposite of what I had hoped for, dreamed of and imagined.
That's pretty much why we're not out celebrating or ringing in the new year like so many we know. I'm pretty down now with the year coming to a close. A chapter of life that I'm still struggling to come to terms with. I thought I was doing better. But then the holidays came up and the crying started all over again. The other night I was on that verge of being fast asleep when suddenly I realized, Oh. My. God. I had a baby. And he died. The thought punched me in the stomach like it had just happened in that moment. I still have those realizations. Because life keeps going and I have to keep up with the quick pace at which it flies by. I don't have time to think about Korbin sometimes during the day. And when I do finally have a moment, it really hits me hard.
So, despite still being such a Debbie-Downer, here's to hoping for renewed hope, renewed faith, maybe even renewed joy in life. 2013 has to be better than 2012. Because I got a lotta love to give.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas is...

Overwhelming to say the least. I thought I was holding up okay, not too emotional. But the past few days I haven't had energy to do much except sit on the couch with the TV on and Pinterest up on my iPad. The tears have come more frequently again. And then today a succession of beautiful gifts and poems just really tugged at my heart. I tried to get pictures of them all, but some are hard to read.
First I saw this poem, the first picture below, posted by the Molly Bears Facebook group and really struggled to not burst into tears.
The next one that you see is from my youngest brother Jack, who was so excited for me to open my present. It's a locket that can be engraved as well.
Then my dad and stepmom gave us a globe that says: 'If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to Heaven and bring you home again.' Good grief it brings me to tears just typing it out, and I broke down in front of everyone when I first opened it.
Next you see the ornament my sister and her husband found for us. I just really love the note to Korbin from them. And she wrote his name on the ornament so I am hoping the engraver can use that as a guide when we have it engraved.
Lastly, I made ornaments for us and our family. I couldn't find an angel ornament perfect enough so I came up with the K with angel wings instead.
I'm emotional right now. But we are so surrounded by love, thankfully. A few others have done things to remember Korbin as well. From including him in a Christmas wish to showing us how he was included in a memorial tree. I'm so grateful for those who have remembered him with us. Because we will certainly never forget the tiny life he had with us.
I got a lotta love to give.









Saturday, December 22, 2012

Seeing Viv

I have been thinking about Korbin's 'due date buddy' (as my friend calls Korbin, which I absolutely love) since she was born. A beautiful girl named Vivica who made her family wait and wait and wait for her. Before she was due to arrive I thought I would be strong enough to meet her and hold her, and welcome her to life. But her arrival came and went with my heart still so broken the thought of holding her would still bring me to tears.
As a month passed, I thought, okay. Maybe I am ready now. My heart would soar momentarily thinking about seeing her, seeing Di again. And then, just as suddenly as the thought occurred to me, my heart would break all over again and I'd be left overcome with intense grief. I can't, I just can't. But I so want to.
It's just so hard to think that she's here when Korbin's not. They were growing together in a way, and then suddenly separated. It became a painful reminder of what my heart wants so badly; to hold Korbin and love and cherish him here.
Of course this all has made me feel like a bad friend. Especially after hearing how others in support group held their friends' newborns when they arrived. I admire them and the strength it took to push down their pain to allow someone else's joy in for a moment. But I'm just not ready emotionally.
Ry asked me not too long ago if we just have to do it. Go see the babies no matter how difficult and painful it is. If we need to just push ourselves, because really, we'll never be 'ready'. Then Di said she thinks of Korbin as a guardian angel to Viv, and I think that's what finally gave me the strength I needed. It was as if Korbin was giving me strength because I knew his presence is felt in their home too. I was so moved by her telling me this that I finally knew exactly what I wanted to get for Viv. I'd been trying to decide for so long. So, I found a blanket randomly that says 'love' and sewed on a patch that is a K with angel wings. The blanket was seriously randomly placed with no others like it available; it was meant to be. The patch is so that Viv can have that physical feeling of Korbin watching over her, hopefully protecting her. I had originally been thinking a onesie, but she'd grow out of that soon and it's purpose would be lost. A blanket isn't outgrown.
We stopped by yesterday. I was a little nervous about how I'd feel, expecting to not be able to stay long. And so it surprised me that I really wanted to hold Viv. I honestly didn't think I could, but then I didn't want to let go of her either. She smiled and talked to me. And I even rocked her to sleep with my bouncy dance. I was okay. It is so good to know now that it really isn't so painful to see her. And it reminded me of something a mom said at support group. When a lot of us moms feel that holding a baby instead of our own cherished baby angel is cheating, this other baby isn't my baby. They can never replace that feeling of holding your own child. And I get that now.
I still have mixed thoughts and feelings about the Cuddle Babies volunteering, about holding babies I do not know, but I'm so glad seeing Viv wasn't as painful or difficult as I had anticipated. Because I seriously missed Di, and I got a lotta love to give.



Edit: Vivian is actually Vivica!

Friday, December 21, 2012

In Memory Of...

Today I finally went shopping for baby items to donate in Korbin's memory. My sister-in-law, Alex, volunteers for a fantastic women's shelter in Bellevue called Sophia Way. They work with homeless women, some of whom have children to care for as well. Ryan and I are really very blessed with our jobs, our home, and the life style in which we can live, and I can't help but think about the children who are homeless in this world when we have so much to offer. Of course, I'd love to be spoiling Korbin right now instead, but I can't make that happen. So, because I'm so driven to do something baby related (this drive goes hand in hand with that aching arms feeling), I decided giving to babies in need was the answer. My plan each Christmas-time is to give to a child in need at the age Korbin would be if he were still here. Newborn to six months this year, one year old next year, two years old in 2014, etc.
What I didn't expect was how emotional this process would make me feel. At Target, I had trouble holding back my tears as we picked out clothes. And it just really got to me when Ryan pointed out I wasn't picking up the diapers or wipes that are more natural and without harsh chemicals, like I was so paranoid about when planning for Korbin's arrival. I almost felt compelled to tell the lady at the register why I probably looked distraught buying so many baby items. And by the time I dropped things off at Sophia Way I think I'd gone numb. My self-protection mode kicking into high gear. After the drop off, I got a bit shaky and anxious feeling. I'd been feeling anxiety just at the thought of walking through the baby aisle, and I think it just had to finally really get out of my system before I could relax knowing I was done.
These things are so much easier thought and planned out than actually done. But I did it, and thankfully with Ryan by my side.
I got a lotta love to give.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Loss vs. Their Loss

I read a great article on NPR on how to help someone who has lost a child. It really resonated with me so I posted it on Facebook. But it didn't seem to really reach many, I think, and it made me wonder if it had to do with how different my loss of my child is as compared to the couple's loss of their children in the article.
Here's the article for reference:
http://www.npr.org/2012/12/18/167518956/when-someone-you-know-loses-a-child?sc=17&f=1001
This couple lost their children, who were barely in their twenties, and wrote about what friends and family can do now, and even in the years to come, to comfort those who lost their children in the Newtown tragedy. But, what really struck me was how they compared their loss to the losses of the much younger children in Newtown, about a 15-year age difference.
So why are these losses so comparable, when my loss is considered so different from them? To the point where I get comments such as, 'at least you know you can get pregnant,' and, 'you're young, you can have another baby.' No one would dare say these things to someone who has lost a five or six year old, let alone a twenty-something. So why is it so okay for society to tell me to just try again? I wanted Korbin, and having another child will never replace him, or the love and hopes and dreams I have, and had, for him.
These comments may seem encouraging, but they so grate on me and my fragile nerves. It seems like no matter how often I post things like the do's and don'ts, or even say them outright to those around me, society seems to turn the other cheek. It's just not okay to deal with loss and grieving publicly still, at least not for someone who lost a newborn. My loss is still not recognized as a loss in many hospitals. Many have their dying child whisked away without being able to see or hold them, and are told to just move on. But you don't just move on when your child dies. When your heart breaks. You can only hope to just keep going.
Even for someone who has had a miscarriage. That is still a devastating loss of hopes and dreams. Of the child you just began to love. I do think every loss is different, and that I can't understand someone else's loss just as they can't understand mine. But they are all still a loss of a child, the most devastating loss a person can experience according to the experts. If you wouldn't tell someone who lost their five year old to just have another child, then don't even think about saying that to me.
I hope people read this article, because Ryan and I still need the comfort of friends and family. Especially during the holidays. That doesn't mean we need constant hugs, or the 'I'm so sorry' look of pity. Just be here for us. Talk to us. Even just a note or text to say hello. Because, despite how much we're hurting inside or that we seem somewhat unresponsive to joy and excitement, we still got a lotta love to give.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A stocking for Korbin

I knew I wanted an ornament for him, my little baby angel. But until Ryan mentioned it, it had never occurred to me to make a stocking for Korbin. And now that I've finished it, I see it would have felt so empty without it.
We went to Michaels to get a similar base stocking, the puffy paint (which apparently is no longer called puffy paint as the girl who helped me had no idea what I was talking about...), and a little doodad to sew onto it. When I made Ry's and my stockings seven years ago, I did the same thing, but this time I asked Ryan to pick out any charm he wanted for Korbin's stocking. And he found a perfect little car charm.
As much as I at first thought, 'why would we do a stocking? Is that weird? Will people think we're crazy?' It felt so good to put it all together in the same style as our other stockings. It fits, and most certainly has a place amongst the others. It was ridiculous of me to think otherwise. As a friend at work put it today, this is our first Christmas WITH Korbin. Last year we had no idea we were going to have him, or even that I was pregnant. This year he became a part of our family.
I think of Korbin every day. And with these thoughts, I got a lotta love to give.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tradition

Every December Ry and I drive out to Leavenworth, enjoy the snow and all the Christmas lights, buy an ornament (or four) from Kris Kringle and then make the trek back home. This year was supposed to be that plus one, but, it was just the two of us. Despite that we both tried to make the best of it and even had an agenda and list of specifics to find at Kris Kringle. I think we both needed the magic that Leavenworth oozes this time of year.
Seeing the snow at Stevens was beautiful, but it was gone by the time we hit Leavenworth. The 90% chance of precipitation (aka snow) ended up being a crystal clear, sun shiny day. No big deal, we'll eat at Gustav's and then enjoy the lights while shopping around. We were seated in the exact spot we sat in our first trip there ten years ago (well, the first trip was a pass through so I could see the lights then be home to make curfew...).
That was pretty cool for me, plus food and service were good too. But shopping was a total bust. Kris Kringle had absolutely nothing we liked. Normally we find so much we have to pick and choose what to actually get. And on top of that, no lights went on when it got dark! No Santas walking around. No choirs or music. Just us and a bunch of other tourists...with adorable new babies.... So lame.
Emotionally it was a major let down. And we hit traffic on the way back and got cranky and just couldn't wait to be home.
As I write this I feel like this is such a minor day in life to be complaining about because of the many losses of innocent lives in Connecticut earlier today. Such a tragedy. No parent should ever lose a child, no matter the circumstances. It's heart breaking. And yet I still need to have my selfish emotional moment. So many posts on Facebook saying, 'hold your children tight tonight.' Well, I can't do that. So, as my heart goes out to all those who lost someone today, I'm trying to take comfort in holding my Korbin bear to soothe my aching heart and arms. It's selfish but my grief still overwhelms me, and thinking of parents losing children intensifies my grief, brings it all to the surface once again.
And yet somehow, through all the grief, I got a lotta love to give.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Our Korbin Bear

He's here! And he turned out perfectly. When ordering our bear we could choose an unembellished bear, which is basically just a weighted bear, or you can tell them special things that mean a lot to you and would be nice to have represented on your bear. For us, I needed some sort of race car theme on our bear as the nursery was about to be decked out in anything race car related. I also asked that a heart with a K be on our bear. One thing they weren't able to do, which is totally fine, was to put a zipper pouch in the back of our bear that Korbin's urn could fit into. Some mothers in support group have that and I thought it was pretty cool. I also didn't want a colored bear, like blue or green. I just don't like those personally.
Opening the box I had no idea what to expect, and I have to say I was totally shocked at how heavy 1lb8oz is. I assumed it wouldn't feel like anything, but it definitely has weight. I let Ryan look over our bear, and he gave his seal of approval. He can be so picky.
I held our bear on my lap, sitting upright, and it actually was soothing. I don't remember how Korbin's weight felt because of all the pain meds I was on immediately after surgery.
It's moments like these, receiving such a special gift from an amazing group, that I tend to go numb. I wonder if I'll cry, expect myself to, but I just kind of shut down for a moment. I guess it's easier than to let all the emotion out so suddenly. But it definitely feels good to have our Korbin bear at home. And it makes me want to donate more to Molly Bears so others who can't afford to bump themselves to the front of the line can get their bears sooner too. Because I got a lotta love to give.




Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Our Bear

I am actually excited that we'll be picking up our Korbin bear tomorrow after work! I have no idea how they decided to decorate him for us, but I gave them lots of ideas to work with for sure.
It's bittersweet, but it will be so good to snuggle our Korbin bear in my arms. Maybe it will help soothe the aching arms I feel so often these days? Who knows, but I'm still happy to feel excited about this, about something. Because I got a lotta love to give.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Don't let your struggle become your identity

How? I am really struggling with this now. The holidays are just rough, they suck. And it's because my baby is gone and my heart and arms yearn to have him here to fill the void I feel in life now.
In support group last week the facilitator hit the nail on the head when she said that not only does she mourn the loss of her child, but she also mourns the loss of herself. And it's so true. The day Korbin died, I died too. The old me. Gone and replaced by a new me that I'm still trying to figure out and get to know.
In my case, how do I not let the most devastating loss a person can experience change me. How do I not let my struggles now not become my new identity?
I know I need to overcome my struggle, to take the reins my life again. But how and when? I know I keep asking those two questions over and over again. It's just hard to find strength through the pain. And I just still don't get why. Why? Why us? Why Korbin? Life was so perfect. So much happiness lost. Maybe someday my strength will come to me. And I hope I can find it through all of this, because I got a lotta love to give.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Family Photo

Tonight we had dinner at my dad's to celebrate his birthday. During this time of year my family also really enjoys decorating their huge tree together. This year though, I think I've spent all my energy at home, and so I could barely focus enough to get a few ornaments up at my dad's. I do try to participate in life still as sometimes I'm more okay than I think is possible. But today I found myself on the brink of breaking down completely and it was so difficult to hold myself together.
My sister messaged Ryan to ask us to dress festive tonight for a family photo for Christmas (most likely their Christmas card to send out). When Ryan told me this my heart just broke. Our family is incomplete now. A hole that can never be completely filled. Why can't my baby be here for my family photo? and what do Ryan and I do now to represent our family? Korbin is and always will be a part of our family, so how do we show that to others when he's not here to be in a Christmas card picture? The sudden intense feeling of emptiness from these thoughts and questions nearly brought me to tears.
But, somehow, I mustered up every last ounce of energy I could, put on my 'festive' attire, and smiled my biggest for the picture. It's exhausting, and it so drains me to keep going. Sometimes I just want to give up, to throw my hands up in the air and scream, wishing it were all over now.
It's especially hard to watch my youngest sister with my nephew right now. I love him and he's adorable and growing and learning and it's beautiful to watch. But it makes me yearn for that for myself and for Korbin even more. He is supposed to be in my arms, seeing all the bright lights for his first Christmas, nearing three months old. It's supposed to be Korbin's first Christmas too. It makes my arms ache for him so so much.
As Christmas draws closer it seems to keep hitting harder how much I miss my baby. And it intensifies my bitterness towards reality. It's a very defeated feeling. I'm definitely struggling at the moment, especially after the incredibly heart wrenching and awful dream I had the other night. I'm shaken, and feeling much more anxious about even the smallest things. But I do still have Ryan, and I just cling to that. Even if it means becoming the paranoid wife. Because I got a lotta love to give.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Nightmares

I'm definitely not normally up this early on a Saturday morning, but I can't go back to sleep after the awful nightmare I just woke up from.
I had been having a strange dream involving travel and work, but suddenly it switched to me going home and Ryan wasn't there. I was so alone, and just hunched forward in defeat, because he had died and I was now a widow. Normally in dreams (that turn to nightmares like this) my mind can actually rationalize the situation and tell myself it's not true, Ryan's fine, and he'll suddenly appear and I'll be fine. Not this time. I had started a letter to my step mom's cousin in Virginia who is a widow as I needed someone to talk to about my pain.
And then I wrenched myself from sleep, my heart aching so badly I thought I was going to puke. My hand reached out for my cell phone, and even though it was blinding me the screen was so bright I began texting Ryan. I had to know he got to work fine, and tell him I love him.
He's fine at work, thankfully. And now I'm trying to calm myself down on the couch with the Christmas tree lights on and the puppy dogs laying out in front of me.
This is my new normal. Anxiety in thinking, hoping and praying Ryan is alive and well every moment we're apart. Struggling with the fine line between trusting he's fine and being a paranoid and clingy wife who can't leave his side. Which is seriously an extremely fine line on which I teeter now. I know that of course he doesn't want or need the second option. That can only push him away. But it drives me crazy sometimes knowing everything is out of my control once he steps out the door and we're not physically together for that time.
It's incredible how similar the aching heart pain is. In losing Korbin and just thinking I've lost Ryan. My poor heart can't bear any more loss, especially not right now. Because I still got a lotta to give.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Bad day

As I wondered what I wanted to delve into tonight after support group (so so many areas of grief are discussed, frustrations aired, and tears cried) but all I can think about is how work today left me feeling down in the dumps.
First of all, my cousin had her baby two days ago. Naturally, her child is perfectly healthy and alive and well. Jealous, yes. Bitter, heck yes. Happy for her, ummmm, no. Then this morning an email announced a coworker's baby's arrival on the night before. More jealous, yup. Extra bitter, yup, you betcha. Happy for her, hell no. Later that day a patient was discussed who found out one of her twins at 29 weeks gestation is now being diagnosed with a type of dwarfism. Everyone was saying how that's so sad for her. But all I could think was, really? You're so sad but your baby is still alive? At least your baby isn't dead! I would love the heck out of that baby, little person or not. And later this afternoon pictures of above mentioned coworker's baby were emailed along with his name and stats, and then another patient's happy baby arrival email went out. It. Would. Not. Stop. And to top it all off, a coworker told some of us she can't drink like she used to because, you know, she's got a baby at home, so life is different now. Boo-fucking-hoo.
The holidays are making me feel extra empty, and therefore even more bitter and snappy. And then I have to be surrounded by this happy baby crap nonstop today. It really drove me crazy, and I almost reached a breaking point from it all. I almost had to just walk away from work and just leave. It's exhausting to live through days like today, to be functional at a level that those around me are at. And I think it's unfair to Ryan because sometimes I just don't have the energy to be okay with him. And he's the most important person for me to be okay around. We need each other more than anybody else or anything else right now. So I need to remember that, even if it's only for Ryan and Korbin at times, I got a lotta love to give.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Since Korbin was born

Generally, when I am referring to June 1st, I say 'when we lost Korbin.' Sums it up pretty well, I think. But I had never thought about how negative I had made that day until a coworker was asking me something and said 'when Korbin was born.' I bet for her she wanted to refer to that day in a way that hopefully didn't elicit any emotional pain. And it struck me in that moment how negatively I look back at June 1st.
I think it's pretty obvious why I look at that fateful day with such contempt. I mean, yes, my baby was born. He was brought into this world. But he came too soon to a cruel, short-lived world in which I was completely powerless in trying to save him. It's hard to look back happily, positively, with such heaviness in my heart still. Looking back, wishing I didn't have to keep moving forward. At times I feel like people around me think I'm such a negative Nancy, because I'm 'just okay', not excited about life any more, and still wanting to talk about Korbin. I wonder if they're thinking, "isn't she over that yet?"
At the same time, I have to realize for myself that Korbin did happen. He was born, even if it was too soon. And he was so precious, tiny, and beautiful. I know I'm totally biased being that I'm his mother, but he was the most beautiful baby I have ever laid eyes on. I couldn't have dreamed of a more beautiful child. My baby angel.
Lately I have tried to say 'when Korbin was born' more often, and I'm finding it feels good inside to do so. Like I'm emotionally recognizing even more so the life he had, instead of the death that came so unexpectedly. Plus, I feel a warmer response from whoever I am talking to, like they are more able to engage in what I'm about to say compared to when I talk about Korbin's death. I'm beginning to see so much more love in his little life that he had. And so I need to continue to focus on that, no matter how short-lived it was, because I got a lotta love to give.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Anxiety

Today was a holiday gathering with some girlfriends to bake and decorate cookies, and do a gift exchange. Just thinking about being there gave me major anxiety because a pregnant friend was going to be there. We're all supposed to bake our favorite cookies together but the idea of being stuck there waiting for the oven, and the logistics of baking with six other girls and only two ovens, gave me major anxiety too.
I almost didn't go, but decided last minute to at least show up for a bit. I honestly was dreading seeing this friend, who got pregnant in September and is due in June. It makes me angry, her being pregnant and the timing of it all, and my anxiety is really from not wanting to be around happy gushing pregnant people or hearing any sort of pregnancy related questions. (Again, I realize that my pain has no bearing on any other person's life and their family building, it is just so in-my-face unfair.) This anxiety has twisted my emotions to feeling so angry about her being due in June because I'm afraid she'll have her baby on June 1st. All I can think is that if that happens, how dare she. How dare she take away Korbin's day, his day to be remembered and celebrated. Who will remember him when there's a living child to celebrate? Ry and me and our families of course, but others most likely not. And really, how likely is that? Any of it? It's all just negative made-up nothing's that spiral out of control in my head.
It was so awkward when she was there today. I couldn't wait to leave, so I could try and relax. To let the anxiety go. I didn't want a hug. I didn't feel excited about seeing an old friend. Still very much so jealous. And no, I am not okay with that. It sucks feeling this way. I don't want to feel so protective of a single day. To hide from happy people. Not feeling happy or excited for my friends. Because it's all because my baby died. And that's really what I'm not okay with.
I really pushed myself out of my shell today, and it was exhausting. But what I didn't expect was for one of my close girl friends, who so far has not seemed to understand where I am coming from with anything, to completely understand my wanting to leave early. Without having to explain a thing. I didn't realize how much I needed that from her too. Seriously. It so warmed my heart. And it helped me get through the most difficult part of my day today. Despite how difficult many things in life still are for me, I know that eventually I'll be able to show everyone and anyone around me that I got a lotta love to give.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Journaling

Six months ago today I was given a journal. To write everything I thought and felt about the sudden birth, and even more sudden death, of Korbin. I wrote in that journal every night for a while, pouring my broken heart out on paper just to get the grief out. Writing starts the tears which need to fall because their falling brings a sense of relief, even if just for the night.
About two months later I began to blog what I would journal, which then switched to solely blogging as I was writing the something twice. There was no need to go through the same emotions multiple times each day. It's hard enough the first time around!
Now when I think back to the journal and how I began writing in it, I realize that I was essentially writing to Korbin every night. Telling him how much I love and miss him, seriously wishing I'd go to sleep and wake up to him alive and well inside me still. I read that writing a letter to my baby can help ease the pain. I think I wrote close to sixty extremely heartfelt letters. My letters to Korbin hold a pain so intense I haven't been able to even look at the journal since. I know what's in it, the love mingled with such agony. Though my heart still hurts the same, I am now managing my pain thanks in part to my blogging.
I lost a piece of myself when I lost him, a piece I don't think I can ever get back. A piece I can't even put into words to explain. Even with all my blogging there's still something so deep within my heart I haven't even reached it yet.
Six months ago today my heart broke. I'd never known a loss that cuts so deep. Six months ago today an angel was born, and forever in my heart he'll stay. Though my heart is filled with sorrow, it's also filled with the love I have for Korbin. And through all of this, somewhere deep within, I still got a lotta love to give.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

When

When do you say, 'okay, no more pain.' Or, 'I'm not going to cry any more.' Stop letting myself hurt. Or, I guess I should say, make myself stop feeling so much pain. When is letting go not forgetting, and when is keeping going not moving on? And on top of all of that, how do you not feel guilty for all of the above?
Because really, to do all of these things, this means (to me) denying Korbin his due respect. I wish we lived back in the day when one wore all black or a black arm band for a set mourning period. It would let me have my bad days without worrying what others must think (isn't she over that yet?) while also making the bold statement that I am not okay yet.
I say I'm okay every day, but really I am trying to not let my heavy heart overwhelm the rest of me. I am devastated still. And lately Korbin's absence is hitting me anew. Completely fresh, a deep wound ripped open again.
I want to be strong, I really do. But there is still so much guilt in trying to push the pain out. I know I can never forget Korbin, or what we had with him. But not feeling the pain is like saying he didn't exist, he didn't happen. And I don't want that. It's not true and it's not my truth.
I can't ignore the pain or sadness, it's still too strong. So maybe I'm just not ready to be the strong okay person yet. I still need to cry and grieve heavily. And through the many tears I still have for Korbin, I know I still got a lotta love to give.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bah Humbug

Today we went to Frys and as we were walking around, several new families passed by. Strollers full of warm, wrapped up new babies. It hit me hard that I should be pushing a stroller right now too. My mind went into this dual thought process of both trying to imagine how amazing that would be and actually starting to reach out to an imaginary stroller like it was right in front of me. Then I felt suddenly alone and empty. Borderline delusional, right?
The thoughts brought me back to how heavy my heart feels, and I struggled to hold back the tears. Ryan saw my emotional struggle and stopped me to ask what it was, but I shrugged it off, pushed it down to dwell on and think about later. Talking about it out loud is a certain way to bring on the tears. And nobody needs to see that in the middle Christmas shopping at Frys.
And Christmas. Today at work the Christmas music was everywhere except the embryology lab. So I relegated myself to IVF only to escape it as much as possible. I don't want it to be Christmastime already. Another holiday and month passing by in life while I still feel stuck on June 1st. Everyone is excited about this time of year, and we're just coasting along. I kind of feel like Scrooge because all I want to say is 'bah humbug' to everything. I am trying to get myself in the spirit by putting up our decorations, and researching gifts to donate to a new family in need. But it still sucks. The daily tears have come back now. They were getting to be fewer and farther between, but Thanksgiving brought them all back. Part of me wants to warn everyone around me that I'm really not in the holiday mood so don't get into it with me. But I don't want to bring them all down, or have them think they should hush up or hide their excitement around me. Another one of those damned if you do and damned if you don't situations.
So as we enter the holidays, I continue to struggle with my new normal. Dealing with life as it keeps going, with or without us. I am pushing myself to keep going with the hope that I will someday have that stroller to push, and my baby to care for with us and not departed too soon. Because I got a lotta love to give.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Questions

I went for a check-up with my OB last Wednesday and actually had a whole list of questions in mind for her. But first I had to face an overly chatty MA who hadn't even checked my chart before saying, 'You had your baby! She must be so big!' As she continued on to try and guess how old 'she' was, I sat there stunned. Honestly so confused. Finally I stopped her and said, 'He didn't make it.' She paused for a moment to apologize, then went back to her chattering. I honestly don't know what else she said. And it breaks my heart so much to have to correct people that my baby died. It seriously sucks.
Finally Dr. Pray came in. First she thanked me for the card we sent her. I had to let her know how amazing she as been for us, and how much she as taken care of us, not physically but emotionally as well. But that was back in August and I figured it would have been forgotten by now. Doctors have so many patients, I didn't think anything of it after sending it. But having her remember that meant so much. I told her she just did so much for us, and then she replied that she was just there is all. So humble, and that makes me like her even more.
She then asked how I am doing, if I'm doing what I think I need emotionally, and how Ryan and I are faring through all of this. Finally she asked if I had any questions, and I said a lot, to which she replied, 'Oh good!' with a smile. I'm so glad she doesn't make me feel rushed.
I found out my c-section was classic because the lower uterus was not developed yet. So, assuming I get further along in future pregnancies, my next c-section will be in my lower uterus and regular. The risk we face in future pregnancies, on top of already being high risk, is that the placenta could end up within my current c-section scar. It's something that can be found early on, and if that does happen I would have a hysterectomy immediately following birth of that child. Basically the placenta grows into the scar weakening the uterus even further and making it unfit for pregnancy. And, on top of all of this, I'm not even allowed to consider pregnancy for a full nine months from having Korbin. Trying again, and having another child, can soothe one's heart. But future children can never replace the one we've lost, and yet they can fill empty aching arms. All the same, it sucks knowing I shouldn't even be thinking about future pregnancies. Especially when so many around me are pregnant, having their children, or getting pregnant right now. It breaks my heart and it feels like a slap in the face. Like they're all wagging their fingers in my face and saying, 'Hahaha, I can do this and you can't!' It hurts a lot. And yet why should anyone not think about their own family just because I've lost part f mine?
The closest I can come to describing how my heart feels is to compare it to the few times in the far past that I thought I had lost Ryan completely. (No relationship is completely without issues, and thankfully we worked through them.) Thinking he was gone from me forever broke my heart, and is the only thing I can think of that is even remotely close to how my heart aches now. So thank God I do still have Ryan. I don't think I would be surviving like I am if he were gone too. We need each other to get through this as we're suffering the same loss. And it's hitting us extra hard right now because of the holidays. We aren't excited and all in a tither like everyone else is in their happy normal lives. But we have each other, and having Ryan next to me in this reminds me that I got a lotta love to give.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Hey Jealousy

Though I can't remember the words to the song, sometimes I feel like singing it because I can feel so jealous. So many things bring up huge waves of jealousy, of envy. It's all part of my new normal, but that doesn't mean it sucks any less.
Things that have brought out these feelings are the birth of my best friends daughter. I just so wish Korbin had come along with her, instead of so soon. Instead of too soon. My sister having her baby to love and care for and for the family to ooh and ahh over, to say how much they love him. Korbin should be getting that all the time too. A coworker coming back to work from maternity leave, now a working mom balancing everything that is perfect with life. I should be doing that too in another month or so. Noah getting his first Thanksgiving, holidays, Christmas. Korbin should be experiencing that with us, and us with him, too. The holidays are so empty right now. And there is forever a hole in life. Finding out someone I know is pregnant. I have to wait to even think about such possible joy again some day. And even then it won't be so easy to get through.
All these events just seem to amplify my own feelings of how unjust and unfair our life is now. And how bitter I feel because I think it's so unjust and unfair.
I flash between thinking others deserve or don't deserve such amazing things, and whether we deserve or don't deserve such things too. Mostly it's that we deserve to have Korbin. But he's gone. And there are still moments where it dawns on me like it just happened. The thought steals the air from my lungs, stops my heart for a moment, and leaves me in an instant state of despair. I'm still devastated. And I just don't get why us. We may never get why.
Today was our anniversary. Ry and I just spent the day shopping, and being lazy, and just hanging out with each other. Our gifts to each other this year were that there will be hope for good memories in the future. It's kind of all we can give each other now. Hopefully this is the darkest time of our life. I can't imagine anything worse, besides losing each other of course. So, for now and just for each other, we got a lotta love to give.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful

Entering the holiday season has emphasized the hole in my life greatly. Bitterly, I think to myself, 'ya, right, I'm so thankful my baby died earlier this year.' Especially as so many post daily on Facebook the wonderful and good things they are thankful for.
This morning everyone was thankful for their families and friends. So I jokingly posted how thankful I am that Ryan bought me rims at 4:30 this morning while I slept in. It was kind of sarcastic, because really I am bitter and don't immediately recognize any thankfulness for anything in life right now.
But I do have things to be thankful for, and I need to remember these things that I do have:
Ryan, who is still by my side, even through what is hopefully the darkest time in our life together. Thank you God for him and the vows we made five years ago.
My immediate family who is so patient and compassionate with us. They lost Korbin too, a nephew, a grandson. They grieve too.
My close coworkers (friends) and my boss. Who visited, texted, messaged, and listen to me talk about how much stuff sucks still without weird looks or trying to cut me off.
Support group, where I can cry and whine and be bitter with others who get it because they unfortunately are going through this too.
The roof over my head that I can afford.
The too tight waste band of my pants because I can afford to eat so much.
My puppy dogs, who cry with me sometimes, and make laugh till I cry too.
My closest friends, who, like my coworkers, just let me talk and make it easy too.
My job, even if I don't feel the same enthusiasm I used to. It's a career that scientifically is really pretty freaking cool.
Despite my bitterness, I am surrounded by a lot of loving people who keep me going. And thanks to all of them showing me the love that's deep inside, I still got a lotta love to give.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Painful Reminder

Today we received a care package from Similac full of formula for the new mother at our home. It's really not Similac's fault. I threw away the paperwork for removing us from all mailing lists (even those beside pregnancy/baby stuff) thinking that I never really registered for anything like that, so no one should have my info.
But they have it, along with Carter's and Shutterfly and even Gerber. I immediately felt felt a mixture of anger and pain. But quickly switched those emotions to one of compassion, thinking that somebody out there actually does need this. I posted it, asking if anyone needs it or knows someone who does. No one seemed to catch onto my passive-aggressive this sucks that I got this in the mail now attitude, until one friend suggested I donate it in honor of Korbin's memory, despite how awful it must be to receive such a package right now. How beautiful. And I so appreciate her taking note of the pain associated with this.
It feels really good inside to do this, something I haven't felt much lately. So I'm slowly starting to refocus my energy from anger and pain to love and giving. Because I got a lotta love to give.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Shell

I've noticed that for the past month or so, I've been crying much much less than before. It's not the every day, multiple times a day, like it was before. But in place of crying, I've put up a hard shell of anger. It's easier to be angry about something random than it is to explain to someone why what someone said hurts so damn much. It's a protective shell mostly for my heart.
And yet despite the angry shell, my heart is still so heavy with pain and sadness. Sometimes to the point that I think it might just burst. And, as always, the most random thing can trigger the pain and then the anger to cover up the pain. For instance today, one person was complaining about another person who makes really ridiculous mistakes. The kind of mistakes a new pereson who has no idea what they're doing might make, but not someone who's been doing what they've been doing for four or five years. This person is pregnant, and while this other person was saying how stupid the girl in question is, I had to walk away because I about burst into tears thinking to myself, "why the fuck does she get to have her baby and I don't get mine?" A completely selfish thought, out of anger and pain. But I can't help it.
It's moments like these that remind that I do still need to let the pain out and cry. Support group welcomes the tears, and so I kind of save them up for that once a month. But that's definitely not often enough. So I'll make myself feel the pain and remember certain things about Korbin and my pregnancy to get some tears out. Though the pain never actually goes away or lessens, the crying lets me feel at least some relief.
It's times like these that I have to remind myself that, even though I'm angry as hell at the world and anyone who's successful in having their family around me, I'm not really the bitter, angry person that others see on the outside. There is still pain, and there always will be. My heart is just so full. Because I got a lotta love to give.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Money money money

I was just telling a friend that I feel like Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman. The part where she pulls wads of cash out of the jacket pockets and complains, crying, that she has all this money but nowhere to spend it. We're not exactly rolling in the dough, but we have made leaps and bounds financially, even this year after losing Korbin. Promotions, raises, paying off debts. Even with continuing to dig ourselves out of the debt hole we were in, paying off large debts, we still have a growing savings for the first time ever. And we don't need to rely on it either. It feels strange, but is a huge weight off of our shoulders.
Part of me feels like, whoopty doo. We're doing great financially but there's no kid to take care of with it. When I was pregnant there were some things I just told myself we'd figure out, but we were unsure how we'd make it work. Like day care, or covering medical insurance. Now we have that all figured out...but we don't need to worry about. It's bittersweet, really. I basically worried for nothing.
But, I guess that means we can do more now than before. Travel more, provide more of the things we want to provide to our future children. Things we wanted to provide to Korbin but were unsure we could at the time. We can also do more for others, something I've always been wanting. It used to be hard to pick which charity we'd support each year as there are so many we feel strongly about. Now we can expand on that, pick more and give more. And that feels good. For instance, since we don't have a baby to buy gifts for, we're going to 'adopt' a child for Christmas this year.
Despite the constant pain, life is moving forward, and upwards in some respects. And with it, we got a lotta love to give.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Doctors thoughts

A couple weeks ago I was in a retrieval when the doc doing the procedure began explaining to everyone in the room how a parent feels when they lose a child. After she went over the grief and pain of the loss, she described the guilt and strong and overpowering it becomes. At this point I started to think, 'did she forget I was there? Is she totally oblivious to me shaking now, about to burst into tears as she explains away how I feel like she can even attempt to understand?'
Suddenly she just stopped talking. The whole room was quiet. And then she asked how I was doing. I stuttered at first and then just said 'I'm fine' and hoped she didn't see the pain or anger in my face. I assume she wanted to know if I was behind on tubes and left it at that. Did she really care how I was feeling? Did she realize what she was doing and stop herself? Who knows. Sometimes I switch to avoidance with people because it's really not necessary for every person I see to know my pain and I'm dealing with it currently. It's just not worth the battle. And I don't have the energy sometimes either.
It can be so frustrating too when some talk about what I'm going through like they totally get it. But, I have to do my best to refocus my energy, save it up, for those who really genuinely care about me. Though they may (hopefully) never understand fully what I deal with on a daily basis, their patience and continual compassion is amazing. And for them, I got a lotta love to give.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The other room

Preparing for Korbin's arrival we began to clean out the second room so I could make his nursery. Theme picked out, furniture registered for and designed with my dad. The last bit was getting the computer out of there so we could set it up.
Well, we never got to do that. And coming home from the hospital Ry decided I needed to be protected from seeing all of the wonderful baby items we had collected. He had my sister take the furniture to her place for storage and everything else boxed up.
I didn't enter the other room for a while. I couldn't even call it anything. I would choke as I got to the word 'nursery' because we couldn't call it that any more. And that broke my heart.
And so it became the other room. Not the second bedroom, or even the office. Just, the other room.
I read that having all the items gone suddenly is actually worse emotionally. It helps to hold the clothes, sit in the rocking chair. So I've asked my sister for all the furniture back, and the few outfits Ry and I bought are out for whenever I need them.
Maybe someday we'll use the rocking chair and bassinet. Who knows. Until then my focus in life is still my grief from losing Korbin. And for him, I got a lotta love to give.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Thank You

Upon a coworker's return to work from maternity leave, I felt so suddenly jealous. It's really not a good feeling, especially since she has done nothing wrong towards me. Maybe it's more uber envious, as I don't wish any ill upon her. I just wish I were in her shoes too, with Korbin and Ryan.
Her first day back I couldn't even look at her, or even respond when I think she said hello to me. So not me!! But honestly, I was so afraid of showing even an ounce of pain from my broken heart to everyone in the room.
It just hurts so much knowing she's happy with her beautiful little family, and all I'm doing is missing Korbin and having trouble keeping going with life. I don't get to know the amazing joy of motherhood that she gets to know now.
Today she gave me a card. At first I felt awful thinking that I'd offended her with how I'm acting due to my pain and she was trying to smooth it over. Before opening it I was told she had thought long and hard about giving it to me, and had decided to go ahead with it. It ended up being a thank you card from her baby shower for the gifts I had given her (before we lost Korbin). And tucked inside was a picture of her baby girl. I really was touched, and so grateful that she gave me the option of opening it or whatever else. So many people around me make that decision for me. Not telling me baby stuff, or inviting me to things involving babies. They decide they are protecting me. But it hurts just as much to be left out. (That whole can't win for losing bit again....)
I still had my moment of grief from this card and picture. I tried to cover it up, to walk away from it, but as I was walking back to the lab I just about broke down and could feel how red my face was from almost crying. I wish I could be giving out thank you cards and adorable baby pictures too.
I wish, I wish, I wish. I guess I haven't let go yet. And I'm not sure when I'll be able to.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Baby showers

Yesterday I was an emotional wreck. I didn't really get what was so big about Sunday, until I double checked some work emails and was reminded of a coworker's baby shower scheduled for today. It was such a huge reminder of what I've missed out on. And of course the coworker is having a boy, and most likely without any issues.
Ya, I'm super jealous. Angry even that the shower was planned for today instead of Friday when I'm not there. That no one asked me if I'd be okay with it. But really, how freaking selfish is that? Why should it matter how I feel? Despite the anger and jealousy, I am glad that she did get her shower. She should, there's absolutely no reason her baby shouldn't be celebrated. I just wish Korbin had been celebrated.
Because now I can't even muster up the courage or the energy to go into Babies R Us to print out the registry we finished setting up for him the day before. I avoid the baby section in other stores like it's going to bite me. The thought that I may never see his registry again cuts me to the core, though. I find myself clinging to the littlest things to remind me of what little we had with Korbin.
So, today, I didn't even try to go or get a gift or anything. I actually was borderline having a panic attack all morning until I knew the shower must be over. I learned my lesson when I went to my friend's blessingway. I thought, 'it's not a traditional shower so I can do this.' Boy was I wrong. But today I actually felt bad as I don't think many people went to the shower. I don't think this coworker really got a celebration like she should have. Before losing Korbin, baby showers were planned and talked about at least a month in advance. I really hope the oversight in her case was not because of me. I don't need that too, more guilt on top of the anger and jealousy and bitterness that already consumes me.
Hopefully this feeling bad is a sign that my current stage of coping with Korbin's death is coming to a close sooner than later. I used to love celebrating babies, holding and playing with them. I hope I can feel that way again, because I got a lotta love to give.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Another dream

Last night, I had kind of restless dream about life with Korbin. This is my third dream of him now since June 1st.
I was taking Korbin to school, and at this particular school I have to be with, and work with, him all the time. This is because he's pretty developmentally disabled from being born so prematurely and suffering through such harsh contractions so early in development. So, he needs a lot of help learning very basic things in life. Essentially I'm left choosing between helping him or working still. I obviously can't do both, but he needs me, so I choose him in the end.
This dream shows two things I'm struggling with currently. One, if he were still here, he would not be the perfect baby boy we had imagined. He would have a lot of developmental issues from his body enduring the contractions for so long. He was so bruised when he was born. So tiny and fragile. And two, will I be able to work still when we have more kids? Before having Korbin, it was clear that I was going to be a working mom. I have always wanted that and really dreamed of nothing else. Now that we've had him, I can think of nothing else but spending every waking moment with our future children. I can't stand the thought of losing precious time with them. I've already lost it all with Korbin. So I am trying to hold on extra tight to whatever time I may have with future children.
Of course, this thought of staying home was never part of Ryan's and my master plan, and the idea not only scares him (financially, I believe, as we're both contributors now but it would all be on him then), but I think he would be jealous too. He feels the same way and doesn't want to lose time with our future children either. But we can't both stay home and not work. And I'm pretty sure I'd be jealous if it were him staying home with them.
We both will need a lot of time with our future kids, because we got a lotta love to give.

Friday, November 9, 2012

So sorry

Today at Costco I saw a mini Mini that's battery powered for kids to drive around. I kind of laughed and pointed at it, asking Ry if that's his next car. He just looked straight ahead and didn't say a word. Totally clueless I said, 'okay, nothing to say to that.' And then he said, 'nope, bad memories. I was looking at those the day before.'
I honestly had no idea that this car had any connection to Korbin for him, or that he'd been looking them up the day before we lost Korbin. I felt awful.
People every day say something that seems harmless and completely unrelated to my baby, but to me it stirs up an incredible emotional response and at times I can't do anything but nod my head because uttering a word will make me cry. But I feel like Ry and I are the ones who really understand what we're going through. We both lost Korbin. And so we should be the last ones to say or do something that elicits such emotion.
I could feel the tears welling up as my heart sank and my stomach ached from what I had done to Ryan. A few minutes later he asked me what was wrong. In the middle of Costco with people hustling and bustling around us, I burst into tears and said that I just feel so bad because I didn't mean to bring up such a memory.
Thankfully, we understand more than anyone else can that we're not trying to hurt each other in these moments. I can remember that, as my mom was getting ready to go home after rushing to my side when we lost Korbin, Ry was trying to console me by reminding me she'd be back at the end of July. I immediately burst into tears reminding him that the trip was meant to be for my baby shower. I could see he felt bad for bringing it up, he didn't mean to bring up such an emotional topic for me.
Sometimes it's like we have to walk on egg shells, not just with each other, but even me with myself. Trying to protect our hearts from any sudden thought or memory that can hurt so much. That can break my heart all over again.
My heart feels so full sometimes I think it might burst. I just have so much love for my baby that I don't get to share with him. I got a lotta love to give.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Password

Sometimes I pick something uber personal, something that nobody knows. When I went back to work, I couldn't for the life of me remember my log in, at least that's what I told Kallie so that I didn't have to use my old password set just before losing Korbin. It had been Korbin's name and due date, something I picked and set out of excitement and the fact that we weren't telling anyone his name until we had him.
So, my first day back at work I couldn't bear to type in something that no one was supposed to know yet, such a painful reminder of what was supposed to be. I have of course now changed it, thinking it would be too painful to try and use again. And yet, having changed it hurts just as much as it means I'm still living through each day without him. Every time I enter it I think of what it should be, essentially making even a completely random password painful each time I use it. Even I can't win for losing. Either it hurts to keep it out and in my face each day or it hurts to change it as it feels like I am trying to not remember.
The silliest, most random little things remind me of Korbin, and that I still got a lotta love to give.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Stepmom

In high school my friends referred to her as the wicked stepmother, and I was Cinderella. We didn't get along, or agree on anything. I flat out did not like her. And I couldn't stand how constantly mean and bitter she was.
Now we have an awful thing in common and it kind of scares me. While I was brooding over how much I hated her in high school, she endured four miscarriages, and then a loss at 20weeks. The last was I think the hardest because, if I remember correctly, she had to have the fetus removed and was told to forget about it since, per the doctor doing the procedure, she didn't want this baby anyway. Barely over 12years ago this is how women were told to handle such a devastating loss.
So now, I see her in a different light. I understand the bitterness. I'm bitter, and even a bit mean too. Not that I want to hurt anyone around me, but I'm just hurting so damn much it bursts out of me in other negative ways.
This makes me so utterly grateful for what doctors finally know now, that mothers need to see their child, hold him and love him for as long as needed before saying goodbye. They need the time, and to have their grief and loss acknowledged. All things she never had, until now. With support group and online forums and self help books, I'm in a way encouraging her to show her love for her lost little angels. And finally acknowledging the many devastating losses she endured. Like lighting candles on October 15th for the pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day.
Despite being told to just forget about them, I know she never will. They are forever in her heart, just as Korbin is forever in mine now.
I am a bit scared that I will forever be the bitter person I've always seen my stepmom as, but at the same time knowing there are so many more resources for mothers like me helps a little. We have a connection now, and I see her in such a different light now. Losing happiness does this to a person. And, in an extremely unfortunate way, losing my precious Korbin has shown me that, even for my stepmom, I got a lotta love to give.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Exclamation point

Last night at support group, one of the mom's and I were exchanging our contact info when we discovered a silly connection in our grieving processes. She got my info, and then was writing me a text so I would have hers. She looked up at me suddenly while finishing the text with an exclamation point saying, "I remember when I could first use one of these again." I said, "Oh my God, I couldn't use them for the longest time too!"
In emails, responding to texts, or even posting on Facebook, there was no way I was going to use an exclamation point. I mean, I'm still having trouble even feeling a twinge of excitement for anything. And that's exactly what an exclamation point means to me; excitement. I even boycotted smiley faces, which I've used entirely too much of in the past anyway. But again, no excitement, nothing to be all smiley about.
This other mom and I totally felt delighted that the other had boycotted exclamation points. I think I'm so completely alone in how I deal with my emotions, so it's comforting to find when I'm not so alone.
It sucks to make new friends this way, to have such a deep connection with someone because we both lost our sons. But it's so good to find each other. And these connections remind me that I got a lotta love to give.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Struggles

Every month in support group we talk about our current struggles, and things that we're taking issue with right now. There's the blatantly obvious; duh, my baby's dead. But here are all the things that I struggled with emotionally today:
I woke up to another day alone, a childless mother still.
There are many out there who don't recognize that I am a mother. They don't see children, or a child, hanging around, therefore I'm not a mother. That hurts, and really sucks.
I regret not doing the professional photography service. So many missed photos.
I never counted Korbin's fingers, or his toes. And on that note, I never saw his extra thumb. I imagine it was actually quite adorable, and something we could have easily taken care of later in his life.
I wish I'd snuggled with him when I had him. But I felt immobile from the c-section and pain meds, and the shock from knowing we were never bringing him home. Ever.
Although I guess he is at home with us in that we have his ashes now. But what parent truly wants that? And he's up in Heaven, I pray, so is he actually with us?
And why didn't he just breathe? Why weren't his lungs developed enough at 24wks5days yet Donovan's were developed enough at 24wks3days?
What did the perinatologist do wrong when attempting to intubate?
He shouldn't have scared us into the autopsy. He told us something something must be wrong with Korbin, and that's why he didn't survive. We should really get the autopsy to find out what was wrong with him. Well, nothing. He was a perfectly healthy baby boy, even genetically. And he was cut and sawed apart to figure out basically nothing. I hate that. I feel like he was destroyed by that. I blame the perinatologist for that.
And then we burned him and now his ashes sit on our shelf in a beautiful box that Ryan picked out, engraved with Korbin's name. I don't know I can ever let go of it though.
Why didn't we have a service? Oh ya, parents aren't exactly prepared to, one, tell people their baby died after being born, and two, that there's a funeral. Who can plan a baby's funeral anyway?
Why wasn't it Noah instead of Korbin? I would have been such a better parent. Truly terrifyingly terrible to admit, but it's a thought that keeps resurfacing.
I feel really guilty that my dad and Pam didn't get to meet Korbin, and yet my mom saw him the next day in the morgue. I feel awful about that. And I don't know why I was so afraid to have them there, but I seriously was at the time.
I never ever ever wanted to let go of him, to hand over his lifeless body to a stranger who saw him last.
And finally:
He was cold when I first kissed him. No mother wants to think the child they carried and now hold is lifeless in their arms. And here was Korbin, cold from having been gone so long already.
All in one day, and today was a good day. Still filled with anger, bitterness, jealousy, and sadness. I guess in a way it shows I've got a lotta love to give.

Arbitrary dates

There is still so much frustration with some of my closest friends. As I was explaining why trying again is not such an easy decision and why Ry and I each have our own ideas of timing, my friend commented that we had picked such arbitrary dates that really don't mean anything, like June 1st. I almost slapped her. June 1st is not just any other random day to us, it is and always will now be Korbin's birthday. Always. It shocks me that she can say this to me, but she just really doesn't get it.
She then started talking about when she wants to have kids and said she's glad we still want to have kids someday.
Why do I still try? It is borderline maddening to sit through this calmly and not get outwardly upset. But every encounter involves a blow to my heart. They just don't recognize that I am a mother now, that I've had a child.
Part of me wants them to come to support group, but I can't subject the other moms to such hurtful comments and questions.
Now I just need to focus on the new relationships I am making with some of the moms in my group. They are becoming my new friends who I can actually relate to and find comfort in and maybe someday share excitement with. They are kind and compassionate, understanding and sympathetic. And that is what I need now. I'm already hurting constantly, I don't need others to make me feel even worse.
Because despite the pain, I got a lotta love to give.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween

Halloween has long been my favorite holiday for decorating the house and getting dressed up (in costumes of course). I love zombies and witches and bats and lots of candles, carving pumpkins, and handing out candy to the trick-or-treaters.
This year I really out did myself (though still nothing crazy huge). I think it was mostly to keep myself focused on something I enjoy about this time of year instead of the nagging heaviness in my heart that is Korbin's absence.
I picked out our costumes, for our whole little family, when Ry and I were only just trying to get pregnant. It was only too perfect that we were having a boy, Korbin, as I wanted us to be Morticia, Gomez and Pubert Addams from the Addams' Family Values movie. As October started, I was reminded of how this was not going to happen, reminding me of just how broken my heart still is.
So what do I for now then? What's the point? As I told Ry when he expressed that it doesn't matter to him, the decorations and pumpkin carving and whatnot, I told him I have to have some sort of purpose right now. And doing all these artsy crafty things for the time of year is the only purpose I'm finding right now. I used to do it to start traditions for my new family.
Despite all my attempts, it's all empty. There are no children to do it for. And that's how all of the holidays will be this year. Empty, no matter how hard I try to keep busy. And tonight is no exception as I sit here alone watching scary movies while Ry is away for work and Korbin's gone forever, and only two trick-or-treaters total.
I don't know how to survive the holidays without Korbin, with the aching emptiness that's filled me now. He would have been the cutest stinkin' Pubert Addams, with the little mustache and mini tux. So freakin' adorable. But I have to keep doing and going, because I got a lotta love to give.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What do you do with those emails?

I'm in the business of making babies. It seems kind of sick and twisted in that I'm really not hopeful at all about pregnancy right now, yet that is what I have to give our patients. Hope.
With the emails, we check up on all of our patients to see how the pregnancy went and what the outcome was. We have to report all of this basic data, but the patients love to send newborn photos. I'd say there's maybe ten a week...and I delete them all. They all have the same title so I know which emails to not even open. It's just part of that bitterness that I'm not past yet.
And on that note, I am doing transfers now. Probably the most important part of the whole IVF process. And part of that is talking to the patients about being pregnant, and how next year this time they'll have their baby. I hate that part. Again, I don't feel the hope I am supposed to exude to them. I wish I could just tell them, 'here's the pic, they look great, okay let's do this and I'll leave' because that is how I feel on the inside.
We also talk with patients about what happens in the lab. I do enjoy discussing the science behind IVF with the patients, but I dread the day that a patient asks about my kids. While part of me feels more of a connection with the patients because many of them have dealt with a loss, even multiple losses, before. Yet many feel like we don't understand how they feel (which is true for the rest of my coworkers, save one of the docs). But really I do understand, and I don't want that to come about in a confrontational way. Trying to make a family is an emotional business. Boy do I know that part of it now.
As I did my first transfer (who got pregnant, yay for her), I was able to spit out things like 'be pregnant' and 'I'll be checking for that positive test in 10 days' and it hurt less inside than I thought it would. Dealing with the pain gets easier, even though the pain itself never lessens.
So I guess here's to hoping that there will be hope eventually, because I got a lotta love to give.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Noah Michele

Since losing Korbin I haven't held or even let myself get too close to my adorable nephew, Noah. This made me feel like an awful aunt at first, but my family quickly assured me he's too young to know or understand any of that. He is just a baby still, not even a year old.
Tonight I pushed myself just a titch and asked to hold him. It was quick, he's quite the mama's boy. But I was surprised at how much my heart didn't hurt. This whole time I've been guarding my heart, thinking holding other babies will make me wish I were holding Korbin, make me ache for him. But I always wish I were holding Korbin. That's always there, no matter if there's another baby present or I'm alone and on Pinterest. I just miss him.
What also surprised me was how much it warmed my heart to have some contact with Noah. Now, I'm not saying holding him and playing with him made me miss Korbin less, or even eased the pain I feel 24/7. But rather, there is a part of me that is still separate from Korbin. Maybe the part of my heart that's reserved for future kids? Family and friends? Although I am all consumed by the pain I feel from Korbin's loss, I still have Ryan, family, friends, that I love and enjoy. Maybe this is the next step, coming down from the bitter anger and jealousy and being able to open up other parts of my heart to love others like I did before.
The hole will always be there, but I still have the rest of my heart full of love, and I got a lotta love to give.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Aren't you excited?!?

Nope, at least, not any more.
Before losing Korbin I was so freaking excited about life I could hardly stand it. Now that's gone.
I used to be the one who would get excited over the tiniest of things: getting mail (even bills!), having dinner with friends, seeing Ry after work, then getting pregnant, and then dreaming of life with Korbin. Life had always been so full of things to be excited about.
Then Korbin came too soon and was gone before we even had time to realize what had happened. All of that mounting excitement ripped from us, stolen by fate.
I can remember asking Ryan at the end of June if he was excited about something with work. He said 'no' kind of like 'um, duh I'm not excited.' Of course, as soon as the words had left my mouth I knew it was a dumb question. I'm not excited about anything any more, why should Ryan be?
Now it feels like there's nothing to be excited about in life. It all feels like 'ya, whatever, whoopty do.'
Except I think I felt a twinge of excitement last Tuesday as I thought about my upcoming trip to CO to see my mom and Joe. We had so much to look forward to, but there was that fleeting moment of a flutter in my stomachs of excitement.
But besides that, all I seem to have is just things to look forward to. I'm trying to remember I still have Ry, family, friends. Plans and good things happening career-wise. And yet it's all just kind of there. I feel mostly lost still, and I'd be completely lost if it weren't for Ry and his pushing me to keep going.
I guess that's all I can expect still, to simply keep going right now, because I got a lotta love to give.

More dreams

Last night I dreamed of Korbin, the second dream I've had of him now since we lost him.
It was peaceful, just a day in the life with my baby boy. He was walking now, and nothing else mattered in the world. I had left the car unlocked and the doors were open, but Korbin was safe with me and I was happy. We were a family.
I try to imagine him all the time. What would we be doing now? I know what he looks like, but how would he grow? Would he be a full sized baby now? Or still small and struggling for life like so many premies do for the first year of life.
As I travel down that road of questions, I realize what a scary thought process it is. It's like I didn't have him, because there aren't any memories or knowledge of how he would have grown or looked now. How his development would be. There is so much I didn't get with him. That I'll never get.
It scares me to wonder because I did have him. He did happen, just not how I had hoped and dreamed. He should still be here, taking up every minute of my day so I'm exhausted each night. And yet I have to realize, however painful it is, that he's not here. He'll never be here. But, because of him, I got a lotta love to give.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

TV Shows

I swear, someone is pregnant in all of our favorite TV shows. Pregnancy is everywhere!! Even commercials with the I-want-a-baby-now-I-get-one-because-the-test-is-positive crap. Ya, I'm still bitter. But I'm bitter because I've tasted reality now. Not every positive equals a baby. And it makes me sad that I think that way too. Losing Korbin has essentially stolen my hope. Maybe it will someday return, just not right now.
On that note, and here is a spoiler alert if you are watching Walking Dead but haven't seen the third season opener yet, I had forgotten Lori was pregnant and there she appeared with her big belly. One, it looked too fake to be passable as a baby belly. And two, when she said she thought she lost the baby and asked whether it could be a zombie now since they are all infected...I chuckled. Part of me was like, good, someone else losing a baby. This totally plays into how isolated I feel amongst friends, family, even coworkers, now that I have lost a baby. Only those in my support group know in a way how I feel every day. Understand that this is my new normal. While some friends don't get and don't seem to want to get it either.
I have friends who announce they are trying, then show the positive test to the world. And it makes me bitter, even to a point of wishing awful things for them just so that they know the reality that I know. Why does it have to be so easy for some, and so incredibly scary and difficult for others?
I hope the bitterness goes away soon, because deep down I got a lotta love to give.

Monday, October 15, 2012

October 15th

Tonight we lit a candle in Korbin's memory, and one for all those who know the loss of a baby, full term or not. In 1988, president Reagan declared October Pregnancy and infant loss awareness month.
This is silly but, finding this out, I felt kind of bad as I had been thinking to myself that all the celebrities and famous and rich getting pregnant are so lucky. They have loads of money and don't have to work every day so they can sit on their butts and do nothing until their baby is born, full term and healthy. And here, someone well known was actually bringing attention to this life-changing event that many live through, sometimes completely unbeknownst to everyone around them.
Still, I feel jealous of celebrities because the rest of us work too hard, and sometimes that contributes to early labor. I often wonder if that's why I went into labor. A bit self-defeating, but I can't help it.
I guess that's something I need to work on, because I got a lotta love to give.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Holding babies

My arms ache to hold my baby. To cradle him and rock him, feel his weight in my arms. Sometimes I still become completely overwhelmed by my grief, finding myself suddenly in a state of disbelief that he's gone. That he's still gone. There are moments when I really think it didn't happen and I have this amazing, happy vision of the three of us. And it breaks my heart to wake up from the momentary day dream to reality.
My dearest friend sent me a link with info on joining the group Cuddle Babies at Swedish. Volunteers hold babies and interact with children who are waiting for their parents or have extended hospital stays. She saw a couple who had a loss at 18weeks and that's what the father did in memory of his son.
While I see it as a beautiful thing to do, I'm not sure my poor broken heart can take it right now. I don't think I'm strong enough to hold someone else's baby and be okay still. I haven't even held my friend's new baby, even though I want to. Right now it feels like a punch to my gut, because I held Korbin, and I will myself back to that moment all the time. And it feels like I would be cheating on him in a way.
Maybe in time I can do something like this. I just don't have the strength or the courage right now. But I do so appreciate my friend giving me the opportunity to even just consider this, as it's an amazing gift a person can give to a child being hospitalized.
As she put it, Korbin would want me to give back, and share my energy, hope and touch with other babies. Because I got a lotta love to give.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Time heals all wounds

What a load of crap.
Seriously, at least that's where I am right now. Feeling Korbin's absence even more the past couple of weeks. So really, I hate hearing that from people right now.
Honestly, I've disliked that from the very beginning. I'm the one who has to go to bed each night, wishing and hoping and thinking and praying I'll finally wake up from this nightmare, only to wake up and face yet another day without Korbin. It breaks my heart that time keeps passing, that it's already been over four months. That I just have to keep living each day now with this hole in my life.
Today we went to Crabfest, our annual trip to Port Angeles. A beautiful drive that ends in me eating too much rich, buttery, fresh caught crab, and Ry and me spending the rest of our time there wandering around the port. As we were leaving, I saw a flash of an image of us with Korbin. He was in the stroller, and we looked so happy, having such a great time as a family. Complete with a bright red stuffed crab souvenir for the nursery. In an instant the image was gone, just as quickly as it had come to me. And I about crumbled on the spot. It tears at my heart, and churns my stomach. The pain is still so fresh as we still have to go through all the things we wanted to do and share with Korbin alone, just the two of us now. The last time we were there, I was 18wks pregnant, and that day I felt Korbin's fluttering movements for the first. We returned today empty.
I read the holidays are hard, I just didn't expect it to be so hard already. I miss my baby so much. My son whom I want with me more than anything now.
I got a lotta love to give.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hard talks

The person I need to talk to most is the one who I fear wants to hear it least. In my eyes, he seems fine each day, moving through life much easier than I feel I can.
Ryan and I fight often now. Not the major blow outs where he ends up on a drive to cool down and I panic from my abandonment issues. But we just don't get along. And he pointed that out today after I had been crying in the car after another disagreement. To that I replied that we need to talk more, but I feel like he doesn't want to hear it. It was painful to get out, but I expressed how much I am still grieving, which has changed me and how I react to him on a daily basis. I'm negative. And I laid out everything I'm angry about right now; friends, feeling jealous, the exhaustion, work, and effing babies everywhere I look.
The last thing we want to focus on is the pain, but I can't get away from it still. I said that he should be who I turn to, not a once-a-month support group. And he confessed he is still grieving too. It's just so different between the two of us that it's hard to come together to move forward.
We look at things differently; like what it means to have another child, even the timing of when to think about trying again. And we're pushing each other, even though it's completely maddening to do so. But we have to keep doing that, pushing and talking. And yet we have to have patience.
Because despite the pain, we got a lotta love to give.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Boys and Girls Club

I haven't been back yet. All the kids were so excited for me to have my baby. It's like I failed them. That's kind of a twisted part of my grieving, the feeling that I failed in the eyes of everyone around me.
Today Ryan and I went for a jog at the track by our house and, sure enough, all the kids were there with Miss Cheryl. I stopped to say hello, and immediately they all asked where my baby was. One boy, Justin, hugged me and patted my stomach, asking if my baby was still in there. Miss Cheryl tried to just quiet them but I asked if it was okay to tell them. She said of course, and so I told all these amazing kids that he didn't make it, he just came too soon and his lungs weren't ready yet. The kids were all so shocked, but then Miss Cheryl said he's in a better place. Another girl said with a smile, 'Heaven!' Then, and I absolutely LOVED this, another girl asked, 'what did you name him?' I could do nothing but smile. When so many around us assume you don't name a child you've lost, a young girl didn't think twice that we hadn't named Korbin. This seriously warmed my heart and I can't even express how much I appreciated this from these kids, most younger than 10years old. I showed them all my tattoo of Korbin's footprints and they were so amazed by them.
Earlier today I showed the tattoo to a coworker, and she reached out and touched one of the footprints gently with just the tip of her finger. That moment was incredible. I put my hand over them all the time as it's the only way I can feel I'm holding my baby. For Julie to reach out the way she did, it just meant so much that she felt the need to connect with Korbin too. No one else has done that, and it never occurred to me that I would actually appreciate the gesture so much.
As for the kids, I'm still unsure about going back. There's a stronger pull today after seeing them and getting past the fear of how they will react to me. But a piece of me died when Korbin died, leaving me a bit lost, and so I'm still struggling with finding what keeps me going each day.
Whether I go back to volunteering or not, I got a lotta love to give.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Kill the baby!!!

Ya, that's an awkward statement. And one a coworker repeated to me multiple times while telling me a story about a baby spider.
I know that the story was about a spider, with no connections whatsoever to actual babies. But I am so incredibly ultra-sensitive still that all I could feel was heartache upon hearing this statement said over and over again.
It feels ridiculous to react emotionally to things that are in no way connected to losing a child. But I connect everything with losing Korbin. It's what makes every day of my life now a challenge to live through without an emotional breakdown.
There's still so much grieving to get through because I have, and always will have, so much love for Korbin.
I got a lotta love to give.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

When will you try again?

I get asked this all the time. It doesn't exactly bother me, but it makes me wonder how open we'll be next time around. I mean, we didn't tell people we were trying before. And we didn't really tell people I was pregnant until I was at least 12weeks along. Ry has even asked if I will post up ultrasound pictures on Facebook next time. And in group, all of the moms pretty much agree it's bad karma to post them up. We're all very bitter.
But will I really want to hide it? And with all of the new issues we'll be facing next time around, will I be able to not blog about it here? I actually am leaning toward wanting to be completely open and honest about all of it when it happens. It's what I strive to do with this blog in the first place. Trying again will be joyful, but scary at the same time. And I think I want to record it all. I will want the joy and excitement of our next baby just as much as I wanted it with Korbin. And sharing it, while not doing so may be a way of protecting ourselves from possible pain again, will help me deal with my new anxieties that I know I'll have next time around.
This topic of timing is still a sore subject between Ryan and me. He says it is unfair to push him too much too soon when he's really not ready. On the flip side, it's equally unfair of him to ask me to just sit around and wait. And wait and wait and wait. I feel like we're putting life on hold, our family on hold. While he sees that we're still doing and accomplishing a lot right now. It's the reason I'm sure that we didn't speak to each other much this past week, except when we were fighting. (We've made up now, but we know the road is still a bumpy one.)
Only time will tell how things unfold. In the meantime, I got a lotta love to give.

Friday, October 5, 2012

I know exactly how you feel...

I have heard this countless times from people I know. And it frustrates me to no end. Especially when they are comparing a miscarriage to having a baby who then dies shortly after birth. Now, I don't want to discredit the loss a person feels when they have a miscarriage, but it is certainly not how I feel having lost Korbin.
I can't stop dwelling on this after what was discussed in my support group last night. Another mom brought it up. And I joined in as it really does bother me, and I felt I still needed to vent apparently. I was saying that I want to tell these people who know exactly how I feel that no, they don't. They didn't hold a baby and then have a nurse ask if they were ready to let go for forever.
At this point the facilitator stepped in to say that we should all recognize that a loss is a loss, miscarriage or not. They are different but we need to remember that the new people in the group haven't spoken so we don't know their stories yet. The first mom and I agreed that ya, definitely we are not trying to say that someone who has experienced a miscarriage hasn't experienced a loss.
Well, guess what the two new couples in the room were there for: miscarriages. Of course. Now my words of venting frustration were just incredibly harsh, and very unfeeling. I felt awful. The first mom and I of course tried to over talk afterwards, but we were so perplexed to learn that these couples' miscarriages were at 18 and 17 weeks. That is so far along! I can't imagine what they are feeling. And especially after what the first mom and I vented about.
I spoke with the facilitator after group was over and she was so great, saying I shouldn't feel bad for what I said. She felt the same way. It's what group is for. I just hope the first mom and I didn't scare away these new couples. I also felt for them when the facilitator asked for everyone to share baby pictures if they have them. I don't think they got to have that opportunity with how a loss before 20weeks is handled.
I guess I need to be careful how I vent in group, making sure I hear everyone out before possibly targeting a group who is still very much included. I want to think I can go there to get out what no one else will understand. But last night I definitely did not sound caring toward those around me, so I need to be better at showing that I got a lotta love to give.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Life must be boring...?!?

A dear friend actually tried to put herself in my shoes and imagine what I must feel right now. And I am so grateful for the attempt at understanding that she made, even after she admitted that she can't actually understand how we must feel these days.
She went through the thoughts of how we were expecting Korbin to be here, especially now. And it was supposed to the three of us, but it's still just the two of us. And how boring that must feel when we were so ready to have him with us.
She went on to then try and imagine how I wake up every morning to face the reality that is my life now - empty without him basically - and then realized what a mind trip this is that I'm in now. She then asked, 'how do you change your thinking to accept reality every single day?'
The truth is, I haven't yet. It's why I don't sleep well, and why I don't feel I have much to look forward to any more. Everything was supposed to include Korbin, like the trips we were planning and how we're arranging the house. He became my reason for doing anything and everything in life. So what do I do without him now?
I got a lotta love to give, and I just wish Korbin were here for me to give my love to him.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Piece of him

This is totally fascinating to my scientific mind and my broken heart.
I keep telling myself how Korbin's footprints are the only thing I have left of him physically, but as it turns out his cells are still living within me! I saw this Journal article today about how male only fetal cells actually insert themselves into a mother's brain during pregnancy, causing a type of chimerism. It has a lot of implications for disease, but really it soothes my heart somewhat in a weird psychological way. I can say I carry a piece of him with me for the rest of my life. The rest of it doesn't really matter to me, honestly. Just knowing he's with me more than just spiritually is awesome enough. And at this point I just latch onto anything that makes my broken heart feel a little less so broken, so I'll just focus on that.
Feeling a little bit more okay right now, I got a lotta love to give.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Rationalising

The other day my boss and I had a discussion about how our scientific minds seek to rationalize events, essentially battling our emotional side.
What I didn't say aloud was that my mind has gone through the rationalizing of Korbin's death. And I feel ashamed to admit that, as well as guilty that the thoughts even crossed my mind. Thoughts such as, "well, at least we don't have to worry about daycare," or, "at least we can still do whatever we want without worrying about a baby." But immediately after those thoughts my emotional side takes control, flooding me with guilt, as there is no good reason for Korbin to have passed. Besides, I so wish I could have those worries; day care, doctors visits and vaccines, or even sleepless nights. Deep down, I don't really think the rational thoughts, I can't. But my mind can't help trying to make sense of what happened.
A friend commented on the amount of guilt I carry with me. I hadn't noticed how much guilt I'd been feeling, I just knew it was naturally there. But there is guilt associated with every single aspect of Korbin's passing, and each day I wake up and have to face reality. Guilt because I should have known what to do, should have been able to save him, didn't cry or think about him enough one day. So much guilt. But only because I feel so much love for him still.
I just hope I can squeeze in some love for our future children, because I got a lotta love to give.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Do you have kids?

This question has come up multiple times in the last couple of months. I've never been asked this before having Korbin. But I can't deny his existence, short as it was, and so I say yes. But I'm honest and I give the whole truth. Part of me is thinking, you poor thing, you'll be sorry you asked. And they're always shocked, definitely completely unsuspecting of the answer I give.
Society and our culture are so expectant when it comes to having children. A positive pregnancy test equals a baby. Being married equals having kids. Knowing the harsh reality of how off-base these expectations are has left me very bitter. I no longer see pregnancy as a guarantee to having children. And this in turn makes me feel like the poor, sad, childless mother who doesn't want to bring everyone around me down to the level of hurt and sadness that I know. I think that's why I have trouble letting others see my tears. They don't need to know my pain. Even though I desperately need them to understand. They won't and they don't.
Despite the sadness that has settled in my heart, I got a lotta love to give.