Friday, March 26, 2010

Still Here

I'm still here, struggling less, detoxing less, doing more. It's been awhile since I blogged and it's been eating at me. There is so much, yet so little happening in my life right now that I don't seem to have the time to sit down, take a breath and have some me time. I'm still missing Calvin horribly and have had a few good cries over him as of late, moreso at remembering...those memories that sneak up on you and take your breath away with their vividness. Some of those memories come from reading other blogs and having another mother talk about a certain situation that reminds me so much of what we went through that it takes me back in time to that moment. Stephanie talked about such a thing on her blog, about how when she went back to see Amelia in the funeral home, she knew her girl was gone. It reminded me so much of holding Calvin in the hospital morgue, feeling his spirit there with us strong and steady as I cuddled our son for the last time. The peacefulness about it was almost surreal, everything was so quiet and still and yet he lingered and I could feel him there with me. I didn't want to give him back. I didn't want to think about his body being put back in one of those stainless steel drawers, alone in the dark. All I could think about was seeing him again, possibly holding him before the funeral and willing myself to make it just one more day until I could be with my son again. The night of the viewing Shane and I went early. I wanted to make sure my son looked okay and that we were doing the right thing by giving the family a chance to come and say good-bye to him. I was eager to see him and was bewildered when the funeral director warned me that he wouldn't look the same as when I had held him in the morgue, that there had been changes. Sure enough as I gazed down into Calvin's casket and looked at my son there WERE changes, the biggest one being that my son was no longer there. His spirit had flown away and I couldn't feel him anymore. That was one of the hardest things, to realize that he was now gone for good and wouldn't be lingering around to give me comfort. I cried and gasped to Shane that it wasn't him, that it didn't even look like him but was forced to accept that while it was my son's body, his spirit had moved on. The memories have evoked a strong emotional response. I feel tired, and physically exhausted. I've been forcing myself outside to do yard work, to get some fresh air and sunshine in these past beautiful days. It's been good for me yet I've been so wiped out I've had little energy for anything else lately.

Even in my current state of exhaustion and with a spring cold coming on, I feel guilt for not posting and for leaving on such a "I don't care about anything" note. I'm still here. I'm still reading along with many of you even if I don't comment. I'm still fighting this addiction and hoping to feel better soon. I'm still hoping for joy in my life again. It's coming back, slowly, but it is coming back. I can only hope tomorrow will be better than today and that the day after tomorrow will be better than it's yesterday until all is well in my world as much as it can be without Calvin in it. I miss my son. His death still makes me cry and even if people think that there must be "a reason" for it, it doesn't make me get over him or the void left behind when he died. If the people in my life could just recognize this and realize that I will never be the same again and accept it for what it is, I think my life could be easier. Not necessarily better, but easier. Until such a thing happens, I vomit all the unhappiness here where I can simply be bereaved and not expected to be "getting over it" by now. How can I? How can any of us? The answer is that we can't and that there will always be a story, a movie, a remark made that throws us back to the days when our children died and it will always hurt. Sometimes the hurt will make us cry and not feel like living, other times it won't. I accept this. I don't like it but I accept it and there is nothing ANY platitude will do to make this better for me or any one of us. I'm still here, even though there are days I wish I wasn't.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Feeling Down

Fifteen. It's the number of pounds I have gained since I started weaning off my meds. I am withdrawing and feeling so tired and slow and emotionally unstable right now. I am eating my way into oblivion and will face another battle ahead to shed some of this weight. It's not easy right now, some days I feel as if I don't want to do this. What "this" is varies from day to day, some days it's detoxing, other days it's living. I miss Calvin horribly right now and had a good hard cry the other night in my misery. I loathe this extra weight yet I cannot seem to stop stuffing food in my face at an alarming rate. I feel fragile and messed up and hopeless some days and wonder if things will ever get good again. I know Shane is worried about me, there is little he can do or say to make me feel better right now and I know my emotional state is keeping him at bay. I don't know whether all of this comes from coming off the meds, why I'm craving sugar the way I am right now, why I'm so tired and emotional. For the first time since we first lost Calvin, I felt like I didn't want to live anymore. I am so tired of feeling so down, so broken. It's so horrifying to me to feel this way, like I don't care whether I live or die anymore because I am so miserable. I think I may need to see my doctor...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Things are not okay with me right now. I've been stressed about numerous things in my life lately and have been just coasting through my days. Things came to a head this weekend when two things happened, Shane and I had a heartfelt discussion about the state of our lives and Lorelei, my four year old accused me of not loving her anymore. I'll explain...

Since Calvin died, both Shane and I have been completely unmotivated in every area in our lives. His business has all but been neglected, we've stopped socializing, our house is a disaster and we hardly talk anymore about things that matter. We have made numerous attempts to get our lives back on track only to slip into the same old apathy we've been swimming in for the last sixteen months. When we moved to Vancouver during the last three months of my pregnancy, we packed up our home and Shane's brother Greg and his wife Trisha moved in to help us out. We needed our dog to be taken care of, Greg and Trisha took over paying our electricity bill and we paid the rent. We were only able to do this because of the help we received from local service clubs, The Lions Club and the Knights of Columbus. Those two clubs paid our rent in Vancouver so that we could keep our home and have a place to come back to. When Calvin died and we packed up and moved home it took months of walking around boxes before I finally began to unpack our things from Vancouver. During the last year, I haven't even made an attempt to unpack the boxes we left here at the house with our pictures, seasonal clothes etc and my craft room has been overtaken in a mess of boxes and disorganization. Shane has been working hard to find work and finally he is beginning a new job as of today. With his determination to get our lives turned back around we ended up having a discussion about where we've been this past year and why we aren't progressing. He opened up about his frustration with the lack of progress we've made in sorting out the house and the fact that we are still walking around things that are boxed up. He also mentioned that he felt we were experiencing a profound sense of disconnect from our lives and each other. He's right. I've had little interest in doing anything lately, including blogging which is the one thing that kept me going in the early days of our grief. While I am still weaning off the pain meds, I've done little else to change the things that are dragging us down. I cried when I realized that it's true, that I have been disconnected from him, from Lorelei, from my life in general. I don't know if it's because I'm afraid of living my life without Calvin and so I'm coasting through my days, not enjoying things or if it's just because the apathy has become easier than confronting the things that need attention. I wish I could undo all the hurt we've been through this past year but I can't and I don't know how I'm going to find the enjoyment that's been missing from my life again.

Not only did Shane bring up the disconnect between us and our lives but the same day my beautiful girl accused me of not loving her anymore. Since losing Calvin, I have been completely immersed in Georgia. She and I have a bond I never had with Lorelei as a baby. I think because I was so grief stricken over Calvin, I poured all my love into caring for Georgia. At first I attributed Lorelei's comments of "Mom, stop kissing Georgia" to sibling rivalry and figured that in time she would get over it. During the last months, Lorelei's behaviour has been at best challenging and at worst very difficult to cope with. She has become rude, defiant and full of attitude and in frustration I've taken to ignoring her tantrums and bad manners. She is difficult to love on days when she is being mean to her sister, yelling at me or giving me attitude. Oftentimes I have sent her upstairs to watch movies or deny her the opportunity to help me with the things I'm doing because she makes more work for me. When I was sitting feeding Georgia and she came and asked me to do something with her the other day and I answered my usual "Not right now honey, I'm feeding Georgia", she snapped. Pacing the livingroom she went on a rant about how I don't love her, I just love Georgia. She said that one day I would just put her out in the garbage and that I wouldn't miss her. I cried. I put Georgia down and gathered Lorelei into my lap and told her that I would always love her and that we would never put her out into the garbage. I told her that Georgia doesn't replace her or make me love her any less. I cried with her and told her how much I love her and how sorry I was for not making as much time for her as I should have and for making her feel like Georgia was more important to me. I felt terrible and I still do. My little girl has suffered from losing Calvin and from the things that have happened in our family since. She's seen me cry more than any child should have to see their mother cry and in my grief I have not been the mother I should be for her. I'm not the person I can be, not the wife, not the mother, not the friend I should be. I've been working on numbing myself to the pain for so long that I've numbed myself to the good things in my life as well. It was a terrible revelation and it made me feel ashamed of myself. I WANT desperately for my life to feel good again, for it to feel somewhat normal. I have to stop turning inward and isolating myself from my family, from my friends, from life. I'm scared. I don't know how to be happy anymore and any joy I have felt in my life has been shortlived. How does anyone find happiness after losing a child? How does anyone move forward with anticipation of good things to come? How do you get past the survival instincts and self preservation to be there for the people in your life that need you the most? I need some answers, some advice...Please.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I'm an Auntie Again...

I'm exceptionally tired. Greg called at seven thirty yesterday morning to let me know that Trisha had dialated to four centimetres during the night and that they were putting her back on the drip at eight thirty am. In a rush I got dressed and headed down to the hospital. By the time I got there, another woman in full labour had come in eight centimetres dialated and they had turned Trisha's drip off. We visited, paced and waited and finally at two pm the doctor came and put Trisha back on the oxytocin. By five pm Trisha was five centimetres and the doctor felt that she was progressing well and that she should be ready to push by ten pm if all went well. As Trisha's contractions grew stronger and more productive, I rubbed her back and hips with massage oil as Greg counted with her and reminded her to breathe through the contractions. I was absolutely amazed as she was so focused and quiet. By six o'clock she had dialated another centimetre and was in more pain so she was offered the gas to help her through the contractions. It was remarkable to me that she had come this far with no pain relief with her contractions coming fast and furious in pairs every two minutes. By eight o'clock Trisha was eight centimetres dialated and the pain was getting too much so she opted for the epidural. Unfortunately the medication never took perfectly the first time and within twenty minutes she had to have a second dose. After her epidural was working, the nurses suggested that Greg and Trisha get some rest before she had to start pushing so I took the opportunity to grab a tea and read a bit of a book in the waiting room. At ten pm when I hadn't seen either Greg or Trisha's mother Sue, I headed back to the birthing room and walked in to the doctor examining her. At this point he decided she was ready to push so I ran to find Greg and get back as soon as possible.

Trisha started pushing at ten o'clock. By eleven, the doctor realized the baby was still not in the correct position and that Trisha was going to need some assistance. He discussed a forceps delivery with her and told her it would depend on the baby descending further down the birth canal and let her know he had also called the ob/gyn to examine her. Within minutes, I knew something very serious was happening as the ob/gyn began to examine her. He asked for a scalp clip to monitor the baby's heartrate and asked for the ultrasound machine to be sent in. When he inserted his fingers to check the baby's position, he asked when the last time Trisha's temperature had been taken and after checking her temperature informed her she had developed some infection around the baby and that baby was in distress. At that point he told her that there was no way the baby could be born vaginally because she was stuck on Trisha's pubic bone because of the way the baby's head was facing. Within seconds, Trisha was being prepped for an emergency caesarean, thankfully she already had the epidural in place or it would have been under general anesthesia. I can't describe how worried and emotional I was at that point. Trisha was exhausted and bitterly disappointed that after all she had done to birth the baby that it had come to this. However, by this time and with the worry of the baby being under distress, the birth took a back seat to the safety of mother and child. As she was wheeled down the hall to the operating room I began to shake and realized just how worried and upset I was for my beautiful sister in law. It felt like it had been such an emotional journey already. At one point during her contractions, I had joked about how I would have to get my newborn baby fix from her children, Trisha began to cry. She told me she missed Calvin and how sorry she was that my beautiful baby had died and that I wouldn't be having any more babies. Thankfully her back was to me at the time because I was massaging her so that she didn't see the tears that I just couldn't stop running down my face. And now I was scared for her and the baby. I felt so helpless going from being part of the experience to having to wait for her to come out of surgery. We had been told that her section would only take about twenty minutes because she was already catheterized, shaved and the epidural was in place. The time seemed to drag as me and the rest of the family sat in the waiting room. When an hour had passed and still no sign of Trisha or baby I was becoming more and more fearful. Finally, Greg and the nurses came rushing down to the nursery with the baby, a beautiful pink baby girl they named Alayna Nadine. As Alayna was getting checked, poked, weighed and put into the system, Greg explained that the spinal did not go well the first time at which point they had given Trisha a local anesthetic as well. The local, the spinal and the medication she had already received in the epidural froze her well past her chest and as Trisha had a sip of water in the recovery room after her surgery she choked and couldn't cough. For those reasons, the birth had taken a majorly long time and Trisha stayed in recovery until three am. When she was out and brought back to her room, I told her I loved her but had to go. I was and am so tired still from all the emotional stress. I am beyond happy for my brother and sister in law and so proud of them for handling their birth experience so calmly after all they ended up facing, realizing that in the end, the birth is just a means to an end and all that matters is that their beautiful baby girl was born alive and well. Thanks so much for all your well wishes, prayers and kind words, they were truly appreciated.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Trisha's water broke at 1:30 am and she is in the hospital waiting for her labour to begin. Could everyone say a prayer for my sister in law that she have a good delivery with no complications and that she gets a screaming healthy baby in the end??? I'll update once the birth is over. Thanks...

Update: It's just about eleven thirty pm and I'm home from the hospital. Trisha had been on oxytocin all day and by nine this evening her contractions were coming every thirty seconds but upon examination, the doctor discovered the baby has gone transverse and that Trisha had only dialated two centimetres in eight hours. They've turned the drip off and we'll start again in the morning after Trisha gets some rest. It's been a long and painfully frustrating day for my sister in law who endured nine hours of pain for naught. Please keep her in your thoughts so that she may have a productive, easy labour tomorrow. Hugs to all...