Sunday, September 30, 2012

Today hurts the most...

Claire's birthday is tomorrow so most would think that day was the most difficult but no...

Today, September 30th, is the
most heartbreaking,
anger filled,
anxiety ridden,
overwhelming day of the year.

What I want to do is go curl up in bed all by myself and cry.
My head is pounding.
I have no patience.
I am SO tired.
My stomach is in knots.
The tears are balanced, dangling really, right there on the very edge of my eyelids.

3 years ago today it was confirmed through ultrasound that my baby was gone. 
I had to make a decision of whether or not to have a d&c or give birth to my dead baby. 
I had to come home and relay the devastating news to my mom and sister and ask them to stay for who knows how long to take care of my 3 other children until I came home with empty arms. 
I had to kiss my boys goodbye knowing that they would never get to meet their sibling. 
I had to go back to the hospital to be induced. 
I had to sit in the maternity ward for hours while shaking uncontrollably, some it from nerves and most, I found out hours later, a side effect of the medication I had taken. 
I had to look out the window on the amazingly beautiful and warm fall day 
wishing I were anywhere but there. 
We walked to the grocery store to buy food that we never ate, drinks we would never drink. 
We watched tv and cried and laughed and then cried some more for laughing. 
We laid in silence. 
We cried some more. 
We tried to sleep.

And then labor began.

I was so afraid. 
 Not of the physical pain as I knew I could handle that. 
I was afraid to see my baby. 
I was afraid to hear the "It's a ___. ", knowing that the one phrase all parents cannot wait to hear would crush me as it wouldn't end with an exclamation mark but rather a period. 
I was afraid of how I would react. 
I was afraid to take any medication to 'relax' me as I wanted to be as much in the moment as possible knowing that moments would be all I was ever going to get.

I wanted it all to be over with. I didn't ever want it to end.

It was the longest day of my life and every year I replay the minutes in my head. 
I know exactly what was happening at any given minute throughout this day...

"Guess I'd rather hurt than feel nothing at all." 
~Lady Antebellum

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Clear, obvious and oh so true...

Artist: Debra Wenlock 

Breakfast conversation with Ma, (age 5), W (age 7) and Mo (age 13):

W- "Mommy? If Claire was alive would we still have Lucy?"

Me- Desperately trying to find the right words... "Not this close in age."... knowing full well the answer is no.

Ma- "Yah, I never got to see her."

W- "Yah, I wish I saw her."

Fast forward a half hour once the boy had left to take the bus...

Mo- "Jaime? Remember when the boys were asking about Claire being alive? Well, no offence but I don't know how I feel really because if she was here, Lucy wouldn't be and I love Lucy. And I can't feel guilty for that, right? I mean, I wish Claire was here and didn't die but, well you know...

Me- "Yes, I totally know. And it's okay to feel that way."


It is okay and totally natural to feel that way but it is a daily struggle to know that Lucy is here because Claire is not. To know that if Claire were here we would not have had any more children, meaning Lucy would have never been born, makes me sad. I am so beyond grateful to have brought our healthy, happy Rainbow baby into our lives but I hate that we had to go through the storm of losing Claire to get her here.

It makes me sad that my young children are questioning and analyzing their feelings and trying to convince themselves that they don't have to feel guilty for the way they love Lucy... and oh how they loooove her!!

It breaks my heart that they never got a chance to see Claire, to hold her and kiss her and watch her grow. However it makes my heart swell with pride to see the love they feel for her still. It is clear and obvious and true.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Claire's Beach Prayer Flag...

Carly Marie is hosting a beautiful event and has invited babylost parents from around the world to participate. She is accepting Beach Prayer Flags, in honor of our babies, that she will string together and bring to Christian's Beach for a candlelight ceremony on October 15th for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

On Friday evening I had a rare few hours all to myself so I set to work! Above is the design I came up with for Claire. It is super simple, made with all of the colors of the fall as well as a few hearts, (of course), all of the little touches that so remind me of my baby girl. I sent it on it's way to Australia yesterday and hope, hope, hope that is makes it on time! xxfingerscrossedxx

This afternoon I made a matching flag to keep for our family as well. I plan to incorporate it somehow into Claire's birthday celebration on October 1st as well as on PAIL Remembrance Day.

I'm not a very crafty person but I really am proud of how Claire's flag turned out...

Toot! Toot!
Hear that?
It's just me tooting my own horn!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Expecting enough...

As Claire's 3rd birthday approaches I find my anxiety skyrocketing.

You would think it would get easier as this will be the third year I 'celebrate' without her but no.

I know what to expect and I know that the days leading up to her birthday are much more difficult than the actual day itself. I know what we are planning to do and I look forward to it however it will all be done a day early as Andrew has to work on her birthday and cannot take the day off which also has me upset... not at him, at all, just at the circumstances. But that's life, right? How many times do we actually celebrate our children's birthday on their actual birth date? This is normal! Woohoo!

We always have a lovely day doing 'Claire's hike' and having a picnic. We have established wonderful traditions but I never feel like it is enough and I wonder,

"How is it that it doesn't get any easier year to year?"

For one, I end up leaving party prep to the last minute and never quite get done what it is I want to do to honor Claire on her birthday. Whether it is the literal icing on the cake, the color of the balloons, or that plaque that I still want to get made to put on a park bench, it just never seems to get done the way I wish, if at all.

I also have the greatest intentions of doing something bigger and better in her name throughout the year and I feel like I let myself down as the list is long and I don't get a whole lot of it accomplished.

That being said, my friend and co-leader Jennifer and I started our Face2Face Yellowknife Friendship Group this past year. It was one of the 'biggies' on my to do list and we took the plunge and began and I am very proud of what we are doing for ourselves and our community.

I guess what I need to keep in mind is that I have my whole life to work on this list. Maybe checking one 'biggie' off the list each year is quite enough. Just like one 'biggie' gift from mommy to her little girl for her birthday each year would be enough... I wouldn't want to spoil her too much! ;)

And so there it is.
I have talked myself down once more.
Blog therapy.
Who knew it could be so effective?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Would I ever be satisfied?

I read the following blog post a couple of days ago: “Miscarriage” and “Stillbirth” – why I hate those words and can't seem to get it out of my mind. I think, in part, it is due to the little rant I went on the other day (read here) about Claire being considered a second trimester miscarriage or intrauterine fetal demise.

For almost 3 years now I have been upset and focused on those medical terms.

~I felt like the term she was given dishonored and downplayed her birth. 
~I felt like the stillbirth title would give her the distinction of baby not fetus.
~I felt that some people would take me and my loss a little more seriously.
~I felt that if she had been termed stillborn she would have gotten the recognition she deserved, on paper, and that would make her more real.
~I felt like it would make her more of a person.

Above all, I felt like her being termed stillborn would offer a lot of peace...

And then I read the article above and realized that those who had delivered their babies past the 20 week gestational mark, stillborn, were upset with the title their babies were given too. They struggle too. They wish for more too.

So it makes me wonder...

Would I in fact be any happier with a different term or title?
Her heart was no longer beating,
she was born,
she was still,
so Claire was stillborn
(at least in my eyes and in my heart).

So maybe that has to be good enough.
Maybe I just need to come to terms with the terms.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Wake up to wonderful....

"Mommy, these hearts are for Claire. I want you to keep them beside your bed so every morning when you wake up you see her love." ~ Matthew (age 5)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Stillbirth Remembrance Day...

Thinking of all of my friends near and far 
as we honor their babies today on
 Stillbirth Remembrance Day. 
I wish you all a gentle day of love and peace 
as you celebrate your baby(ies) who passed too soon.

What is stillbirth?

According to Statistics Canada: Stillbirth (fetal death). Death prior to the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of conception, irrespective of the duration of pregnancy; the death is indicated by the fact that after such separation the fetus does not breathe or show any other evidence of life, such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles. Only fetal deaths where the product of conception has a birth weight of 500 grams or more or the duration of pregnancy is 20 weeks or longer are registered in Canada.

In Quebec (as well as in Saskatchewan prior to 2001 and in New Brunswick prior to November 1996), only fetal deaths (stillbirths) weighing 500 or more grams must be reported, regardless of the gestation period.

Because of these differences in reporting requirements, fetal death (stillbirth) data are presented for two gestation periods: 20 or more weeks of gestation (including fetal deaths or stillbirths with unknown weeks of gestation), and 28 or more weeks of gestation (excluding unknown weeks of gestation).

What are the statistics?

The recorded number of stillbirths in Canada in 2009 was 3234 which means that every day in Canada 9 babies are reported born still.

My issue: (not with the day but with the definition) 

I hate to rant and rave but I feel the need to get this off of my chest as it has been burning there for almost 3 years!

The above stated definition according to Statistics Canada rubs me the wrong way. What I have issue with is that it states: "irrespective of the duration of pregnancy", but then goes on to only include that "a birth weight of 500 grams or more or the duration of pregnancy is 20 weeks or longer are registered in Canada."

Umm.. am I the only one that sees where this doesn't add up?

It hurts because Claire was born at 17 weeks gestation... 
I was induced...
I labored...
I gave birth to her....
She was born.
In my charts she is classified as a second trimester miscarriage. When I go to the doctor and they review my history they see second trimester miscarriage, or second trimester fetal demise. So clinical which I know it has to be but it hurts.

She is my baby. 
I gave birth to her wee. still. body. 
Doesn't that make her stillborn?

Born still = Still born

Sunday, September 2, 2012

August lovin'...

Thank you to Andrew (x2), Antoinette, Caroline, Dena, Gina, Jack, Jen F, Jen P, Jasmin, Karen, Katy, Kelley, Megan, Michelle (x2), Molly (x2), Natasha, Paige, and Vanessa!
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