Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This can't be true, can it?

We received a copy of the final autopsy report by fax today. The conclusion:

Although no definite cause of death was identified, the overall findings are suspicious for an umbilical cord accident.

I seem to be oscillating between the following reactions:

a) A CORD ACCIDENT!!! A FUCKING CORD ACCIDENT!!! YOU FUCKING NEGLIGENT DOCTORS!!! I went to the hospital reporting decreased fetal movement and you left me sitting in waiting rooms for EIGHT hours, without so much as monitoring my baby, and when you did finally pay attention to me you wasted precious time hypothesizing over all sorts of random causes for her lack of movement, completely ignoring the most obvious, and all the while my baby was suffocating to death!!! I TRUSTED YOU!!! I TRUSTED YOU WITH THAT WHICH WAS MOST PRECIOUS TO ME. I did everything right and YOU, YOU WHO WERE SUPPOSED TO SAVE HER LIFE, YOU LET HER DIE.

and

b) a cord accident. Phew! Totally random. Not likely to recur. I feel lighter. My body didn't fail her. I didn't fail her. I'm ready to try again.

***

I have yet to let my mind wonder back to the full events of that fateful day, but one moment is now replaying over and over in my mind. I am sitting with Tim in the waiting room of the High Risk Specialist's office in the hospital. It's warm and dimly lit. The grime on the windows is filtering the sunlight and there are spiders on the glass. The 1970s vinyl chair is making my ass numb. My eyes are fixed on the grungy linoleum floor, but I am distinctly aware of the birth announcements covering the wall to my left - precious little newborn faces staring at me while I advert my gaze. And then, THUMP, she kicked. A single, HARD kick. "She moved", I say. I smile at Tim. "She moved!". I poke her. I will her to move again. She's still. I put my hand on my belly and burn the memory of that kick into my mind, just in case. Then I look at the wall, at all the precious little faces. I imagine her picture on the wall.

She kicked in her struggle for life. She was dying, slowly. She was still alive. If only...

***

We have a meeting at the hospital on Thursday to review the report with the doctors. I think it will be the last time I see THOSE doctors at THAT hospital.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Due

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines due as:

1 : owed or owing as a debt

2 a : owed or owing as a natural or moral right

b : according to accepted notions or procedures

3 a : satisfying or capable of satisfying a need, obligation, or duty...

5: having reached the date at which payment is required

6 : required or expected in the prescribed, normal, or logical course of events.

Today, Isla was due.

Today, I laboured over this:

video

Loving and missing you little one. xoxoxo

Thursday, October 1, 2009

5:00 a.m. Rantings of a Crazy Woman

It's 5:00 a.m. I think I fell asleep briefly sometime after 3:38 a.m., only to wake up again about 45 minutes ago.

Earlier tonight Tim and I somehow randomly discovered that my sister-in-law, Tim's eldest brother's wife, had deleted us both from Facebook. In my bereaved mother craziness, I jumped straight to the conclusion that her reason for doing so must be that she was pregnant. So hoping to put my worried mind at ease, Tim called his middle brother to ask about whether he knew anything. He didn't, but Tim's call prompted his middle brother to call his eldest brother, and within the hour, Tim's eldest brother was on the phone confirming, yes indeed, his wife is pregnant.

Not like just pregnant, but 12 weeks pregnant. His brother swore they were not keeping it a secret just from us, and that they had not told anyone in the family yet. Leaves me curious as to why his wife would have already deleted us from Facebook, but whatever, that's all irrelevant.

Isla was born 13 weeks ago yesterday, which by my calculations means this baby was conceived sometime approximately 2-3 weeks following her death. I would never expect anyone else to put their family planning on hold, and I don't know the circumstances surrounding this little one's conception, but since this is my place to be honest, it fucking hurts that they would allow themselves to become knocked up so soon after their niece died. Not sure when it wouldn't hurt, but somehow I feel that if they conceived in August and not July, I would feel a bit better about this.

News of a pregnancy in the family was going to feel like fucking searing hot metal stakes being driven through my heart no matter when it was delivered, and who was pregnant, but I'm having a particularly hard time with this SIL and BIL being pregnant because they have yet to call, send a card, do anything to acknowledge Isla's death.

We had one email exchange that I initiated when I asked for copies of Tim's baby photos which were in her possession, but literally, that is the only communication I have had with this SIL in 13 weeks. They live half-way across the country, so I understood when they did not attend Isla's funeral, and okay, its hard to pick up the phone to call not knowing what to say after someone's baby has died, but come on, your fucking niece is dead and you can't even send a card, some flowers, something, anything!!

I have been trying very hard to gain perspective on my grief anger, to recognize I'm just angry because my baby died, and to not unknowingly place that anger on friends and family members. But I have to tell you, tonight I lost my shit. Like screaming, banging my head against the mattress, smashing my hands against the wall, pacing for hours, lost my shit. And I'm still just so fucking angry. Yes, much of it is jealousy and just general anger at the universe that they will in all likelihood go on to have a healthy baby and my sweet perfect baby is dead.

But I'm also genuinely angry at these people for doing fuck-all to acknowledge my baby who died, and then calling us tonight expecting us to share in their good news. Apparently they do know our phone numbers and how to dial after all.

I mean come on, they so obviously don't give a rats ass about my baby, so why should I care about theirs, right? But part of the problem is I do. Rational, sane (and I like to think kind, compassionate and loving) Melissa cares. I actually love this little niece or nephew quite a lot already. I'm actually terrified that my SIL who is a teacher does not know the dangers of Parvovirus, and that it will kill another baby in our clan. I would be devastated for everyone if another such loss was to occur. But perhaps much more than that, I'm am terrified that nothing will harm this baby, and he or she will be born alive and then what?!

I never cared much about having the first born grandchild. Our decision to have a baby when we did, had nothing to do with that, and in many ways I wished that one of Tim's brothers would hurry up and have a baby to pave the way for us. But since we did have the first born, and she died, I am now terrified that she is going to be forgotten. That all of the love and affection and attention that was rightfully hers is going to be poured into this new little one, and once that baby is born, alive, and can be held and cooed over, Isla will be nothing more than a distant memory to the rest of the family.

What do I do when someone congratulates my MIL and FIL in front of me on the birth of their "first grandchild"? What do I say when this little once grows up stakes his/her claim to that place in the family? It's not that I care that my SIL and BIL will have a child before we do, its that I wanted to go first again so I could make sure that "first" spot was always held for Isla. It's rightfully hers. If the next baby born into the family was also born to us, I could tell my child all about Isla, and how she was first born, and Grandma and Grandpa's first grandchild. But now, now what do I do!!!

Just knowing these things will be said and done even when we are not present is upsetting. I want the whole entire family to recognize Isla, and I fear, for good reason, that they can't and they won't.

I wish it were as simple as telling my in-laws how I feel, and asking them to acknowledge her place in the family, but its not. Especially when its my MIL who has so forcefully insisted that we "get over" Isla already, and who said, with anger, "Isla was just a late miscarriage". These aren't people who want to understand. These aren't people who I can turn to for support and acknowledgment. In fact, I've tried. I've reached out. I've sent emails explaining my hurts, and flat out begging for support and recognition for Isla. My emails have gone unanswered.

And my SIL and BIL have pretty much made it clear, they really don't care. Maybe now that they are pregnant they will gain some perspective on exactly what it is we lost, but I'm not holding my breath for any additional compassion and understanding from them. I mean seriously, the first time you call me after my baby dies is to call me and tell me you are pregnant?!! And deleting me from Facebook with no explanation, that's not cool, that hurts.

I already feel like Isla matters so little to anyone other than Tim and I, and my mom, that with this new pregnancy she really won't matter to her paternal relatives at all. And that, that makes me soooo angry. Like screaming, banging my head against the mattress, smashing my hands against the wall, angry. I want to stand up and scream, and not just scream in general, scream at these people for what they have already done and for what I fear they will continue to do to the sacred memory of my sweet perfect baby. She deserves so much more than this. She deserves for her aunts and uncles and grandma and grandpa to love her, to honour her, to remember her always.

I don't know what to do with all this anger. Poor Tim. This is his family and so I cannot just rant and rave to him anymore about just how fucking angry I am.

I'm so fucking angry I don't recognize myself. Things have come out of my mouth that rational, sane me would never normally think, let alone say. I'm like an out of control crazy woman. I'm feeling vengeful. I feel like calling up my SIL and telling her that I don't give two fucking cents about their baby because they so obviously didn't give two cents about mine. I feel like refusing to ever acknowledge this child when he or she is born, just to prove how hurtful it is to have a baby and have it go unnoticed by immediate family members. I feel like telling my MIL that she should not be happy about this pregnancy yet, because according to her own logic, at this stage this baby is "nothing more than a ball of cells", so what the fuck is there to celebrate! I feel like calling my FIL and telling him its a good thing he did not waste his airmiles flying here for Isla's funeral because that would have been such a waste when he can now use them to attend the birth of his other first grandchild.

Obviously, I can't and won't do any of the above. I feel sick just thinking that way, it is so far from who I really am and how I really feel. But as soon as I stop thinking like that, I feel hurt again that these people have failed to support us and acknowledge our loss, their own loss, my baby, and that hurt just cycles right back into this blind rage kinda anger. I feel helplessly caught in this cycle of thoughts right now and I don't how to help myself out.

Like seriously. This is toxic. Really toxic. I don't like it. Not one bit. I would much rather be sitting here thinking happy or even just neutral thoughts about this baby. Only I don't know how to keep my thoughts positive and not so dark, and mean, I'm really not a mean person.

It's hurt and fear. I can acknowledge it as such, but I can't turn it off. I feel so helpless because I know I cannot control the actions of others, and the only thing in the world I really have control over are my thoughts and feelings, and the way I react to them. I'm not reacting well and I feel like my feelings have control over me at the moment and not the other way around. I just wish there could be even one outward sign from these relatives that this baby, once born alive, is not more important than poor little dead Isla. That she mattered and still matters just as much. I wish I could make them do the little things it is I want (need?) them to do. But I can't, and without some acknowledgment from them, I can't figure out how to not be so bloody angry.

At this very moment, it feels like someone is taking a spoon to my insides, scraping and scooping them out like you do pumpkin guts before carving. I literally feel gutted. The thoughts im my head are also swirling around wildly. It's now after 7:00 a.m. I have an important professional meeting this afternoon. I need some sleep!!