Monday, February 27, 2006

Yesterday my husband and daughter went to the office with me. I am so glad I brought them with me my first time back. I was much more comfortable. Nothing had changed in my office. I don't know what I was expecting. I set up a few plants and new pictures. I felt happy about the atmosphere. I do really enjoy it there. It looks like I have a new neighbor in the office next to mine.
I am up early this morning and I rode the exercise bike for 20 minutes. I'm going to do my pilates now, then make lunches and get ready for work. I hope I do okay today. I'm still really nervous, but I know it's just one more hurdle I have to get over. Here's a picture of me all ready for my first day back!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Tomorrow is the big day. It will be my first day back at work since the baby died. The last time I was in the office, was the day of my baby shower. I have mixed feelings about going back. I love the work and the people, I just don't like being the center of attention. I'm afraid of how people will treat me. I wish people could see me as the same person I was before. I'm worried they will think I can't do my job properly now. I'm going to go in today with my husband and daughter and get my office set up again. I think it will make it easier for me to sleep tonight and I will be less stressed on the commute tomorrow.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

I received a response from my daughter's Kindermusik teacher:

Oh, Jennifer- I'm so glad to know that C*** is there with J***- He loved Babies- especially little girl babies- so yes, he is our J***, and M**** and I will be buried there with him when our time comes. We are a-ok with extra Dinosaurs. It was also the only place we looked at- I knew it was the right place the minute we pulled up and heard the trees whispering to us, and the birds singing. We don't go as often as we used to...after a period of time you can find your love ones in other places, and at this point I feel like J*** is always with us- our Guardian Angel. There are lots of children in that cemetery, by the way- most of them right in that area where J*** is, and they all have "little things" left there on and off by their families and loved ones. I always visit the other children, too...I don't really know why, maybe I feel better knowing that there are others whose hearts forever carry the scars of losing a child. I guess it helps me to feel less isolated- even though I don't know any of them. And I don't know what the etiquette for grieving parents is either- but in my case, you may contact me at any time- either by email or by phone, and I'll help in any way I can. Grief is a long road, and the scenery along the first part of the path is awfully scary, and it is often dark. If you need a light and a hand along the way, I'll be there. I will visit C*** when I am there. Thank You Jennifer- you have warmed my heart.

Friday, February 24, 2006

I think something really unusual has happened. When we met with the funeral director, we told him we wanted a cemetery that was small and pretty and not a big commercial place. He gave us a few places. There was one that was small and in the woods, but he asked if we wanted to dig the grave ourselves because there was no one to do it. The caretaker was older and his wife didn't want him to do the work. We told him we would go check out the places he listed and we went to that one first we got there, I noticed this big marker with pinwheels and dinosaurs all over. I looked at it for a long time. There was a little boy buried there and I felt that he was so loved. That grave made me want my little girl there too. We told the funeral director and he was able to get the caretaker to dig the grave for us for $100 and donate the plot.
Every time I go, I visit that little boy. Twice I have left dinosaurs for him. The marker has his parents names and birth dates on it and 2 last names. I realized the mother's first name is the same as my daughter's music teacher. I didn't know her last name. I looked it up on her school web site this morning and discovered it's one of the last names on the marker.
She lost her son in a drowning accident in the river a few years ago. They had been canoeing as a family, she, her husband and 3 boys. The boat tipped and got stuck against a log. The parents ended up on either bank, each with one boy, each thinking the other had the littlest. He was pinned under water against the log and drowned. My daughter's teacher is the one who told me the story and I have never spoken to her music teacher about this.
The cemetery isn't even in our town and has very few new graves. I'm pretty sure this must be her son. I have to figure out how to tell her I'm the one leaving the dinosaurs and visiting him. I think it will probably be through email. My daughter's father's schedule changed and she's going to be moving to a higher level Kindermusik class on a different day. I am supposed to contact this teacher for make-up work and I have her email address. Maybe I will ask her in email after we have talked about the makeup work.

Monday, February 20, 2006

One more week. That is all I have until I have to go back to work. I just don't feel ready yet, but maybe I never will. I have been going to physical therapy for my hand and I do not want to worry about scheduling appointments during work. I feel like I have already asked for too much from my work in taking these eight weeks off. I plan to apply for a higher position at work. I would love the job and it will give me a nice goal to set my sights on. I am not sure if I have a shot, because I don't know the internal politics. However, I do know that I am fully qualified and would be an excellent match.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Monday-I visited the cemetery in the morning and left a small azalea plant with pink flowers. There was no one there. I thought there would be a lot of people putting things on the graves before Valentine’s. I left a small, pink, toy dinosaur on a little boy’s grave. He has other dinosaurs there and I wanted him to have one from our baby girl. I was crying as I left and trying to think of words for her grave marker. I need everyone to know how much we wanted this baby, without having to use the word, “wanted.” I came up with, “our hearts’ desire.” We went to the cemetery marker warehouse and picked out a stone for the baby’s grave. We chose one similar to this. We worked on the design and it will have a rainbow between two pine trees. As depressing as it was, I felt some relief that we made some real progress on this. I think it will be another step toward closure.

Tuesday-Valentine’s day! I volunteered to help with the party in my daughter’s preschool class. This was a huge step. We had just seen all the kids and parents at my daughter’s birthday party in December when I was big and pregnant. I don’t know how many of them know we lost the baby. I have been so scared to face them and have people ask, “How’s your new baby?” At the party, I focused on the kids and really didn’t socialize with the 2 parents who were there. I honestly don’t remember a single face from the party in December. I made it through the Valentine’s party and enjoyed spending time with the kids. They were just so loving. Afterward, I asked my daughter who the parents were. It turns out one mother was not only at my daughter’s party in December, but she was the mother of the little girl whose party I avoided in January! She must have known about the baby because she didn’t talk to me.

Thursday-I went to hand therapy for an hour. I have new exercises to do and I’m supposed to be doing heat packs and haven’t started that yet. I had a depressing day. I just started to feel like a real failure.

Friday-I had lunch scheduled with a few friends from work. I had been very nervous about it, but it ended up being great! I’m so glad I saw some people from work before going back on the 27th.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Yesterday was my original due date and I survived! I visited the cemetery in the morning and cleaned up all the remaining flowers from the funeral. I brought the little rose bush my mom gave us at the hospital. I took a nice nap in the afternoon and when I woke up, the tree outside our bedroom was full of robins! My husband and I went for a hike in the woods. It was a beautiful day. Tomorrow I have my six week OB follow up appointment. We are supposed to find out the results from the placenta pathology report then. I hope I have the strength to make it through that appointment.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I avoided the super bowl party because our friends’ 21 year old daughter is pregnant by a real jerk and the situation is just bad. I didn’t think I could handle being around her. Yesterday, we had to go back and get some things we left at the house and she answered the door. I couldn’t just ignore the belly, so I asked when she was due. She started to tear up and told me May 4. I asked if she knew what it was and she said he’s a boy. Then she started to tear up.She told me she was adopting him out. I immediately asked if I could have him, but I know that would never work. She said she had found a great family in New York. The situation is worse than I even knew. She is back living with her mom. She also has a 4 year old. The father of the baby is living in a homeless shelter trying to get state money to go into rehab. She lost her good job, her apartment, everything because of this guy. He’s also 16 years older than her.She was so sad about my baby and so confused about how this could have happened. I never got my baby that we desperately wanted and she is stuck with a baby she can’t take care of. She’s upset when she feels the baby. She’s upset explaining to her 4 year old that he won’t have a baby brother. She was just a wreck. I told her some of the things she would be going through are similar to what I am going through. We talked for a while. I told her I would be happy to talk to her any time. We are walking distance from each other. I told her to just let me know what she needs. She is really scared about labor. She just wants a c-section and the baby taken away. I told her that if I could go through almost 24 hours of labor for a baby I couldn’t take home, she could do it to make a couple into a very happy family. She said maybe I could be there with her and I told her I would love that. I told her I would love to hold her baby for her if she felt she couldn’t do it. I feel so selfish now for avoiding her. I can’t even imagine being in her position right now. She’s going to have to deal with people asking about the baby all the time during the pregnancy, knowing she won’t be keeping the baby. I feel so humbled now. I hope I have the strength to help her, because I know she needs it. I can't stop thinking about her now. Thinking about going back to the same hospital where I delivered Cami, to hold a baby that the mother doesn't want seems crazy! But it seems so right. I don't know how to describe it. I told her that she needs to stop thinking about the past and start thinking about how brave she is to be doing this for someone else. I told her how scared I was when I was induced, but after I had the baby, I was so proud of myself for getting through the most terrifying experience of my life. I hope I can be what she needs.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

I put on mascara. This is the first time since the funeral I have worn any makeup. It's a start, right?

Friday, February 03, 2006

I have a new, fake life. I scheduled a hair appointment with a different salon than usual so I wouldn't have to talk about the baby. I even took off my wedding ring in hopes of avoiding the marriage/children questions. The first thing she asks is how I've been spending my day. Am I supposed to be honest and tell her I started my day by visiting my baby's grave at the cemetery? I just told her I was taking it easy. Then she asked if I was married. Then she wanted to know how many kids I had. I didn't think I should tell her about the baby, but it feels like I am denying her existence! I feel dishonest. The stylist asked if I had any hobbies. By that time I felt totally deflated so I just told her I didn't. So she went into this story about how she saw an episode of A Baby Story when she was pregnant where a lady learned to crochet and made baby blankets. She told me she thought since she had the pregnancy hormones, she could do the same thing. This went on and on! I don't even know how to act in my fake life. I can't be rude to service people. I know they don't know any better.