AUTHOR: Marty, a.k.a. canape TITLE: One year ago. One year later. DATE: 12/28/2007 10:16:00 AM ----- BODY:
So here it is. If you've read it before, feel free to move on. I'm going to stay right here for today, and then tomorrow I'll move on again too. Taking my little one with me in my heart when I go.

************

At 12 weeks yesterday, I gave in and bought baby clothes. Sil and I were at Old Navy and she helped me pick out the most precious "Baby's First Christmas" onesie and a pile of other gender neutral clothes. Mostly gender neutral. I threw in a onesie with a bulldog on it because a) I just knew my baby was a boy and b) It was possible to put pink pants with it and thereby qualified as either or to me.

We left Old Navy, picked up 36 Krystal burgers for the crew, and headed back to Sil's house. We had gotten new pj's and matching shirts for Lovely and my little Clone niece, and a pile of 50% Christmas randomness to show off and gloat about their cheapness. However, as I was standing in the kitchen serving drinks to the kids, I felt blood began to run down my leg.

Eighteen hours later, I am in my parents guestroom, being not pregnant.

Cleatus died at 9 weeks, 2 days according to the ultrasound. That was the day of the concert - the first day I needed maternity clothes. The D&C was last night here in Jackson. He was with me exactly 12 weeks. 12 weeks and you are supposed to be so much safer. Less risk. Everything is supposed to be alright.

They gave me plenty of prescriptions for pain, but none of them can touch where it really hurts.

************

It was just a precaution. Sil called her OB yesterday to see if they could work me in just to check things out. The spotting had gone on for about 24 hours, but I wasn't concerned. I had spotted after the doctor's visit and a few times after sex. Standing in the kitchen though, I became quickly aware that it was more than just spotting.

Still, I was thinking positively. Guy and I drove to the clinic and talked about how this was just a little nerve rattling scare. I told him, and believed with all my heart, that everything was going to be fine. I was not going to lose our baby.

The tech tried an abdominal ultrasound first. She said that she couldn't see what she needed to see from there. My palms started to sweat and Guy held my hand a little tighter. The vaginal ultrasound was confusing to me at first. Cleatus was bigger, and I thought he was moving, but later realized that it was the tech moving the instrument, not my little guy moving. The tech went to measure him and it came up on the screen as "9 weeks, 2 days."

That is when I turned my head away and started to sob.

She went to get the doctor. I asked him to try again. Please look again. Please try once more to find my baby's heartbeat. We looked again, and there was nothing.

I don't really remember from there. We moved from office to office filling out paperwork for the D&C. I was there and people were talking to me, but I wasn't there.

On the way out of the clinic, we passed by the pregnant woman who had been sitting across from me in the waiting room. She was smiling and saying goodbye. I didn't mean to look at her, and I'm sure she wished she hadn't looked at me. I know that look. It's like seeing the people coming from the back of the vet's office holding just a leash, an empty collar, and a used Kleenex. I pull my own leash in and lean down to whisper in my own pup's ear as they go by.

She looked at me as I walked by clutching Guy's arm and ignoring the tears streaming down my face, and she took a step back. She took a step back into the safety of her own pregnancy and away from the, "Thank God that isn't me."

I would have done the same thing in her shoes. I would have done anything to be in her shoes.

************

I lay strapped down in the OR like I was on a crucifix. Both arms extended, I was left to soak myself in the tears I couldn't reach to wipe away. My terrible vision left everyone looking exactly alike in their green scrubs and caps. They would flutter in front of me, introducing themselves, telling me what their role was. I just wanted someone to dry my face.

Guy walked down to the OR with me so that I could wear my glasses as long as possible. I hate not being able to see. As soon as he left me, the tears came and wouldn't stop.

I knew my baby was dead, but I didn't want them to take him. I didn't want to stop being pregnant with him.

The lights above me were big and looked like flowers through my nearsightedness. They were purple and green and I was trying to focus on them and ignore all else.

The anesthesiologist (I think) leaned over and said something about that I appeared to be healthy except for the smoking. I squinted at him and said, "What?". He was confused I guess and asked if I smoked. I said no and he said, "Then you are in good health." I replied in my best smart ass while practically drowning in my own tears, "Right. Good health except for the baby losing and all. Thanks."

It is probably wise not to smart off to the man in charge of putting you to sleep and waking you up, but I couldn't help being pissed because that same man couldn't seem to read my chart properly and messed up the focusing I was trying to do.

They put me out rather quickly after that, and the next thing I remember is a new voice asking me if I'm alright. The only thing I could say was, "Where is my husband?" Apparently I was pretty adamant about it, because they let him into recovery with me against the rules. I think though, that it was also very late at night.

Guy stood next to me and fed me ice chips. My throat was dry and hurt from the tube that was in it during the surgery. He rubbed my head and talked to me, but I don't remember what he said.

In the room, I slept. Guy slept on the chair that turns into a slab. Kim took care of me all night as though she were an angel. I don't know how nurses are as kind and open as she was and yet are able to work their way through so many different patients every shift. It has to be draining.

I woke up around 3:30 and needed to go home. The tears started again, and I couldn't stop them. After a successful trip to the bathroom, Guy helped me into my maternity clothes and we left. There were prescriptions to fill, and I had to buy pads. I haven't bought pads in years.

We stood in the aisle of Walgreens, staring at pads and wondering which ones to get until a stock girl rolled a cart of pregnancy tests behind us to restock the shelves. Tears again, grab any pads, and head home.

I have never in my life wished so badly for something to not have happened. If there is any possible way to go back and make this not happen, to have my baby back, just please, let it be. I've turned to the typing today. Trying to work this thing out. Trying to find the pain and then find a way for the pain to stop.

I am now open to suggestions because nothing I am doing is working.

************

There is another reason for reprinting this. I think all of about 4 people read this blog when this happened. Suddenly though, someone found it, and commented. Shana, Jen, Sarah, you all know who you are. I realized that I wasn't alone. It changed the whole idea of blogging and community for me.

This year, as I have grieved for one life, created another one, and more, I have made new friends along the way. Friends that came together to be the ones that helped me celebrate Bird's pending arrival. Friends that put up with me as a roommate in Chicago. Friends that let me into their lives and who I'm glad I've let into mine. And I get to stay better connected with some IRL friends who are separated by too many miles.

A public blog is a strange thing. You know that there are people here that you would prefer there not be. You know that Google brings some creepiness your way (hello all you ginormous boob searchers). You know that the idea of online stalking is not just an idea (thank you, Sitemeter). But yet, the good far outweighs the bad.

You - my friends - are the good. Your comments and your friendship mean so much to me. So I hope you don't mind indulging me this day of remembering Cleatus the Fetus. The truth is, I'm doing just fine.

Like Guy said, "You will be sad forever at the loss of our baby. You just won't be sad every moment of forever."

And it's true. Today I'm going to allow myself a little sad. Tempered with packing a bag for the hospital.

It's all in the balance of things.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Bubblewench DATE:Friday, December 28, 2007 at 10:50:00 AM EST I say a prayer that while your pain will never go away, that it will at least lessen if only a tiny bit.

Amazing posts. I hadn't read them. Now I'm in tears. Good and bad ones. Ones for Cletus and ones for Little Charlie Parker Bird. (cause you know that's what I call him in my head even though you said he had nothing to do with it) ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Candygirlflies DATE:Friday, December 28, 2007 at 10:55:00 AM EST Love you, Canape...

And I've been where you've been.

Although he will not take the place of Cletus, Little Bird will fill your heart, and ease some of the sore spots that still smart with memories.

I can't WAIT for him to be here!

xo CGF ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous KimmieRo DATE:Friday, December 28, 2007 at 11:20:00 AM EST I remember the first time I read those. I wept for you, as I wept for my own recent loss. I feel so blessed to have gotten to know you over the last year.

We will always hold those little ones in our hearts, and now God has given us something to soon hold in our arms. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous slouchy DATE:Friday, December 28, 2007 at 11:25:00 AM EST oof. cleatus will be in my thoughts today.

and you, friend.

i'm so very sorry. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Imstell DATE:Friday, December 28, 2007 at 11:37:00 AM EST Oh, the memories this brings back of my own 11 week 5 day loss. By this time next year you will note the day but be so filled with Little Birdness that Cletus will be but a byline. The year after next even less so. Always a mother of two in your heart but life is so full, after all... ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Steph DATE:Friday, December 28, 2007 at 11:57:00 AM EST I didnt read these when you first read them. They make me sob!

I cant imagine that pain or relate to it, but you and Guy have my thoughts and my prayers! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Space Mom DATE:Friday, December 28, 2007 at 12:27:00 PM EST 7 years later, I can tell you that the pain mostly end. But you never forget. There will be sad days when you will remember Cletus and get sad. And there will be happy days when you hold Little Bird.

But today? Just know that it is okay to feel what you feel..... ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Anth DATE:Friday, December 28, 2007 at 1:26:00 PM EST Oh Canape. *Virtual hug* I'm sorry.

As you've probably guessed, you never forget about your little baby you lost. Even when you have an active toddler trying to demand every ounce of your attention. You always remember that little baby, and feel that pain. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Amy DATE:Friday, December 28, 2007 at 1:50:00 PM EST I'm right here next to you holding your hand and remembering your little Cleatus. He's with all the other little babies whose lives were taken too soon, looking down on us and smiling at the new lives being created.

I love you dearly. And I would take away your pain if I could. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Jen DATE:Friday, December 28, 2007 at 2:02:00 PM EST I remember that day too, one year ago. I remember finding you and reading your words with tears falling from my face, for a stranger in blogland who lost her precious baby. And now you are a friend. And re-reading that post brings me back to that day all over again. It is so important to remember Cleatus on this special today. Much love to you M, and Little Bird who is on his way into your arms!
((((hugs))) ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous No Minimom DATE:Friday, December 28, 2007 at 2:15:00 PM EST You know I empathize with you. And Guy nailed it on the head. We won't forget our Cletus and Bean, but it hurts a little less everyday.

Little Bird will not begrudge you your memories of his little brother. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous jennifer DATE:Friday, December 28, 2007 at 4:08:00 PM EST All I know to say is sorry.

It breaks my heart.

Looking forward to happy posts about Little Bird. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Stella DATE:Friday, December 28, 2007 at 4:29:00 PM EST I am so very sorry for your loss. I can only hope that the pain in your heart has lessened a little bit as your love for Bird and for Cleatus has grown.

Thank you for sharing so freely of yourself and for allowing me "in". ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Bon DATE:Friday, December 28, 2007 at 8:01:00 PM EST tears, Canape.

honouring Cleatus alongside you...and waiting for Bird. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous toddlerplanet DATE:Friday, December 28, 2007 at 9:13:00 PM EST I love you.

And the power of your writing -- oof. It was these posts that convinced me of the power of blogging as well. The very fact that you didn't HAVE to recount every bit of this on the phone with me, and hurt again, was so good. You could just pick up where you wanted to, and I appreciated that. I knew where to come for the facts.

And here we are again. I know that you will always miss him, and that's okay. Good, even. But I'm glad that you're packing today too. Tempering the painful memories with thoughts of the good days ahead.

There will be so many good days ahead.... ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Becki DATE:Friday, December 28, 2007 at 9:44:00 PM EST Thanks for sharing your life with us. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Jessica DATE:Friday, December 28, 2007 at 11:12:00 PM EST I can't remember how I found you.
I can't remember when I found you.
But I'm so glad I found you when I did.
Because you've opened my eyes, and my ears, in ways that other bloggers haven't been able to.

And for that I'm grateful.

I think Cleatus had something to do with all that... He brought us together :) I'm glad you're remembering this very eventful day, in very appropriate way.

Be Well Canape. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous PA_Lady DATE:Friday, December 28, 2007 at 11:37:00 PM EST (HUGS) I lost my second child 19 years ago, at fifteen weeks, three days. The pain doesn't go away completely, but it becomes less of a jagged piece of glass in the heart as time goes by.

That date is etched in my heart, and the milestone events always make me catch my breath and and think of the "might have been's" usually with tears, but the agony of those first months eased over the intervening years.

First with the news that I was pregnant again, then the birth of a healthy son one day shy of a year later, and then all the mundane things like a beautiful spring day or a baby's smile or flowers from my husband.

Though you'll never forget, life does indeed go on. Not the same -- more like the occasional twinge a once-broken bone gives in rainy weather, with occasional more-painful flares -- but it goes on. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Mel : ) DATE:Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 8:26:00 AM EST im so sorry for your loss! BIG HUGS!!!

i had a bleed at 27 weeks when i was pregnant with my son, & they couldnt find the heart beat initially on the doppler, it took about 5 mins for them to find an ultrasound machine, the worst 5 mins of my life. luckily everything turned out ok, but i shudder everytime i think about the alternative.

so sorry for your loss! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous FENICLE DATE:Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 9:11:00 AM EST Love & prayers are with you. Guy is a very smart man! Hang onto his words.

(Thank you for your post over at Toddler Planet too!!) ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Jenn DATE:Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 10:47:00 AM EST {{{HUGS}}} Friend. Thank you for sharing. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous ColleenZ DATE:Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 11:16:00 AM EST WhyMommy sent me here today, and darnit, you have me crying too. I know from experience that losing a baby is one of the world's worst pains, and your experience in the hospital made me so sad, remembering. I got pregnant with my now 15 month old daughter two months after my miscarriage -- and yes, it's easy to "forget" as you are attending to a baby's constant needs or chasing a toddler around, but you don't really ever get away from the knowledge that someone is missing. Cleatus is waiting for all of you, and I know that someday you will see him. I know this day is hard, but they do get easier, as time goes on. God bless. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous gail DATE:Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 3:45:00 PM EST Much, much love... ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Ally DATE:Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 4:24:00 PM EST Oh of these days I think should should post a list of Guy-isms, cuz it seems that he has a lot of wise words to say.

I'm glad that you reposted this one, since I hadn't discovered your blog back then.

Many hugs to you. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous ladybugsnlizards DATE:Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 8:26:00 PM EST Yesterday on the board when someone posted to you saying they were thinking of you, I added a simple reply of "Big (((HUGS)))" at the bottom. Now I realize how thoughtless that simple comment was. I wasn't trying to be. Not at all. But I just didn't know what to say. And now I know that what I said didn't really cover how I was feeling for you. I try my hardest to avoid things of that nature because even after 14 and 9 years having gone through the same type of loss it still hurts. But then I realize that I shouldn't hurt alone and I'm sure you don't want to either.

I don't know if this all makes sense. I am typing through tears after reading your story. I'm so very, very sorry. I know my simple words don't make it hurt any less but just know that I am thinking of you and here if you ever want to talk because unfortunately I do understand. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Kathy's Surprise Party DATE:Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 8:45:00 PM EST This is what I read when I first found you. It made me cry then, and it made me cry today. But today's tears were different. They were happier, thank god we are moving past that time, thank god for little bird tears. Checking in as we've been traveling for the holidays and was thinking of you and that baby! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Liz DATE:Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 11:57:00 PM EST I wish I had found you under different circumstances...and reading this brings me back to the night I first read your blawg, and cried and cried and cried for you and for your baby and your loss.
In the year since, I've made a wonderful friend and I send you lovelovelovelove. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous debi DATE:Sunday, December 30, 2007 at 5:02:00 AM EST My baby boy died April 17 1971. Long time ago, I have 5 kids now and 7 grandkids. Not one year has gone by without me remembering and maybe shedding a tear still. But with time the incredible pain went away. I will always love him. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous labugga DATE:Sunday, December 30, 2007 at 11:04:00 PM EST I'm a little late, but much love to you, my friend. Much love. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Sudiegirl DATE:Monday, December 31, 2007 at 8:22:00 AM EST My mom lost two babies (one before me and one after me) in the same manner you did.

Thank you for helping me understand what she must have been going through.

And blessings on you too...I pray for a wonderful outcome and continued healing. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Jan DATE:Tuesday, January 1, 2008 at 8:40:00 PM EST I just found your blog and couldn't believe what I was reading. I didn't want to read it but I couldn't stop either. I lost my son too, only he died at term. I carried him 2.5 weeks that way. That was 36 years ago this coming August. I still long to hold him in my arms but yes, the pain does lessen. I was never priviledged to have another child. I am so happy you are expecting little Birdy. (((HUGS))) ----- --------