Monday, April 30, 2007

I did it

So I did it....I sent Lex an's what I wrote....


I have sat down so many times to write an email.

I'm so happy to hear that things are going so well for you and your little girl. I pray for you both every night. I know that it's not easy to be experiencing all these things so far away. Especially for your mom! But your doing great!

I honestly haven't known what to say. I'm so conflicted because I'm so happy for you and Jim, but I'm so sad for myself. I wish that I could have been there for you more in the begining...when everything is so scary and new. But I didn't know how to be because I was dealing with so much that I couldn't even be there for you! I'm so sorry for that!

I'm sure that you don't remember this, but at Cappelletti's you were the only person who said anything to me about Dylan. I wanted so desperately for people to ask me. To say something...anything...and you did. It's something that I will never forget. It meant more to me than you could have ever imagined. I feel like sometimes it's the elephant in the room that everyone is trying to avoid. I wanted people to ask me about his birth, or acknowledge that he existed, or to acknowledge that in every way physically...I was a mother. And you did that for me. What you said wasn't a lot, but it meant the world to me.

And the funniest thing is that when Aunt Annie told me you were going to name the baby Alexander (when they thought it was a boy!), Derick and I had decided shortly before Thanksgiving that the baby, if it was a boy, would be named Alexander. When we found out how things were going to work out, and he was a boy, we decided on Riley James so that he had his own name. So when Aunt Annie told me, Mom and I laughed a little, and then when we found out it was a girl...we laughed a lot because Pop was so excited. I think he think's he's cursed with all girls! But I guess great minds think alike!

Well anyhow....I just really wanted to write and see how you were doing. Mom said that you have been seeing a Perinatologist and I wanted to let you know that if you had any questions I've done the research. And if you have general questions, I can answer them too. Although I haven't been that far along...I was 17 weeks with Dylan and just 16 with Riley...I've read ALL the books! Lol!

Oh, and by the way....when the time comes for me...God willing...I'm going to need help making it through the end of the second and third trimesters! I'm going to rely on you to answer my dumb questions! Ok...and really if the time never comes...and I end up with Japanese kids (Derick says we are going to adopt from Japan because they are much smarter than our own biological kid could be) I'll need help getting them to sleep through the night. And since you've already been! My mom and your mom are great, but they were pregnant with newborns almost 30 years ago!

Ok, well I gotta go and get to bed. I'm working now in Fogelsville so I got a commute and with traffic I gotta get up early. You and I both know that I don't get up well.

Talk to you soon,
Lots of love!Becky

P.S. what are you going to name her?

That's nice...right? My therapist thinks it will do me some good. And I think that it did too.

So here we are....

What a horrible weekend. My brother and SIL came over on Saturday morning. She was in a mood, but he was happy to help Mom with some things around the house. I got held up getting some errands done, so I ended up going with mom to drop my cousin off at school for a function. His mother is the one with cancer.

Anyhow, we picked him back up from school but stopped off at home to let Lilo out. The mail had arrived. Sitting on the front steps were free samples. From the sidewalk all I could make out was the free razor. Under the free razor was the tiny Huggies sample that they send to all mother's nearing birth. There were coupons galore, lotions, and wipes. Begin panick attack.

I grabbed the mail, walked into the kitchen, and sorted through it. There was an envelope, with my name, from my SIL. I opened it, somewhat happily, until I saw what it was. A baby shower invitation. For HER sister. To begin with, I didn't think I would be invited. And you would have thought, since I told her that I can't do baby showers, that she would have understood and at the very least said something to me that morning. And if not me, she could have warned Derick. I was devestated. I through it in my mom's lap and yelled, "How could she do this to me?" Then I proceeded up the steps, into my room, and the full blown panick started.

I called Derick and he was on his way home from work. Mom intercepted at the front steps and explained that it was a bad day. He came in, asked me to take my pill, and then he listened to me talk. I was doing ok. Really, I was.

Until the third part of my panick began.

Brother and SIL came over again later that night so that Derick could help him with a few things. My mom and I had gone to a few yardsales in between dropping off Dan and picking him up. We came across a brand new infant tub for $2, baby t-shirts, and a fisher price toy for $2. It didn't occur to me that they wouldn't be bought for my baby...someday. Until SIL showed up and mom passed them on to her to give to her sister. I wanted to scream, "Those are for MY BABY!!!" But I couldn't because I don't have a baby.

Mom went upstairs and came back down with a bunch of brand new baby clothes. They were Riley's. My son's. THEY BELONG TO HIM! SIL went on and on about how cute they were and how cute they would look on him. One in particular that I had gotten for Riley was a halloween one with candy corn and it said, 'I love my Mummy.' After he was born I would go into the closet and touch it. I felt close to him. The close belong to him. But Mom gave them away.

Luckily, I guess, SIL forgot them at the house and I offered to buy her new ones to replace Riley's. I explained to Mom that I needed them. She thought that it was to difficult for them to be around for me, so it's not like she did that on purpose. But I needed them. I needed to know that they were his clothes. His belongings. That he really did exist....the only physical proof that I had. Mom said that she would buy me new ones. I told her I didn't want new ones. If I couldn't have those, I didn't want any.

This morning all the clothes were on the table but the Halloween one. That's the one I desperately wanted. The rest weren't special....but that one...I close my eyes and see his tiny feet kicking in them.

What a crappy weekend.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


Pop's 80th birthday party is rapidly approaching. It's being held in July. I'm worried already.

Since the last time I have seen the majority of my family, pregnancies have been announced and babies have been born. I'm starting to feel a bit resentful of things. I hate this feeling. How come their babies are here safely and alive? Are they going to ask me about it or just brush it under the rug? Or are they pregnant and just as afraid to talk to me as I am to talk to them?

What happens when an otherwise close family gets this wedge placed between them?

It's the big elephant in the room. Everyone sees it, but no one wants to talk about it. No one wants to hear that my babies died, although I want desperately to tell them about it. No one asks what they looked like, but I want so desperately to show them their pictures. And no one even asks what their names are, but they are my sons.

Are they afraid to upset me? That's not the case. I can talk about things much more freely than I have ever before. Are they afraid to bring things up because they don't want to admit that babies do die? As if admitting that babies die would somehow jinx their own family. Are they happier believing that bad things happen to people who deserve it? Maybe. But if that's what they think of me than I don't need them in my life anyway.

The bottom line is that they are still blissful. Death hasn't touched them. They don't feel as if a black flag is hovering over their home as it is mine. They are innocent. Believing that babies don't get sick and babies don't die. Yet that isn't even close to being true. Because if it were, I would have a complete family. Not a heart with holes in it.

So my question is do I get past that resentment to be able to embrace the new children and be happy for their families? Obviously it's not something that will happen overnight, so I need to start preparing myself now. Start working through these things. It's not something that I want to pass along to my children. I don't want them to live their lives with a mother who is still emotionally hung up on the fairness of life and the impact that it has had on my life. I don't want to be their burden because I can't take care of myself. I don't want to be Derick's burden because he got stuck with a wife who can't carry a child. He was cheated out of the family that he deserves. My body is MY burden. But I need to learn to deal with that now because if I let it go, it will fester and ferment and in 10 years I will still be harboring these feelings and it's liable to tear my family apart.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Two more weeks

I can't believe that in two weeks a whole year will have passed since I held Dylan last. When he was born I inspected his face. Perfect. Tiny ears and a tiny nose...a tiny chin and tiny lips. I'm afraid that I'm forgetting what he looked like. How can I forget? It makes me sad to think about, but I know that it's inevitable. It happens as life moves on. But a mother isn't supposed to forget the face of her firstborn. It happens, I guess, in the process of life, but knowing that in advance doesn't ease the feeling.

I find myself thinking about how we are going to spend his birthday and those thoughts lead to tears each time. Desperate, crippling tears...the sort that lead to long sobs and a racing heart.

Derick and I spoke about it today. I'm having trouble talking about it. We both thought it would be best to take the day off, so we did. We think that we will go to the cemetary in the morning with Birthday balloons and a note to send off to heaven. I'm so sad to think of him spending his first birthday in a place without his parents. After the balloons...we are drawing a blank. It has to be something special and perfect. But there aren't any books on how to celebrate your dead child's first birthday. For some reason, no one wrote a manual on that. And yet it seems to be the single most painful event in a parent's life following the death of their child at any age.

I get frustrated, at times, because Derick seems to not want to talk about things. Or not that he doesn't want to talk about them, but he feels that if he does it's going to make me sad or cry so he avoids it. And when I bring it up, he changes the subject quickly. It's a routine that he's fallen into. And I don't know how to get him out of it. I hate it though. I want him to talk to me about things. I want to hear what he says, I want to be able to cry. Sadly, the routine that I've fallen into consists of crying in silence in private. I'm afraid to cry about most things these days...things not even related to the boys. I'm just feeling very alone in my grief lately and I want him to be able to chat with me and listen, not just hear, what I have to say.

I started a journal. It's a special one that I found with the word 'Hope' on the cover. I've started writing to my future children. If that makes sense. It's a way for me to share with them my feelings, my grief, the love that I have for them already, and the love that I share with their father. It makes me feel good to be doing something beneficial in the world of a it will be good reading when they are adults! Hahah!

Saturday, April 14, 2007


My beloved Aunt, my dad's sister, was diagnosed with cancer on Thursday at the age of 50. They thought it was a small tumor, located in her colon. But upon further testing, they found it in her liver. She met with the oncologist on Friday, and they opted to start chemo right away instead of waiting until they remove the tumors.

The two of us were like two peas in a pod. My dad would say when I was growing up, "Ah! You sound just like my sister!" and when she met me for the first time she held me in her arms and said to my mom, "She's so beautiful! I cannot imagine having a little girl this beautiful, it's only something that I can hope for." Or so says my Mom. We always had a lot in common, very similar personalities. Although the personality traits that we have in common are not those that are favorable by others. We are stubborn, independent, strong, opinionated, often say what we think before thinking, we aren't the best housekeepers...but people love us anyway. I think back, and I wonder how I would have made it through the last year without being stubborn, indepenedent, and strong? Those are the very things that are going to help her get through this challenge.

I want to write her a note, I want to visit her or send a card. But she doesn't want to see anyone just yet. I can understand that. She has three children of her own and a husband that's devoted to her. But in my note, I would like to write that...although the circumstances of my life, particularly last year can't compare to what she is facing, they were both challenges. Things that we had to overcome, a game along the path of life. She will face this challenge head on, and there will be two things she can do. Turn and run in fear, or stay and fight. Fight with all of the stubborness, strength, and independence that the blood running through our veins allows us. It's Clinchy blood, after all. Blood that's thick with those things, but mostly strength. My grandmother is a strong woman almost to the point of being cruel or cold or unemotional, her mother was the same way...although sometimes downright nasty to people she was close to. Thankfully, those things have filtered down through the generations, but there are still traces from time to time. Both my aunt and I posess them, it's just finding the will to bring them out...the will to stand and fight instead of running away screaming.

It's particularly hard for me to have faith in this situation for many reasons. First, I had faith that things would be ok with Dylan and Riley and they weren't. And second, my grandmother died 12 years ago from cancer that started in her pancrias and spread into her liver. The loss of her had a profound effect on my life. I spiraled into a depression that lasted many years partly because of that. It wasn't until I went to Florida that I started to be able to accept the loss of her. I was only 12 years old, but it was a big turning point in my life. One that I will never forget. She was so young, only 68, with 10 grandchildren and another on the way. We worshiped her. We each had a special, different, unique relationship with her. Her and I, we shopped. We played dress up, and she gave me all of her glitzy, old, shoes and fashion jewlery. She painted my nails, and yelled when my grandfather would pull candy out of our ears, "Oh Al, they can't eat candy that's been in their ears!" When he fell asleep in his chair, we would sneak over to him and try to pry the remote out of his fingers before he woke up. She was the leader of our games and our tricks. She gave us the details, and we had to figure out how to acomplish things.

The last time we shopped was for ski pants. I found a magnificent pair of purple ski pants. I adored them. So she sent me into the fitting room, I put them on, and I came out. She knealed down in the middle of the sports store, tugging here and there, then she said the words that no one wants to hear from their grandmother, "Do they fit ok in the crotch?"

The last time I saw her she was in the hospital, feeling better. I thought she was doing better and she would be home soon. I had no idea that it would be the last time that I saw her. She spoke to us, telling us each something special, yelled at my grandfather once more for pulling candy out of our ears, and sent us on our ways with a special I love you.

Three days later she died.

Is it going to be the same with Aunt Deb? Or are things never going to be the same again? Sometimes I think that I would do anything to go back to the way things were. The happiness that we shared at our wedding with everyone close to us there. People were alive and well, happy, smiling. Now it seems as though we have a dark cloud hanging over us. One that we can't shake, can't run from, and it haunts us. But if I went back to that, I wouldn't have had Dylan and Riley. I would not have experienced the things that I did last year, even if they were filled with so much grief at times.

Well...the bottom line I guess is that things can change second by second. Derick and I learned the lesson the hard way last year. It seems as though everyone else is learning the hard way too. Now, of all times, I don't know what to say to her. Or if I should say anything at all. Should I do anymore than hold her hand and hug her when she needs a hug? I don't know. I just don't know.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Need to update...

I guess it's really been a while since I've written anything here. Not that I haven't thought of it, but I just have been in a funk.

It's April. I've got two babies, but none of them are with me. It's April, and in the next two months I have four very signifigant milestones to get through. The first being Dylan's 1st birthday. I feel my chest get tight everytime I think of it. I feel the tears welling up in my eyes and my throat start to close. How am I going to make it through the day? The second, of course, being Mother's Day. Derick is trying his hardest to make things bearable for me. He ordered me the mother's ring that I had been eyeing. It's really nice, and we are both happy. After mother's day comes Riley's due date. June 11th. Here comes the throat tightening again. And the fourth, and final 'milestone' being Father's day. I have no idea what to get or do for Derick.

The song, Wake Me Up When September Ends reminds me of how I feel. Wake me up when June ends.

Easter wasn't so great. I cooked and stayed home. It was the first holiday without either of my babies, and I spent all last week grieving for the lost Easter Egg Hunts. It was bad. The pain of not having them with me is so strong right now. And to top it off, I have this horrible, nagging feeling that there is something that is missing in my life...and they are trying to show me or tell me what it is. I feel them with me more often than not these days. Maybe they are just comforting me, but sometimes I am hardly awake in the morning and I hear the words, "Derick! Do you feel them?" come out of my mouth. Nothing like feeling like you've gone over the deep end on top of everything else. But I just couldn't go anywhere. I couldn't go to Aunt A's and listen to them go on and on about Lex. I just couldn't do it. So instead of making things uncomfortable for them, I removed myself from the situation. Thus alienating myself even more. The very thing that I've been trying to avoid.

But I did go to Aunt A's tonight. She has been so very compassionate to me. She's always there to listen and to chat with. She went on to say that Lex's doctors are a little concerned about her cervix. They have discussed the options of cervical intervention, but she's not sure yet. She's about 17 or 18 weeks pregnant. A lot could change quickly at this point. I know...I live it. She also mentioned that she's going to name him Alexander Burke. Alexander is my grandfather's name. Derick and I had talked about naming Riley that. Well Alexander at least. I really wanted to, but we wanted a name that would be just his since we knew what the outcome would be. I'm dying inside. God I'm dying. Alexander was my name. My baby was supposed to be named after him. They act like her son is the first great-grandchild. He's not. There are two others, don't they remember? Don't they remember the source of my broken heart? How could they forget? How could she name him Alexander? Doesn't she know how much that hurts me?

It's not her fault, I know that. But God I'm dying. I think a piece of me dies a little each day. Someday I'm just going to be a shell. The shell of a person that they used to know...that used to have life and a smile. This is going to kill me. Maybe not physically, but emotionally I think I'm going to die.

This fear that I have is so powerful. It's debilitating and paralyzing. It pushes me down, and even when I fight to stand up again...I'm just not that strong.