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


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.

Monday, September 24, 2012 fail

I used to love those weekly updates about how Korbin was developing inside me. Then we lost him and the updates just broke my heart. I still have the 24week update, but no others. I stopped the emails and everything a few weeks after losing him.
Last week I was checking my hotmail junk account and was shocked to see a 40week you've-hit-your-dye-date update. My hotmail account has never been used for anything ever. Only my gmail account. I thought it must be junk mail, cruel and oddly timed junk mail that is. Until yesterday I received an update about my one week old baby. I haven't really broken down in a while, but last night I pretty much cried myself to sleep. Thank you,, for the cruel message that only reminds of the emptiness I am feeling in my life now. I'd say something to them, but I can't bring myself to open the emails or go to their website to say anything. It's too painful. Do they search for people who turn off the email updates? See if there's a different way to reach them? I'd love to happily receive those, but reality proves I can't.
As hard as life is at times, I know that deep down I need to not get so upset because I got a lotta love to give.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Some days I just feel such an emptiness around me. Not physically, like I'm still supposed to be pregnant, but more so in life. Home feels empty, and it keeps me from being able to really sit and relax. That's when I feel Korbin's absence most because I know I should be cradling, bathing, feeding or changing him. Trying to soothe him when he cries. Parents around me complain about how little time they have now, yet I crave being that busy.
It really frustrates me too as I know there are some around me who don't recognize this emptiness that I feel. Saying things like, 'I know you'll have children someday.' I did have a child, thank you very much. And he's gone, leaving me to always wonder what his personality would have been, or even just how he'd react to Bear and Seven licking his toes. Then there's the opposite, equally as frustrating, when people who know just look at me differently. Like they feel sorry for me. I appreciate that they want me to know their sympathies. But it sucks to be treated differently. I feel it when I enter a room, the elephant in the room, the hushed conversations about others' babies. I'm unhappy either way; whether they trudge on like everything's okay or they stop talking about certain things to try and keep from hurting me.
It just sucks. How much this has changed me. And how it has changed the way those around me treat me. Included, excluded.
Whether others see it or not, I got a lotta love to give.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


My dad may not be able to express himself emotionally very well (which is probably where I get that from), but tonight I was shocked in an amazingly good way by his emotional response to our loss.
I logged onto Facebook only to see that he had renamed his barn 'Six Angels Farm' from five angels before. He and my stepmom lost five babies before they had my baby brother, Jackson, who is now 11.
I can't even begin to describe how much I truly appreciate this amazing gesture. Something I had no clue they were even thinking of doing. While I try my best to memorialize Korbin in all I do, I forget that there are others who need to do this as well; aunts, uncles, grandparents. It truly is an amazing thing for my dad to do and means so much to us both.
Korbin is remembered by all of our family, and it warms my heart to know that too.
While others in our family do great things in memory of Korbin, I got a lotta love to give.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


There are still moments where my mind suddenly goes to June 1st and all of its horrible events. I think of how much faith I placed in the hands of the docs taking care of me, assuring me Korbin could be just fine. And it breaks my heart all over again. The perinatologist said there must be something wrong with his lungs and heart, and that is why he didn't survive. When it was time for the death certificate to be mailed to us, I panicked that we hadn't received his birth certificate yet. I had to have that before I could let the death certificate enter my mind. We drove to the hospital, filled out the forms, waited in line, and then got Korbin's birth certificate. The death certificate came the next day. When I opened it, I saw the cause of death: extreme prematurity. I instantly felt defeated, but then assured myself that no, we hadn't received the autopsy results yet, so that couldn't be it. And a friend mentioned that we could update it with the real cause of death when we found that out.
Then the autopsy results came (this was mid July now). My OB called to discuss them saying there was good news but bad news. The bad news, Korbin just came too soon. The good news, we didn't have to worry about future genetic testing or IVF like we had thought. Despite this 'good news' I felt devastated. Betrayed my body. Defeated. Why couldn't my body keep him in and safe until he could breathe on his own? Why? The reason for losing Korbin was suddenly gone; there's no good reason why he had to die. I had been okay thinking that it was all due to a problem that wasn't correctable. But for him to die for no reason? So completely unfair.
I see pregnant women almost every day as I leave work who are about to pop and it's become this awful, constant reminder of how my body failed me, how it failed Korbin. It makes me drop my head somewhat in shame. Like I'm a failure because I couldn't do the most important thing, deliver my healthy son to the world. Defeated.
It sucks, it really sucks. The raw, harsh reality of what life is for me now. Empty, almost boring because I long so much to be busy with caring for my baby who needs my attention constantly. I still have Ryan. But I have to relearn how to be okay with it being just the two of us, when it was supposed to be the three of us now.
I know deep down, for my entire family, I've got a lotta love to give.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Are you...?

I've been baking a ton lately, just trying to keep busy with anything possible. And I like it. I like being a 'holly home-maker' and doing stuff I can give to others. The neighbors we enjoy hanging out with often are always cooking for us, so I figure it's the least I can do to repay them. Today I brought over some mini apple tarts, telling Lan I have just been in such a baking mood lately. She got a twinkle in her eye, smiled, and asked, 'are you..?' I immediately said no. In my head I'm thinking, hello, of course I'm not pregnant right now. But I didn't feel hurt by her asking me. Culturally, it makes sense; in Thai/Vietnamese culture you look forward and keep trying, just accepting what's happened. But more than anything, her compassion with us has kept me drawn to her for comfort.
This made me question why, when I've begun shutting out so many because they're pregnant/having their babies (who are all surviving) or those who keep saying hurtful things (that they don't mean, but they just don't need to say all the same), I keep turning to my neighbor, or my about-to-pop-any-day-now closest girl friend. And it all boils down to their incredible compassion, and willingness to listen to my need to talk about Korbin, and acceptance of my brutal honesty.
Sometimes I guess I do still got a lotta love to give.

Gray Hair

Yesterday I noticed how gray the hair was on one of the doc's heads at work. It totally makes sense as she's a go go go type of person with three kids at home. Super busy but loves life. Exactly who and where I want to be.
And then I remembered that Ry found one, wiry, thick white hair on my head a few weeks ago. He plucked it and gave it to me, and I just stared at it. I thought of how my mom used to joke that us kids gave her gray hair. So, it's something I have only ever associated with running after my crazy kids. Not losing them. But, I guess that it makes sense for me, being that I'm dealing with an incredible amount of emotional stress on a daily basis.
I used to be such a happy-go-lucky person. Always the glass is half full. Now I just feel bitter, and empty. Devoid of life and the happiness I once felt.
Still wondering if I really do got a lotta love to give....

Monday, September 17, 2012


The sight of the calendar at work breaks my heart each time I see it. September 16th read "Lisa's Due Date" until June 1st. In the lab, we all place bets on when someone who's pregnant will actually have their kid, and even the weight. I was so looking forward to seeing everyone put their guesses up, and finding out for myself when Korbin would arrive and how big he'd be. The excitement and wonder in all of that was just so suddenly stolen when he came too soon. I wish with all my heart he were still here. I can't even begin to describe how my heart aches for my family to be complete.
As this weekend passed, I was so checked out I don't think I cried once. It's bottling up inside of me, I can feel it welling up. But it's like this new, stoic part of me is trying to tell the rest of me, 'no, be strong, don't cry.' I'm not even sure I'm okay with this side that's surfacing. What Ido know is that it hurts to see September 16th and no longer have it say 'Baby Love Due' as our home calendar once read. Instead it's scribbled out completely.
This is one of those times when I wonder if I still got a lotta love to give. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Sunday, September 16, 2012


The tattoos are healing and I definitely feel a sense of peace from them. But they anger me too, and make me sad, from the pure fact that I have to have mine to feel the physical presence of my child. The only physical thing I have of him is his footprints. Well, we have his ashes as well, but I'm having issues emotionally being okay with them. 
As all tattoos have incredible meaning, here is mine explained:

What it is: Korbin's footprints from when he was born. As mentioned above, the only physical thing I feel I have of him. When first researching footprint tattoos, I initially felt wanting them was so cliche, they were everywhere on the Internet. Then I realized people like me get them for obvious reasons, when they're all you've got, of course you put them permanently on your body.

The inscription: 'Baby Love, My Baby Love' is from what I began singing to him when I was still pregnant, and what I imagined myself singing to him while dancing around the house after he was born. I looked up the words to the actual song; it's an awful song about an awful cheating man. But the words were different in my head; full of happiness and joy and love for my beautiful first boy. Below his footprints is his full name, because even if others don't want to hear it as they're afraid I'm too sad to speak of him, I have to say his name, as often as possible.

Placement: Initially, I wanted this over my heart, which, contrary to what many believe, is dead-center in your chest. Ryan and I said it to each other while I was still recovering in the hospital. We needed to have him as close to our hearts as possible. But, I don't like such in-your-face tattoos. They seem too sexual, especially on a girl. Just my personal opinion. So, to the left became perfect from when Korbin came to me in a dream. I held him oh so tight on my left shoulder and just cradled him, rocking side to side.

It's a big tattoo, and still very visible, which is very unlike me when t comes to tattoos. My others are all hidden and really just for me. But I can't keep Korbin hidden. I want the world to know my precious baby. There's a beautiful quote I found when researching tattoos: 'A tiny flower lent, not given, to bud on Earth and bloom in Heaven.' As beautiful as it is, it still breaks my heart. Especially today, my would-be due date. I've definitely checked out, even felt a bit delirious, and just gone through the motions of life with things like when it's time to eat and sleep. Just the basic, okay, it's time for this, but no further thought into it than that. I just miss my baby boy, the magic and wonder of becoming a parent, the excitement. It's days like today that are painful reminders that he really is gone, never to return to my aching arms.
I got a lotta love to give.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


This weekend I am feeling extremely selfish about two things. First, and this is awful to ask for, (well, they both are) my dearest friend was due the 13th and I am so afraid emotionally that she'll go into labor and/or have her baby on the 16th. And second, that my ailing grandmother won't survive the weekend.
My heart can't handle either of these this weekend. And it's so selfish to ask God for these things to not happen just yet. But I just can't take either of them, not this weekend. These two thoughts have kind of broken me down over the past week.
I like to think I've got a lotta love to give, but it's thoughts and moments like this that make second guess what I'm capable of giving right now.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Checked out

As I enter this weekend, approaching Krbin's woud-be due date, I have been apprehensive about how I may feel. And also just completely unknowing. Thankfully, my boss has the compassion and understanding that this is a tough weekend for me, and hasn't expected me to work or push through. Today she asked if I had a headache seeing that I wore my glasses. All I could get out was that I haven't slept well this week. She stopped what she was doing and just gently squeezed my shoulder, saying, 'ya, I've been wondering how you're doing. And I've been thinking about you.' I almost broke right there, but somehow got through the work day. When I was leaving, she gave me a big hug, and said she'll be thinking of us. She kind of rushed back to work but for a split second I caught her eye and I think she was doing her best to not cry in front of me. Part of me still has this very rational thought that says, 'hey, this is ridiculous, you are okay, why are you so mopey. Snap out of it.' But my heart knows better than to listen to that. Of course I'm a wreck right now. As Cindee said today, 'baby steps, big hurdles.'
We got our tattoos today. And while there is some sort of peace and relief in that Korbin's permanently physically with me now, I don't know that I'm doing better. I kind of expected this overwhelming sense of peace, or closure. But really I've just checked out. Numb. And overwhelmingly emotionally drained.
Maybe as the tattoo heals physically, there will be some emotional healing as well. My heart is just so empty, and yet full, because I got a lotta love to give.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


The bond between mother and child that develops with pregnancy is unlike any I've ever experienced before. And something I can never give to Ryan or help him understand. He confessed that to me last night; that he doesn't know the bond I had with Korbin. It breaks my heart that I can't give that to him. It's ultimately why I feel so broken and defeated. I just wanted to give Ryan our son. I felt Korbin's movements, his kicks, and the magic of having him inside me. But Ryan didn't get to experience any of that. Which also likely contributes to how differently we are grieving.
This week I thought I was doing okay. But as we rapidly approach my should-have-been due date, it's as if the flood gates have opened once more. Fresh pain, sorrow, and tears. It's really crazy how much I physically feel the loss of Korbin at times. What never changes, though, is the deep, dull ache within my heart. I actually wasn't sure I could get through work today without an emotional breakdown. Especially since last night I dreamed I was desperately calling out to Korbin. At first it was more like calling him inside from playing, but as time passed and he didn't show up, the calling out to him became more and more desperate. He never came to me. Not being able to call out his name, to talk to him, to say, 'I love you, Korbin' or, 'Korbin, come here,' and have him present to respond reduces me to tears even as I write this. We so carefully chose the perfect name for him and I imagined talking to him. Actually, I had already started talking to him, telling him good night, and that I loved him, all while rubbing my growing belly and feeling his kicks. Sometimes he even seemed to respond with a kick, like he acknowledged or heard me. I loved him so much. I still love him so much. I miss him, and I so wish he were here still.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Everything happens for a reason. I do believe this. But it's hard to think that there's a good reason Korbin isn't with us right now. I've been struggling with this over the past few months, especially when I let myself wander down the dark path of why's that inevitably leads to new depths of despair I've never known before. What reason is there for my baby to die? A very close friend told me that, as much as she prayed and thought about it, she could not come up with the lesson there is in all of this for us.
Then today, Ry jokingly said, 'There's a lesson in everything.' I replied, 'Oh ya? What's the lesson in Korbin dying?' 'Life sucks, Lis. Life sucks.' Yup, so true. I'm reminded of a quote a friend shared:
"Most of life is hell. It's filled with failure and loss. People disappoint you; dreams don't work out; hearts get broken.... And the best moments of life, when everything comes together, are few and fleeting. But you'll never get to the next moment if you don't keep going. So that's what I do, I keep going." (Political Animals)
All I can do is keep going. I don't really have energy for anything else. I just keep living, clinging desperately to the sliver of hope that one day we'll be happy in life. But I do still wonder, will we ever be satisfied?
Somewhere deep within me, I still got a lotta love to give.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Oh, you're pregnant...

It's awful to admit, but I can't stand hearing this 'good news' right now. And I don't know when I will be able to stand it. Honestly, even hearing that a close friend is trying again. Really, did you have to share this with me? I have no congrats to offer right now. And it actually kind of pisses me off. Especially as another friend, right in front of me, "do you want a boy?" and of course the other responded that of course she does, she already has a girl. It's a slap in the face. And it's as if everyone around me is rubbing it in how fertile and easy having children and creating a family is...for them. Lucky for them they all get to remain so naive to the harsh realities some of us have to face.
As one mom in support group said, "I have no happiness for myself, how can I have any for you?" Yes, yes, YES. I have been thinking this to myself for quite some time now. Especially as I see joyful updates of anticipated births on Facebook every time I log on. I have now hidden every single happy person on Facebook who can't stop showing off their newborn or new ultrasound pictures or signs of labor. Yup, I don't want to see it at all. Maybe just a tad bit bitter still....

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Molly Bears

So, it's the little things in life to get excited about now. And they all revolve around Korbin and memorializing him. At support group this week I learned of Molly Bears and am excited to get ours in the next 3-4 months or so. Basically, a mom lost her baby whom she had named Molly. A close friend gave her family a teddy bear that weighed 3lbs. She decided she wanted the bear to weigh as much as her Molly did and so she added rice to match her weight exactly. The birth of Molly Bears. This bear was so soothing to her that she decided to devote a portion of each paycheck to making one bear for a family who has just lost their baby. Demand has grown so much, I think just by word of mouth and support groups, that she now has the non-profit Molly Bears and is in multiple states. And I think she started here in Washington state.
Anyway, I'm registered now, but we can't add our names to the list to receive one until September 30th. Registration is only open once a month. I'm really glad I heard of this and am excited to register for our bear. We get to customize him too! It will be really nice to cuddle the bear just the way I had hoped to cuddle Korbin. Because I still got a lotta love to give.

Making my dreams come true

I really used to think I had the power to make my dreams come true. What's apparent now, unfortunately, is that I have no control in this thing we call life. My two dreams were to become a physician and to have a family. I wanted to be the crazy busy working mom. Now I just feel lost. I worked so hard to get into medical school only to not receive a single interview invite this past application cycle. But, no worries, we were starting our family. Career goals can still happen during or after that starts. Then my baby was ripped from me suddenly and so unexpectedly. No family either. At least, not in the sense I was hoping for. All these hopes and dreams. What now? What's next? Do I keep trying when the universe is so obviously telling me, 'nope, not yet'...?
Life is such an interesting adventure. A journey with hills and valleys. It's funny, after reading 'Cutting for Stone' I distinctly remember saying to a coworker that the story would not have been beautiful if the devastating deaths within it had not happened. But that's not what I meant for real life. That's not supposed to be my story. So then, is this how my story becomes one of beauty? Because I really fail to see the beauty in it right now. And hope for a brighter tomorrow is waning.
Life shouldn't be so difficult. Because I still got a lotta love to give.

Left out

At support group last night I mentioned being invited to baby showers already. All the moms chimed in how lucky I am to actually be invited and choose for myself whether I'll go or not go. They aren't invited to such things. It never occurred to me how left out I'd feel if I weren't invited. But I felt that alienation tonight when I saw my group of girls I call my closest girl friends were all together for a happy hour. And I'd never heard a word of it until I saw the check-in and tagging of each girl on Facebook. So completely alienating. I'm a different person now, and some choose to not include me because of it. They don't want to talk about or hear about Korbin any more. They look at me like I'm fragile which is so aggravating. Mostly because I know deep down I am. But I still don't want to be treated as such. Damned if you, damned if you don't. Neither approach is the right one.
This all becomes so exhausting. But I still got a lotta love to give.