Sunday, January 27, 2013


Pain can be a very selfish type of feeling. It's really difficult to explain, but I'll do my best.
Basically, I keep myself in a non-baby and non-pregnancy bubble right now. The closest I get to these two things is at work where I do transfers and tell patients I'll be looking for their positive pregnancy test in 10-12 days. After bitterly forcing the words out of my mouth for the past few months, I think I may actually finally mean it. I even touched a patient's arm and smiled a real smile the last time. Progress.
But that's pretty much the most you'll get out of me. At the mention of someone I know being pregnant or actually having a baby, I tense up. A flash of bitterness, jealousy, and then pain like a stab in the heart and punch to my stomach. My immediate thoughts are: Your baby could die. Did I really have to hear about someone else's joy? Did you really just tell me that? How could you think I want to hear about someone else's perfect life when mine still feels so broken?
I blame the happy person, and even the messenger, wondering how they could be so unfeeling and forgetful of my loss, my pain. And that's when I feel selfish. Really, everyone around me has the right to keep living their own lives. The world doesn't revolve around me and my broken heart. And I can't ask people to not be happy building their own families just because mine's been ripped apart already. But when can I be happy for them? With every person I hear about, I pause a moment, waiting to feel a twinge of excitement for them. But still, just the opposite.
And then I start to think about the statistics. There are six infant deaths for every 1000 births, more boys than girls. So the odds of me already knowing someone who will lose their child after birth is super slim. (I don't even have that many facebook friends, family members and coworkers combined.) And that feels so unfair. Because it doesn't happen often enough (please don't think I'm saying it should happen to more people), infant death is little recognized as something to mourn or even worry about. Especially in American culture. I already feel like I get the 'you're not over that yet?' looks when I mention Korbin to certain people. Nope, not over him. And I never will be. Even the women who were told to forget the child they lost because they can just have another don't ever forget.
A dear friend told she doesn't think this is being selfish. Maybe she's right. Maybe I'm just being hyper-aware of everyone else's situations around me, hyper-sensitive to anything pregnancy and baby related and how it affects my heart, and hyper-protective of Korbin and the amazing little life he had with us. Maybe I just need more time in my grief process.
Whatever it is, I got a lotta love to give.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

About A Year Ago Today

I saw the most amazing thing I think I had ever seen: Korbin's heartbeat. Getting to this point after having a positive pregnancy test was a little rocky as what I had calculated as six weeks from my LMP was pretty far off from what his measurements were showing. I had an ultrasound the previous week and panicked slightly that I wasn't over six weeks yet. But, my cycles have always been irregular, so I never actually know when I'm ovulating, and therefore can't go off of my LMP for dates. If they were regular, I would have been due September 6th, a whole ten days difference!
I remember seeing the movement of his heartbeat and thinking, 'oh my God, I'm going to have a baby.' And it was like I knew this was happening for a fact, and nothing else could change that. Even though I also know that miscarriage is still a strong possibility until you get through the first 12 weeks, I couldn't think of anything else but the fact that I was having this baby at the time. Maybe naive, and lacking a bit of reality now that I look back on it. But an amazing feeling nonetheless.
It's such an amazing video to have now. I had wanted to record the sound of his heart beat too, and was planning on asking Dr. Pray at my 24 week appointment to let me get my phone out while we listened real quick. Unfortunately, that became the last thing I was worried about as I went in to that fateful appointment. I think that's why this video is so hard for me to watch now. I treasure the fact that I have it. But, like the pictures we have of him from after he was born, it's too painful to look at still.
I got a lotta love to give.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Religious issues

This post goes back to the last presidential election. So much energy went into discussing abortion and the question: when does life begin? What frustrates me is that people think they can make someone else's decision for them. That is judgement right there. And we are not the judge here. Also, I find it so interesting that many of the religious women I know that have had a miscarriage have a different view on abortion and when life begins. I do too thanks to my work. Really, when sperm meets egg, there is just a number of cells. And even though those cells divide, and maybe form a beautiful embryo, we don't see a pregnancy from every beautiful embryo. Why would God allow life to just pass through the body undetected if it was so sacred? I don't think life begins at that point. But then, is it when we see a heart beat? Some embryos never have a heart beat, but will remain for weeks, cells dividing. Are they still alive? We stop those pregnancies, either with medicine or tools. But that's not considered stopping life as life wasn't seen to begin with. So when does life begin?
I did some searching through the Bible, and I still don't have any answers. I can't find anything that specifically delves into ending a pregnancy, only that God makes a third of all pregnancies end in the first trimester and then another number of them end after that. Again, if life is so sacred, why would he command that?
In all my reading and searching, I came across an article posted by The Christian Left, a page I have liked on Facebook that I actually really enjoy (because it is possible to be a Christian and be Liberal).
Thoughts on when Life Begins Article
I don't necessarily completely agree with the entire article, but the oppinion of the author is that life truly begins at first breath (and the biblical references are quite compelling). Is this reasoning then how so many other cultures can handle the loss of a baby? Like our neighbors, who are Thai and Vietnamese. I learned that they don't dare have a baby shower until the child is at least one month old. Because in reality you never know, even after birth, if the child will survive. And that's just accepted in their culture. And they just move on, which is still something we've decided we're not doing because it's too much like forgetting.
Now in relation to Korbin dying, I suddenly needed to know that he at least breathed. Because then maybe he really was alive. I mean, he was alive to us. But, from what we were told, he wasn't able to breathe, only his heart had been beating at his birth. I needed more. So I put in a request for all of the records relating to his care at Swedish from his time of birth until his time of death.
Swedish was so prompt it shocked me. I received his records in only three days. Now, records like these are very hard to stomach. They are not written for the grieving person as they are so matter of fact. But I read through them until I found it: yes, he was born breathing, and with a beating heart, but it was his heart in the end that began to fail, which is why his body stopped receiving enough oxygen which is why they wanted to intubate but couldn't and tried so many shots of epinephrine. I had so wanted to blame the doctor overseeing his care, but they tried, they really did try. He just came too soon.
But in all this, he breathed on his own at first. Thank God. At least my baby was truly alive and with a soul. A selfish thought for sure. But I had to know, I needed that relief. I obsessed over it until I finally made that medical records request.
It's strange the things I find comfort in. My religious questions are still not fully answered, and yet, just from the information I recieved on Korbin, that doesn't matter to me so much any more. It's enough to know that he was born healthy and beautiful, and that everyone present did the absolute most that they could to keep him alive. And I am thankful for their hard work because with them he stood a chance.
I got a lotta love to give.

Friday, January 18, 2013


We bought a car Wednesday night after spending four hours at a Honda dealership. Ryan's been looking at getting a weekend car for when he needs to go to work and I need a car too. He's also wanted to learn how to track a car. But, there are a lot of cars that fit in the price range he was comfortable buying in. So, what finally got him to make up his mind was the mini not wanting to start at all for a good ten minutes last Sunday morning. Then he found the perfect one: a beautiful Honda S2000, only 30k miles on it since it was built in 2005, and it came with a hard top (rare to find and expensive to add).
He test drove it, and I felt like he was actually pretty excited about it (it's still hard to feel excited about things these days). I think he was even excited for me to ride in it for the first time last night. Until the back end suddenly swung out, he tried to correct, but nothing would work and we slammed into the barrier twice the airbags popped and the car swung back around and came to a sudden stop. What the fuck just happened? I kept looking at Ryan saying, 'I'm okay. Are you okay? We're okay. I'm okay. We're okay. Are you okay? It's okay....' Over and over and over again. Then the smoke from the airbags deploying made it hard to breathe so I opened my door, but Ry's wouldn't open. He called 911 and had me call AAA.
Everyone was so nice, even the state trooper who filled out the accident report. A similar accident had just happened on the opposite side of the freeway. Even though we're fine, and we're thankful we walked away with barely a bruise each, it makes me sick to my stomach it happened.
First off, I don't want Ry to feel like he did something wrong, but I think he does because he said he's so sorry he put us in danger like that. But he can't do that. We were going straight on a straight road, and he was going the speed limit. He did nothing wrong.
Second, my heart just hurts for him. I mean, we're really trying to just do the things we always talk about doing but never do because everything is so expensive. Who cares. You only live once and life is short. If we can afford the snowboarding gear and lift tickets, go snow boarding. Go to Australia. Buy the car that is perfect for the track and completely unmolested. Until now. He was finally excited and happy about something, and it was taken away almost immediately. He said to me while we were waiting for the tow truck, 'this was supposed to be a good year.' Already it's starting out shitty.
And third, I almost blame myself. If I hadn't needed a ride after happy hour with my coworkers, maybe it never would have happened. Or if he had come to Seattle to pick me up instead. But I can't do that either. We can't blame ourselves, it only makes things worse.
Thankfully, Ryan has been a real trooper. He, at least outwardly, says things like, 'well, at least I won't be afraid of this happening on the track now, I broke it in.' And, 'if it's totaled we got it for less than what it's worth. I'd definitely get another one.' I'm glad he can try to be so positive about it. I mean, despite the car being nearly totaled, I only bit my tongue and Ry's neck is sore. We were enveloped by a strong vehicle that thankfully crashes well. But that doesn't make it suck any less. I just want the car to be fixable so that he can be happy and excited again. Planning track days and learning how to drive his new car. I just want to see him happy. That's all I care about and, even though this is just a car, things feel somber again.
And I hate how much the few seconds of experiencing the accident keep replaying in my head. It seriously makes me want to puke. This reminded me of a quote I just read from a woman who lost her child. Basically, some of the worst memories are the ones you never want to forget. Like having Korbin too soon. As much as I wish he were fine and with us, I cling to those memories of seeing him for the first time, hearing him struggle for breathe and holding him, touching his tiny nose over and over again, because they are all I've got of him now. Yet this accident, I would erase that memory in a heart beat if I could.
I guess that's why they're called accidents, Ry wasn't aiming to crash the car the first day he had it. For whatever freaky reason, it just happened. I had honestly been feeling this week that things were looking up in life. That, ya, this year really is going to be a good year. Maybe there is some hope inside me yet. And then this happens. I just want to see Ry happy with life, because then I feel like my job as wife is complete.
I got a lotta love to give.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


I can't even guess how many times we were asked if we were going to have a service for Korbin. Our immediate answer was no, we had him cremated. One day when we're ready we'll spread his ashes in a place we visit often and that is special to us. Private, just the two of us, and uninterrupted.
But really, why didn't we have a service for Korbin? He was born and lived a couple of hours, and then died. And when people die family and friends gather to mourn the loss and celebrate the life that was. I often wonder if some that I've had trouble with getting to understand who and where I am now would actually get it if we had. Would the impact of what Ryan and I, and even our families, went through sink in then? Would Korbin finally be recognized for the life he had then? It may have been cut short, but he did live.
Honestly, deep down I know why. You're not supposed to plan your baby's funeral, nobody should ever have to consider that. And I was in such shock when we lost him that really, I just needed someone else to plan it. The shock of losing him so quickly and suddenly was too much to be able to wrap my brain around dates and times and food and what church. How does anyone who has lost a loved one do it? I just couldn't. I was in this weird dream-like (nightmare really) state that felt so disconnected from reality. This just couldn't have actually happened. And that pain is so intense. It's not gone or lessened by any means. I've just learned how to lock it away because otherwise I am so easily consumed by it.
Life still feels incredibly unfair, and my heart is still heavy with guilt at times that we didn't do something more to celebrate the life that Korbin had. And then how do you recant memories of a life that was so short-lived? I can sense the immediate tension and sudden hush from everyone around me at the mere mention of being pregnant. Conversation hits a lull, and the topic is changed pretty quickly. And yet those are my memories, and really all I have. As one mom at support group pointed out, you can't say to someone, 'remember that one time at Grandma's?' We don't have that with Korbin.
I do wish we'd had a service, it's one of my many regrets in how we handled losing Korbin. But that doesn't mean there will never come a time to celebrate his life in the future. He has a birthday. June 1st will forever be Korbin's birthday to us (along with my step-dad, they share this special connection), and I want to celebrate it each year. Especially when we have more kids. They will know Korbin, and hopefully love him just like any other sibling.
Because we got a lotta love to give.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Riding the elevators down to my car after work has not been pleasant these past six months. I swear, my first month back at work, a very happily huge pregnant lady would get on and stand right next to me. So. Not. Fair. And a total slap in the face each time.
Thankfully, as I've passed the I'm-supposed-to-be-pregnant-still time, elevator rides aren't quite so emotionally difficult any longer. Except when there's a newborn going with mom to her post-pregnancy/delivery check-up. This isn't too often, in fact I've only dealt with it a few times. But today's incident really struck me as odd. This particular newborn became fussy. I got off the elevator. End of story. Or so I thought. As I was driving away from the building I realized my chest (my breasts really) were aching something awful.
That may have been TMI, but this struck me as odd because my milk never came in after I had Korbin. I know that a fussy/crying baby can spur milk production, but really only when one is actually lactating. Right? Who knows. I guess it didn't go any further than the aching sensation. But this is something that emotionally has seriously pissed me off since June 1st. I mean, I was prepared repeatedly by my doctor and the nurses for my milk to come in, warned of how distraught I may feel when it does. But nobody warns you about how you'll feel if it doesn't happen. And it's honestly one of those why questions that is still too painful to ask.
I think most moms who've lost their babies are thinking, 'well, lucky you to not have to deal with that.' There are chapters about it in self-help books for bereaved parents. Lucky? Not at all. It really truly pissed me off. I mean, it was bad enough that my body betrayed Korbin and me by not lasting till he was full term. But then my body had to act like I was never pregnant to begin with.
I remember talking about this in my first night at support group. One mom actually couldn't get over the fact that my milk never came in. She said it had never occurred to her that could not happen, let alone how that would make her feel. So far I don't know any one else who has dealt with this. As if I don't feel alienated enough, this just takes it a step further.
It's makes me feel crazy sometimes to experience these physical responses. Physically it's what should be happening, and it's like my subconscious doesn't care that it's not supposed to happen in reality now. And just when I thought I was maybe okay with seeing a newborn, maybe taking the first step toward allowing even just a picture to be visible, something like this makes me feel as though I've just taken a step backward in my grief and healing process.
But I really am trying.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Year Ago Today

I drove home from Overlake Hospital, exhausted from no sleep since 1am the day before. My baby sister had called then, saying this is it. She's in labor. She had asked for our sister Chelsea and myself to be present for the entire course of it, kind of like her labor cheer leaders. It was an amazing thing to watch and experience, and all while thinking, 'wow, I get to do this in 9 months.' Seriously amazing.
Nobody else knew, of course. We weren't telling anyone until we knew there was a heart beat, maybe even waiting till 12weeks just to be sure. So that made it especially exciting for me. I had never witnessed labor before, only heard the stories. We walked her around the hospital, rubbed her back, held her legs while she pushed. Talked her through the difficult decisions she had to start making, like whether or not to get an epidural, or to keep pushing and trying or just go straight to C-section. She knew what she wanted, and we didn't push her into anything, we just reinforced for her that she could make these decisions herself without worrying what others would think of her. She wanted an all-natural birth, but the pain did get to be too much for her, and she felt so defeated. But seeing how far she got, how far along she had progressed, I thought, 'I could do this, and maybe go all the way too.' Seeing her strength gave me strength.
If only, if only. It's bittersweet to remember this time. I had been feeling so jealous that, as soon as Ry and I had decided to pull the goalie and start trying, she found out she was pregnant. And then we just waited and waited and waited to finally be pregnant, and we still don't get to have Korbin with us. Totally not fair by any means.
But Noah is so adorable, and my first nephew. I became an aunt for the first time a year ago today. Something that really felt pretty special. Ryan's been an uncle since he was 10, and his family has never been close so it didn't seem to be a big deal for him. But I wanted to be the best aunt ever. I worry that I'm not that great, especially since there was a time when I couldn't even hold Noah after we lost Korbin. There's so much spoiling to do, and I couldn't do it.
Thankfully I'm not mad, or jealous, any more. I just wish we were sharing in the joy she gets to experience every day with Noah. It's hard to watch at times, and yet I am so drawn to being a part of his life. I want him to know me and call me Aunty Lisa when he starts to talk more. Through the pain in my heart there's still room for loving him.
So Happy First Birthday Noah.
I got a lotta love to give.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Year Ago Today

With the year comes mini anniversaries of the many firsts we had with Korbin. Some may think,'hey, it's a new year to help move forward easily.' Maybe even make new memories. But it's still difficult in that we'll be going through the difficult days of special moments we'll cherish forever. They're beautiful memories, but hard to think about at times as they remind me of who and what I'm now missing.
So, to start this new part of my journey, a year ago today I woke up knowing something was different. That finally, after eight months of negative after negative after negative, today was going to change my life forever. I remember staring at the stick thinking,'that second line isn't there, I'm imagining it.' So I took a picture more so to confirm it was truly there than to keep as a memory. But thank God I took it and kept it (turns out you can keep the stick and the lines stay...don't ask me how I know that and no I don't have the one pictured below). I immediately texted the picture to Ryan who was already at work for the day. I then called to make sure he got it. He hadn't yet so I said I'm pregnant and he said,'good job.' He didn't want anyone at his work to know anything, but his response still cracks me up.
This moment definitely changed my life, just not in the way I had hoped for in that moment. Now I wonder how this will go next time, whether we'll feel the same excitement, or if we'll be too scared to really feel excited. So much to work through just to build our family.
But I got a lotta love to give.

Friday, January 4, 2013


After I blogged last night I actually said a prayer. Thanking God for the day he gave me, support group and allowing the heavy weight I was carrying to be lifted.
It wasn't forced, I didn't make myself do it. The prayer came out naturally and was heartfelt. And very much so needed as well.
Thanks to my faith and the blessings God has given me, I got a lotta love to give.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


As the holidays came and passed, a very deep and personal struggle presented itself that I haven't ever had to deal with before. Something I haven't mentioned to anyone fully until support group tonight. Part of me has been afraid to admit what I'm about to blog about, especially knowing many who follow my blog are religious like me. It has been especially difficult for me as I am religious myself.
It didn't hit me till Christmas Eve when we met Ryan's mom for church. I was getting anxiety just driving there, and didn't want to be there the entire time. but the sermon was for me it seemed. the pastor talked about how, no matter where you are in life, whether you're praying and relying on God or feel He's not there for you right now, He is there, and He'll be there no matter what. I realized I hadn't prayed for a while, at least a few weeks. I thought about how I need to pray, but then immediately thought, 'screw that, where has that gotten me? What has praying done for Korbin?' Wow, am I angry with God now. I mean, I have prayed every night ever since I can remember, and now it feels like He has just turned his back on me, and Ryan too. I mean, how can such a loving God, one who loves children so much, allow a homeless crack head to have a healthy child without ever realizing they're pregnant but my baby had to die? I was paranoid about my vitamins and eating all organic and no plastic anything. I did everything right. And still Korbin died. I prayed for God to allow us to have a child, for a boy, for a healthy boy. I thanked God every day I was pregnant for such a beautiful blessing. And still He took Korbin away from us. And you know what I have to say to Him today? Fuck you, God.
And I didn't even really think that until I was driving to support group wondering if I could finally talk about all this. Holding it in, internalizing this, has become such a heavy burden the past couple of weeks. I've needed to say it, but I didn't want my sister or my dad to think less of me reading this. I didn't want Ry to see me break like this either, to see a possible dip in my faith (I cling to 1 Corinthians 7:14...). So I thought the only place I could share my anger with God was at group tonight. What struck me there, though, was how well received my feelings were, even by the very religious couple who just started with our group last month. It helped me to see that I can't worry about how others will react to my pain. It's mine alone to bear. And how I deal with it has nothing to do with anyone else either. (Okay, maybe there are some limits, like being suicidal or becoming an alcoholic. I would hope those around me would save me from such self-destructive behaviors.) It is amazing the weight that has been lifted from my shoulders in admitting all of this.
Despite my anger with God right now, my beliefs haven't really changed. I still believe in him, in Jesus as my savior, that there is a Heaven and that Korbin's soul is there waiting for us. But I do grapple with now wondering whether I believe Korbin's in Heaven because I truly believe that, or do I believe that because I can't stand to think of it any other way. I mean, I have to keep believing it so I can see him again in Heaven some day. But then, am I obligating myself to believe this just to placate myself? I don't want to think his soul is elsewhere, or just nowhere. But then do I truly believe it all? Honestly, I don't even want to go there. I'm not ready for psychology or philosophy.
All I know for sure right now is that, even through my anger at God, I got a lotta love to give.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Today was a bad day (and thanks to some Facebook updates from others my heart just broke some more). And this after feeling so much stronger yesterday.
I woke up fine, just another day getting ready for work, no big deal. But for some reason I completely broke at work. I mean, my mind was just going over all the random projects I've stacked up for myself when suddenly I thought of the scrapbook I'm putting together for Korbin. It was supposed to be his baby book, but now it's just my pregnancy and the few pictures we have of him. And that thought, that we have only but a few precious pictures of him, brought me to sobbing tears for about an hour. Thankfully I was alone and could just let it out, because really as much as I tried I couldn't stop the tears. I just kept thinking, 'why didn't we get the professional photos? Why, why, why?' I will always regret that. Always. The other moms in support have these adorable photos of themselves cradling their babies, their babies feet, little poses wrapped in blankets with a hat on. We just have the couple my sister took and the couple the nurse took for us.
There are so many things to mourn in losing Korbin. His loss, the loss of who I was, all the way down to little things you don't even think of in the moment. Like pictures. I mean, who sits back and thinks logically about how they want to remember the day their baby died? Nobody. You really just have to rely on the encouragement of the hospital you are at. I'm glad we got any at all, but it just isn't enough. Just like it isn't enough that we held him for two hours. None of it will ever be enough, but somehow I have to make peace with it all. It may not by this week, this month, or even this year. But someday I will hopefully feel a sense of peace as I think of Korbin.
What doesn't help today is finding out a friend due in June is getting the boy she wants. I just think to myself, 'of course she gets her boy. Everyone around me gets to see and hold their babies and take them home.' But not me. I had to hold him and then say goodbye. Something no one should ever have to do, ever.
It's days like today, when my heart seems to break harder than I think it could, that I just miss Korbin so much. And I even kind of wish I could wake up from my nightmare, like a part of me still hasn't accepted what is my reality now. Because I just want to hold and love and raise my child. It's crazy how much my entire being can ache for his presence in my life, and in Ryan's life too.
I got a lotta love to give.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Today did feel different. The holidays were difficult for sure, even more than I had anticipated them to be. But today I felt lighter somehow, emotionally. In the daily work email I sent this morning I even started it with, 'Happy new year!' Exclamation point and all. I'm still just okay, but I think that renewed hope I was hoping for is kicking in.
Part of that is because I feel a step closer to trying again for baby nĂºmero dos, even though we aren't actually going to for quite some time still. It just feels closer. It's already been seven months when I didn't think I could live a single day without Korbin. It sucks, but I don't really have a choice in the matter. And physically I know that I am that much closer to being fully healed, just a few more months to go to be sure. And emotionally I am starting to get that my heart is always heavy, but I can be okay still. I may not be jumping around excited about life, but I see that a new year brings new opportunities.
What I am still struggling with is my energy for life. It may be partly due to mild depression (not diagnosed but I'm still considering counseling) but I definitely have a lot of time in which I just don't have the energy. The energy to clean, to write a letter, to post on Facebook, do laundry, draw or paint, read, or even blog. The most energy-less thing I can do is have the TV on while I scroll through Pinterest. Or nap. I do a lot of napping now.
I never understood how people could do so little some days. I've always been a get-up-and-do-something-constantly type of person. Not able to sit still for more than a few minutes (which may be why I went into preterm labor, but we'll never really know). Now, I can stare at the book that I've been trying to read for a while before giving up and just staring blankly at the TV, not really absorbing what's happening as it's just a distraction. And that's exhausting, oddly enough. But I get it now. Totally get it.
Ryan said, 'it happened and we can't do anything about it.' And I think that feeling of being so powerless plays a large role in my current blue state. With all the quotes out there about taking charge of your destiny, especially with a new year upon us, all I can think is 'what a load of crap.' Life just takes you along for the ride, even with the best laid plans. Because nothing goes according to plan. I'm definitely in a mixed up state now of possibly feeling some hope for the future and still being mopey and just okay. It's pretty twisted feeling actually. The oddest part about it is that I feel guilty for that possibility of feeling some hope, because I should be thinking about Korbin. But I should be doing a lot of things, like changing diapers and losing sleep from caring for Korbin in the middle of the night. Either way I spin it, I got a lotta love to give.