Saturday, October 30, 2010

Is it just me...

...or are celebrities becoming more open about their pregnancy losses?

Mariah Carey recently confirmed that she is pregnant, also revealing she had a miscarriage 2 years ago.

Celine Dion had a miscarriage before conceiving her new twins.  Kelsey Grammar's girlfriend had a miscarriage.

It can't possibly be that there are more celebrities having miscarriages can it?

While I'm saddened for these ladies, I'm glad they're talking about it.  It makes it so much less taboo when people in the limelight are willing to talk about it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

One singular moment

I think if someone asked me to name the one singular most-defining moment in my life, most would expect me to say Cora's death.  They'd be wrong though.  Yes...definitely...that was a moment that was very profound and did change who I am and how I see the world.

But there was one moment that did more.

This video is my first ultrasound with Cora.  I had known I was pregnant for several weeks already, and was sicker than sick, but it wasn't real until I saw her on that screen.  And in that moment, I went from just being Brittanie, to being a Mom.  To being Cora's mom.  That was a much bigger change for me than going from Cora's mom to Cora's grieving mom.  Suddenly, someone's needs mattered more than what I wanted, or even than what I needed sometimes.  Suddenly I was needed.  And I realized just how much I needed her.

And that change stayed with me even after Cora died.  That identity remains with me, even though she didn't physically.

I am Cora's mom.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rabbit Hole

Just to warn you, this trailer is totally a tear jerker.

Just about every line from that trailer has at least been thought in my house, if not said out loud.

I have to admit though, while I totally identify with the grief, I found myself so envious of the father who was able to watch videos of his son.  I truly do envy parents that were able to see their children alive before they died.  Now, truly, I understand how traumatizing some of my baby loss mom's experiences were.  I understand how hard it would be to see your child get sick and waste away first.  I am grateful that I never had to see her sick.

But I really do envy parents who got to see their children breath, hear them cry, look into their eyes.

So I'm going to watch this movie, but I may wait until it comes out on DVD so I don't feel bad about sobbing through the whole thing.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Someone noticed my car sticker

So, I was putting gas in my car today, when a lady walked over. I was wearing my Walk to Remember tshirt, which she recognized. She gingerly said hello, told me she had a shirt just like mine, and then asked me where I got my window sticker.

I wanted to cry and hug her, just knowing that she needed one too.

But I just told her where I got it, and we stood there for a moment with tears in our eyes, and then the gas pump shut down because my car was full and it was all over. She walked back to her car and I finished up getting my receipt and such.

*sigh* Poor lady. I wish I knew her name.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A little sad

I have a dear friend who is also a baby loss mom.  Her little boy, Brian Emerson, died in January of 2008 at 21 weeks gestation (I think).  She doesn't talk about him often, but she and I are able to talk about him because we both understand.  I understand that not everyone can be as open as I am.  I've always been a fairly outspoken person.

Anyway, she's pregnant with a little boy again, and they're having a really hard time naming him.  She asked for suggestions today on a facebook status, and another friend of hers whom I don't know suggested the name Brian.

It was a kick in the gut for me.  I can only imagine how it would feel for her.  I'd be really upset if I asked for names and someone suggested Cora.

I'm hoping her friend just doesn't know.  But if she does and suggested it...that's just heartless.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Because I am her mother

My life is very different, because I am Cora's mother.

I know I have an immense capacity to love, because I am her mother.

I know what it means to truly sacrifice, body and soul, on behalf of another person because I am her mother.

I know what it means to have your dreams fall apart, because I am her mother.

I know how strong I can be, because I am her mother.

I understand my own mother, and my grandmothers much better, because I am her mother.

I no longer cry tears of sympathy, but tears of empathy, because I am her mother.

I have more patience with her siblings, because I am her mother.

I am friends with many amazing, beautiful, heartbroken women, because I am her mother.

I am a better person, because I am her mother.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Wave of Light

October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  One of the parts I love to participate in is the "wave of light."  Candles are lit for the entire 7pm hour in every time zone.

  If I have forgotten someone, I apologize, I ran out of room!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I wish...

I wish that I had a picture of my positive test with Cora. Or at least remembered the date.

I wish I'd been able to enjoy my pregnancy with her, instead of having my most powerful memory being one of being convinced I was actually going to die from being so sick.

I wish I'd known about NILMDTS, or at least thought of having the nurse take a picture of the 3 of us together.

I wish I'd been able to have my family in the room to hold her.

I wish we'd been able to have a funeral.

I wish we'd been able to bury her, so that she could have a headstone to tell the world that she was here beyond what I'm able to do.

I wish I'd been able to see her eyes, and hear her cry, see her smile, hear her laugh.

I wish she were here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sweet coversation

Erin pointed up to Cora's shelf

"Mommy, pitoh of Daddy howwding Cowwa!"
"Yes, Daddy's holding Cora in that picture.  What else is up there?"
"Iss pitoh of Cowwa.  An' Cowwa's hand.  An' Cowwa's anjow.  An' Cowwa's beoh's."

She's never specifically said they're Cora's before.  Other times she's just said "the baby."  It made my heart happy.  I'm glad she'll at least get to know her sister a little since she can't have a real relationship with her.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Different but not worse

First off, I recently started going to the chiropractor (my first eval was 3 weeks ago, then last week started 3x a week visits...I'm pretty messed up). Anyway, I found this office because they had a tent outside Walmart one evening offering the first evaluation and adjustment for free.  Turns out that I love this office.  Dr. Judd is such a sweet and compassionate, good natured man.

Anyway, as with my dentist, I sort of felt that it was important for him to understand that I've had 3 full-term pregnancies because that has definitely had an impact on the condition of my body.  But since they have a playroom in their office and I bring my children in with me, it's obvious that I only have 2 children.  So I had to explain what happened with Cora.

We talked a little bit about his experience with his wife miscarrying at around 8 weeks or so, and then he said to me "But it must have been different for you."

I can't explain how much I appreciate him using the word "different."  So many people who have experienced earlier miscarriages tell me that my experience "must be worse."  I don't know, maybe it makes them feel better. If so, fine.  But it doesn't make me feel better.  If mine is "worse" then that means someone whose child died at a year hurts "worse" than me.  And I truly don't think that those people are any more devastated than I was.  Than I am.

Yes, it's different.  I felt her move.  I was past the "danger" zone.  We knew her gender and had her name picked out.  We had her nursery ready.  I went through 8 hours of labor and delivery, and held her lifeless body in my arms.  Then I gave her body to a man in a black suit, who took what was left of Cora on this earth away and shut the door behind him.

It's different.

But a person whose baby dies earlier didn't lose less of a their future because of that.  Just like a person whose child dies at a year old doesn't lose more of their future than I did.

There weren't fewer dreams that just got shattered.  Just more specific ones.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Walk to Remember

Every year the Walk To Remember is held the Saturday before Oct. 15 (Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day). This is the second year we've gone, and this experience was much better than last year's since the weather was so much better.

This year Cora's name was on both the program and the tshirt.  I loved it.  It was so sad to see all those babies names though.

Erin was really excited to "giff bwoons to Cowwa."  It makes my heart happy to hear Erin talk about her sister.  She doesn't understand really at all yet, but Cora will not be forgotten, and that eases the pain a little.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Panic attacks

I used to deal with extreme anxiety.  There was a period of time in my life, my freshman year of college, that I had chronic nightmares and panic attacks so bad that they were waking nightmares.  Thankfully, that's gone now.  Comparatively, I have virtually no anxiety now.  Though, compared to a "normal" person, I probably have them more often.

For instance, yesterday Patrick woke me up at 7am.  I had a chiropractor appointment at 10, so at a little after 8, I decided to take a shower.  I took Patrick in with me so that he wouldn't get into anything while I was busy.  During the shower, I peaked out at the clock.  It was nearly 8:40, and I thought to myself "Wow, Erin's sleeping late, I hope she's okay."

I guess you can call these my "famous last words."  Within minutes, I was having mental images of walking into Erin's room to check on her and finding her cold.  She's 3, well past the age of SIDS risk, but still.  I quickly rinsed out my hair, wrapped myself in my towel and left Patrick in my tub as I all but ran (wet and dripping) to her room.

I woke her up checking on her.  She's fine.

But before that, I was crying I was so sure that my other baby girl had died too.

Right now, typing this, it feels a bit ridiculous.  She did the same thing this morning, but thankfully I managed to avoid the panic attack.  Maybe it's a new schedule.  Maybe it's just a growth spurt.

I hate that at every small change I react like that.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Cora's songs on the radio

So, the other day one of the songs on my Cora playlist came on the radio.  During the beginning I was musing on how little time I got with her.  How it wasn't enough.  I regretted failing her, not being able to give her more time here on earth.  You know, mommy guilt stuff.

Anyway, the song was If I Die Young by The Band Perry, and one particular line hit me really hard:

Lord make me a rainbow, I’ll shine down on my mother
She'll know I’m safe with you when she stands under my colors, oh and
Life ain't always what you think it ought to be, no
ain't even grey, but she buries her baby

The sharp knife of a short life, well
I’ve had just enough time

It felt like she was telling me it was okay.  I mean, I know it wasn't my fault, but sometimes it's good to know that she doesn't blame me.