Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 over.....thankfully

I'll be glad to see 2010 go. Bring on 2011, especially April, and please please please let it be better than 2010.

It started out ok, with lots of hope, expectation and excitement with the approaching birth of our first child. And even when she was born, we had the tears of joy moment, and "it's a girl" happy surprise. About an hour later in the recovery room, we found out the news that everything would not be ok, and our world was about to be shattered. Since then it's been 10 long months of grief, shock, guilt, blame, sadness, jealousy, bitterness, longing, loneliness, mixed in with a bit of happiness, gratefulness, and hope. I never thought I could cry so many tears, miss someone I never really knew so much, and just feel so full of despair. After the initial shock wore off, I never would have thought I had the strength to live through the loss of Nevan, but here I am, quickly approaching the one year mark, and still standing.

If I can think about the good things to come out of 2010, C and I got married. The death of our daughter has brought us closer together, which I'm thankful for, and I'm extremely grateful to be with an amazing man like him. Also, I'm extremely grateful that I got pregnant with Nevan's little brother. It's been quite a ride so far, full of both anxiety and hope, and I'm praying he stays safe and well, and gets here in April.

So goodbye 2010! I will move forward, carrying Nevan with me in my heart, hopefully towards a brighter and better 2011.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


I'm glad xmas is over! Actually, I can't wait for this time next week, when 2010 will be done too. I didn't expect to have a hard time with yesterday, seeing as C and I were not doing xmas at all. We had planned to just stay home the 2 of us, make some food and relax and watch movies all day. We did end up doing that, and it was good. I had one huge melt down in the evening, but other than that was ok.
This week has been an emotional one for me anyways. Our friends had their baby on the 23rd. We weren't really close to these people when we had Nevan, but in the months since, we've become close. I've had a couple chats with the girl about Nevan, and they've treated us like normal people, which has been nice. Anyway, I've still been dreading their baby's birth since we found out she was pregnant. C called me on the night of the 22nd to tell me she was in labor and he'd be bringing their dogs over. I had a huge breakdown, and cried more than I have in a long, long time. I guess it brought back major flashbacks and memories to my labor with Nevan. I was really stressed out all day at work the next day, not sure if it was selfishly about me, or worried that her labor was taking so long. Anyways, their son was born healthy and fine on the night of the 23rd. We went up to see him on the 24th. I was feeling really stressed about meeting him, and just wanted to get it out of the way. I almost lost it as we got out of the elevator on the maternity ward. All I could hear was crying newborns, and then so many happy people in the waiting room it was rough. I held it together, and meeting the new baby was actually ok. He's very sweet and I held him for a while. I was glad to get it out of the way.
I'm now 23 wks along with Nevan's little brother. The pregnancy feels like it's taking forever, and I swing back and forth between hopeful and majorly stressed. I started having braxton hicks contractions at 20wks, which really freaked me out. The night before an OB appt last week, I was having so many, which of course caused major stress. I had a complete breakdown in my appt, and my OB was very kind, gave me 2 ultrasounds, one to check the baby and one to check my cervix. Both are fine. Apparently it's very normal to have the bh contractions this early in a 2nd pregnancy. He said if I ever needed reassurance, just go to the hospital and they would check me. So that's a bit of a relief I guess. I'm really trying to stay hopeful and positive, but it's hard. April can't come fast enough.

Monday, December 6, 2010


I just took the dog for a nice walk in the snow. I really love walking at night in the snow, especially now, it reminds me of the first night I was in labor with Nevan. It was such a beautiful calm and quiet night, with big snowflakes falling. I made Chris walk forever around the neighborhood, hoping it would make the contractions stronger!

Soon after Nevan died, I started to dread the holidays, even though they were almost a year away. I told Chris we were going away for sure this Christmas. Unfortunately, it's not really in the budget this year for us to pick up and leave and go somewhere far away, preferably where they don't celebrate Christmas! I have told our families we're not doing Christmas this year. We'll visit them sometime in December, but from the 24th-26th, I'm avoiding everything. I figure I've already faked happy through Easter, Thanksgiving, and numerous birthdays, so I'm not doing it during the holidays. It's a huge weight off my chest, and I'm actually looking forward to just staying home, hanging with the husb and Angus (the dog) and maybe doing something anti-celebratory, like going to a movie or something. We'll be thinking of our girl too, and as always, wishing things had turned out differently.

Monday, November 15, 2010

9 mos

Sweet Nevan,

You were born 9 months ago today. You died in my arms 9 months ago tomorrow. We've now been grieving you longer than I carried you in my body. At times I still can't believe this happened to us. I've known 2 babies born in the past year - both very premature, one born with his stomach outside his body - both are alive and thriving now. You were my healthy full term baby, but didn't make it due to some random accident in labour. I just don't understand it all.
I went back to work at the ballet today. I haven't been there since I left for maternity leave with you. I was lucky enough to get contracts with other companies in the city until now, so I'm back there. It's a very wierd deja-vu working there again, I'll be there roughly the same length of time I was with you until I go on maternity leave again. And I'll be going through another pregnancy with the same people I did last time. I'm hoping and praying the outcome is different this time.
I still miss you and ache for you every day my sweet girl. I so wish you were here with us right now. I love you.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A first

I went to my first baby shower on Sunday (the first since my own with Nevan). It was actually not too bad. It was co-ed, so it wasn't really a typical girly shower with all that gushing and ooh-ing and ahh-ing. It was for my husband's business partner and wife, who we've become pretty close to in the last 6 months. And while they don't get our grief at all, they have been pretty cool with us, and treated us like we were normal people. It was really hard for me to hear about her pregnancy (which they told us about at 5 wks) just 2 months after Nevan died. I told her my whole birth story, and she has brought up Nevan lots, which is nice. I have found myself feeling shocked at the way they talk, like just because they're pregnant means a live baby will be coming home with them. I think I'm jealous I'll never have that innocence again. She asked me to go to the hospital when she gives birth, and at first, I thought she meant just to visit. But I think she means for the birth, which I don't think I can do.
And speaking of people treating us 'normally' or not, there's another baby shower this weekend for the cousin who showed up 6 months pregnant at our wedding, without telling us. Needless to say, I'm not going!! Luckily, we had plans already, so I don't even have to make up an excuse! Whatever works, right?
Lately, I'm feeling like I'm being pulled in 2 directions. I'm really trying to think positively and look towards the future and this new baby. I find my mind thinking of Nevan, my pregnancy with her, my birth, our hospital experience, everything to do with her. I still often cry, and I think Chris just wants me to look forward. In fact, he has said he's sometimes worried about my emotions and their impact on this baby. I feel like I need to go through this grief now, and that I'm doing really well considering. I think I have to just go through it all to ever move forward. Never forgetting.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Uggghhh facebook. Just checked it cause I was bored, but bad idea. The cousin has pics posted of the twins in pumpkin costumes of course. They have gotten cute and fat now. And they look kind of how I pictured Nevan would look (but she'd have been cuter of course). Someone else had posted 'bump' pics. This inspired me to look back through my photos of my pregnancy with Nevan. I looked so happy. Where's that girl gone? It also made me realize the thought of taking bump pics has not even crossed my mind this time........

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's time......

I've been putting this off for weeks now. Partly because I was afraid of "jinxing" myself, partly because I know it's hard to hear. I'm pregnant again, just over 14 wks. I see lots of blm's announcing right away, but I thought "that's so early, I'll wait till 9wks". Then, I thought I'd better wait till 12, just in case. Then, might as well wait till I get into the 2nd trimester. So here I am, and while I know it doesn't mean everything will be fine, I'm glad to have made it to this milestone. I'm going to the OB who did my c-section with Nevan, and so far he's been amazing. We went to the appt in his high-risk clinic, but he wants us to go to his low-risk so that I "can have as normal a pregnancy as possible". haha! I wish I could delete all the info I've learned about babyloss in the past 8 months, and then we'd see! Anyways, he's doing a c-section at 38 weeks, and will be doing lots more monitoring towards the end.
I'm not sure the pregnancy feels totally real yet. Even though we've seen the baby on ultrasound and I'm sporting a mean bump. I'm trying to stay really positive, but it feels like there's such a long way to go until April. Chris and I went out and bought an outfit for the baby that I've hung up where I can see it everyday, and picture the baby coming home.
I've had 2 dreams about this baby, in both he/she's living and growing. In one Nevan was there at the beginning, my sister was handing her to me and she was so big, like 2 years old. Then she was gone but the new baby was in my arms. I haven't had any dreams of Nevan, except right after she died, I'd have stress dreams I pushed harder in labour and she came out faster and we saved her. In this new dream I could actually see what she'd look like at 2 (I think anyway). I've been waiting to have a dream about her, I always hear of people who dream of their babies, but it took me a long time. Chris thinks it means she's watching over her little brother or sister, and I love that idea.
All in all, this pregnancy hasn't changed my grief. I think time is making daily life easier, but I'm still sad, I still miss Nevan soo much. I always think of her when we're out and see babies, especially bigger babies now. I still have triggers and still cry often. I haven't told hardly anyone in real life, except our immediate families and a few friends. I'm really dreading the happy reactions, and the expectations that I should be over my grief now. Sigh... anyways, I am extremely happy to be pregnant again and know we're very lucky. Just trying to take one day at a time and keep thinking good thoughts.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

While talking to my mom last night, she told me that her and my dad had had a long talk about Nevan the other day. My dad hasn't really said all that much to me about Nevan, but he told my mom that he's just realizing now how big the loss is, and that she's from his blood. I'm just glad they're finally talking, and talking to me about her. Then my mom shocked me and told me she's getting a tattoo for Nevan!! My mom's 61 and pretty hip for a lady of that age, but I'd never picture her with a tattoo. She said she wants to do something for her, and getting a tattoo is on her 'bucket list'. It's going to be of a broken heart with Nevan's name. I think it sums up everything perfectly.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

It's been a while...

I haven't posted here in a long long time. I've been reading, lurking, not commenting much. I guess I haven't had much to say. Oct 15th was both Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness day, and Nevan should have been 8 months. I lit candles for her and all the other babies gone too soon. I'm finding lately that the passing of time is helping a bit. Don't get me wrong, I still miss her horribly, and have my dark moments and bad times, but I guess the living day to day is getting much easier. I'm realizing that even though this awful thing has happened to us, I'm an extremely lucky person and have a lot to be thankful for in my life. Maybe I'm now getting to the "acceptance" part of grief?

On a side note, there are lots of "little things" that bother me. For example, one of Chris's cousins showed up at our wedding 6 MONTHS PREGNANT without telling us! No one else in the family had told us beforehand either.........I guess it's good we found out before the baby's born???
Also, at work last week the boss came out of her office and stood right beside me, and then announced very loudly to the whole studio (25 people, in a huge room) that an old coworker had just had her baby at 33 wks, he was in the NICU, but everyone was wonderful and doing great and so happy. Of course I'm glad everything's ok, but really?? Did she have to stand right beside me when she announced that??? uggggh.....people.

Anyways, I'm trying to look past the "little things" and stay positive! Right now, life is feeling alright, maybe even good. I'm enjoying it and going with it, cause it's been a long long time!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Just after Nevan died, the ladies at my work put together a care basket for us, filled with p.j's, treats, bath stuff, and lots of movies. The movies were all a random selection and I watched some at the time, others I just forgot about. Tonight my friend was over and we were too lazy to go rent a movie, so we decided to watch one I had here. We watched 'The Music Within', one of the movies given to me by my coworkers. The first scene in the movie is a heavily pregnant woman rushing to the hospital to give birth. The doctor comes out of the room to give news to her family, and he just shakes his head. Cut to the woman being wheeled out of the hospital in a wheelchair crying. She goes on to lose more babies, and then takes an overdose of sleeping pills on each baby's birthday every year. Yikes - intense, I know. Now, the woman who organized the basket is the sweetest, nicest ever, and I'm sure she'd be horrified if she knew what they sent me!! I'm also pretty glad I didn't watch this movie in the darkest days of my grieving. I don't think I'd have handled it very well then. It didn't make me upset watching it tonight, but more surprised I think. I can't recall any other movie or tv show that has mentioned babyloss (oh-except Marley and Me). I don't really know what I'm trying to say with this post, but I guess I'm surprised babyloss was mentioned in this movie, when it's so rarely talked about in our society.

Monday, August 30, 2010

To my sweet girl,

Daddy and I got married on Saturday. We've been living as common law 'husband and wife' for the last 4 years, and I was always quite happy with that. In the months since you've been gone, it became important for us to make it official, which we did on the weekend. In the wake of losing you we have grown much closer and stronger as a couple. I am so lucky to have such an amazing man as your dad in my life. I know he would have taught you wonderful life lessons, and I would have hoped you'd grow up to be like him. Instead Nevan, you've taught us that life is indeed too short, and we should cherish every moment with the ones we love.

The ceremony itself was beautiful. Our minister is our next door neighbor, so it was very personal and we included you throughout the night. The ceremony started with the minister placing dad's eukelele, my shears and some of my dress fabric, and your photo and the quilt I made for you on a table to represent the 3 of us as a family. She talked about you a lot in the ceremony, which made me happy because it was the first time we've seen most of the people there since last christmas, when I was very pregnant with you. Your auntie Kelly made a beautiful speech which included you, and so did uncle Jay. There was also a slideshow of pics from our lives, which included my pregnancy with you, our hour together in the hospital, and your butterfly release. It was beautiful and touched my heart. It was so nice to have everyone talking freely about you, and we got many comments on how beautiful the night was.

It was a happy night for us, and I hope you were smiling down on us and could feel the immense love for you from our whole family. We miss you baby girl, but carry you with us in our hearts.
Love Mommy.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

6 months...


It's already been/it's only been 6 months. I don't have much to say, except I miss you. Life has been hard without you this week. I haven't cried as much as I did this week in a long long time. Everyday before and after work, sometimes on the subway on the way home. I must seem like a crazy lady to people. I guess it's true what I've heard other BLM's say, that the lead up is worse than the actual day. I'm sad, I'm hurting, and realizing this pain will never go away. It's dulled sometimes, by good days, good friends, family, and especially your dad, but I think I'll carry it with me forever. I'm really trying to live a good life and stay positive for you baby girl, but it was hard this week. Just know, I'm thinking of you, your're in my heart, and I love you.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

This week was much better for me emotionally. Maybe I just had to adjust back to life in the 'real world'. I admit that before I went back, I was living in a bit of a bubble. I was home most days, just doing what I felt like doing, walking the dog, reading blogs, sewing, laundry etc. I think it's good for me to be out of the house, around people and in a routine (that's what I've been told by other people anyways).
I didn't end up telling any of the women there about Nevan. I thought if it somehow came up in conversation I would, but nothing ever came up. And really, how do you casually mention you have a dead daughter? Awkward. Anyways, I was only working there for 2 weeks, on Monday I go back to a company I worked for before I got pregnant. So I think most people there know about Nevan. I keep in regular touch with my boss from there, and after it all happened, I asked her to spread the word around work so I wouldn't have to have awkward conversations if I saw old coworkers on the street. I'm wondering to myself if it's better if people know or not know?? I want people to know about my daughter, and not get all weird if she comes up in conversation. But I have to say in the the last 2 weeks, no one gave me pity looks. No one walked on eggshells. I don't think anyone noticed the first week when I was a bit sad and withdrawn. It was alright. I did feel like I was hiding a big secret. If I was staying on there I would have told them somehow. I'll be able to tell next week which is better: people knowing and the pity looks and eggshells, or people not knowing and being treated normally, but feeling like I'm hiding something HUGE.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Back to work....

I went back to work this week. I didn't go back to the job where I was pregnant with Nevan (that contract was over). I went to a new place I've never worked before, so no one knew my story. The work I do is contract, and usually split between 3 big companies in the city, so the industry itself is small. Everyone knows everyone. But no one seemed to know about Nevan (and if they did, they didn't mention). There's one girl who I worked with for my pregnancy, she's been sweet. I've been feeling like an emotional train wreck all week, crying before bed at night, fighting back tears on the subway, and even sometimes at work. I don't know what it is exactly....this big change in my life (it's been 6 months since I worked ... I finished my last job 2 weeks before my due date, and then Nevan was a week late), just being overtired - we have a big deadline and have been working long hours, or just thinking of what could have been's. Also maybe realizing that my dead baby has been the center of my universe for all these months, but the rest of the world keeps spinning by.
So this new job is alright. I'm working in a smaller studio with 4 other ladies. Today the conversation kept drifting towards sickness and death. I couldn't believe it when they started talking about birth and death. Mainly : "I have a friend who gave birth to her daughter, and then her mother died shortly after". Oh, me too. My friend's father died after she had her kid". Then they all talked about how horribly sad that was, how awful, heartbreaking. This was one of my fighting back tears moments, and I had to bit my tongue from saying : "Yes, that's sad, but giving birth to your first child and having her die in your arms less than 24 hours later is hard to live through. The sweet girl I worked with at the last job quickly changed the subject to happier things before I lost it. I have been thinking though... my grandma is real old: 94. Her health has been going downhill for a couple years, and her mind has just gone this past year. Both my sister and mom used to say while I was pregnant, that they thought she'd pass away around the time I gave birth. Life happens that way. Except in my case, we defied all odds, statistics, the 'natural order' and our baby died. Ugghhh... first few days back and already I can't wait for the weekend.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I need to take back my rant from a couple posts ago. I had a big talk with my sis yesterday, and as it turns out, she's talked to the kids about Nevan, and shown them her picture. She told me I can talk with them, explain things, whatever I feel. I guess my nephew was just being a 9 year old little dude. Either the conversation was over his head, or he was uncomfortable. Just another case of me making something bigger in my head than it really was, and stewing over it. (Yep, I do that a lot) I think if I want Nevan remembered, mentioned etc. I have to be the one to set the example, mention her name, talk about her, and then it will be less awkward with my awkward family. Ahhh.

On a positive note, Chris and I went out for a great date tonight. It was his bday, so we went for sushi and beer, then had ice cream at the beach. It was a fun night. It really felt like old times, where we would go out all the time for dates and dinner and fun. I ate lots of raw fish, and drank beer, and thought to myself, I don't think I'd be doing this if I had a 5 month old. (?????). So a bit bittersweet, but aren't most things these days? We're going camping for the rest of the week, so it'll be good to get away, get out of the city, and relax for a bit.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I've been making a real effort to be positive lately. To think positively, to try and block out the negative, the hurt, the pain, to try and be happy for daddy. I even found some 'positive affitmations' online, and wrote them out and put them up around the house. I also found some affirmations for pregnancy and good outcomes. (Will save for later, when - hopefully - we'll be pregnant again). Anyways, I guess they help, at the time, but it's all still very hard. Today's 5 months since you were born. Again, 5 months sounds like such a long time, and sometimes feels that way, but most of the time it feels like a couple weeks ago. I guess that was a factor in this week being hard. I can say that I still feel completely lost. I haven't gone back to work yet, although I've done some freelance from home. I really need to start getting on the work train, my 'sick leave' will be done by the end of summer. I got a message today about a job, and kind of freaked out. I will call back tomorrow, because I know it's beyond time to go back, to get on with things, to go back out into the world and live life. I read somewhere recently that our babies would want us to lead a good life. So with that, I'll get myself together, and start living again, I guess?

Friday, July 9, 2010

This is the necklace I got (made Chris) get me for my birthday. It's a wee tiny heart with footprints on the front, and Nevan's name engraved on the back. There's also a rose quartz stone for healing of emotional pain. I wear the necklace every day.
I was at my sister's yesterday, swimming with my nephew and niece, who are 9 and 7. My nephew was looking at the necklace, and said: "there's little feet on your necklace", to which I replied: "yeah, it's to remember Nevan". Then he said "who's Nevan?" I said:" My baby that died".
Ouch. Kind of broke my heart all over again. My family is one of those that never talks about anything difficult, or taboo, or anything even remotely uncomfortable really. I knew that my sister told the kids something like they were not going to have a cousin right now, but later. She was then waiting for them to ask questions, which I guess they haven't. I think she also told them not to say anything to me cause I'd be sad. I didn't know she didn't even tell them that they had a cousin, her name was Nevan, and she died. I gave my sister a beautiful picture of Nevan, and she put it in her drawer "until the right time" I feel as time passes, it's just more awkward to bring things up to the kids. It really devastates me. I remember in the early days after she died, my mom and sister would call me every day, all upbeat and cheery, going on about news or gossip, trying to take my mind off things I guess. I have told them repeatedly that I'm always thinking of Nevan, nothing they could say would make me sadder, and it makes me very happy to hear Nevan's name mentioned. My mom said we all need to talk about things, and that she'd live on in our family. But none of this has happened or is happening. It's all just so frustrating. I guess my sis is just trying to protect her kids, but all of the grief books I've read say you've go to tell kids the truth, (but not give gory details) and let them ask questions. I guess I feel like my baby, my mom's granddaughter, my sister's niece is just being swept under the rug because it's all uncomfortable to talk about. Another huge loss in my already huge loss. Another thing that makes me feel more alone and isolated.

I spent this past month being very ambivalent about ttc. One moment I was like "it'll happen when it happens", and other moments panicking, obsessing, living and breathing trying to get pregnant. But not really. I wasn't taking my temperature or charting, just obsessively calculating when I might ovulate. My cycle has been a bit weird since Nevan's birth, but AF is coming any day. I know for sure, and the breakout on my chin is definite evidence.

When I got pregnant with Nevan, we had just got engaged. We went on a week vacation to Dominican Republic, and when we go home, I had a strong suspicion we might be pregnant. In the few days leading up to AF, I KNEW for sure I was. I even started reading pregnancy books while Chris was at work. I took a pregnancy test one day and it turned positive immediately. I was scared to tell Chris, so I waited a couple days till he was off. I told him, and took another test. Positive immediately again. We were surprised, but so happy. I just have a feeling that conceiving another baby will never be so easy and carefree again. We haven't been trying to prevent conception for a couple months, and nothing's happened. I know that's nothing in the world of ttc, but I really wonder if it will ever happen for us again. I wish I could just turn off my brain, and a period of time would pass, and I'd have a healthy baby in my arms. Life is not that simple I guess.

Sweet Nevan, I'll never forget you. You're in my heart and my thoughts always, and I will always be missing you.
Love mommy

Thursday, July 1, 2010

same ole..

Things have been rough this past week. Maybe I'm on a low after all of the wedding distraction.
Chris's cousin had her twin girls. Over a month early, but they're fine. I just don't understand how some people can have twins, triplets, or 19 kids and counting, and my one was taken from me. (I don't wish anyone's child would die or anything, I just wish mine didn't). We saw his whole family the day after the twins were born, and no one told me. I found out about a week after they were born. (Just before I got the birth announcement in my email). Talk about kick me when I'm down. I just hate the fact that most people in my life now walk on eggshells around me. It definitely doesn't help.
Some friends of ours that we see at least once a week are about 16 wks pregnant. I was pretty ok with it (just a small kick in the gut when looking at ultrasound pics, hearing other people gush about the baby etc..) but now that she's starting to show and rub her belly all the time, I'm starting to have a really hard time with it.
Well, this ended up being a big pity party post, and on the day when I've decided I need to make an effort to think more positively. I guess I can start tomorrow...

Sweet Nevan,
I looked through your memory box today and all your pictures. You had the cutest little hands and feet. They were exactly the same as Daddy's. Actually, you looked like his 'mini-me'. I think of you all the time and hope you can feel my love.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I came home from our support group last night feeling very heavy, sad, depressed and a bit stressed. Maybe that's all a hint I should stop going?! I haven't gone in a while because if I've felt good that day I've wanted to hang onto that feeling for as long as it lasted - because the downs still come quite often. I guess I went last night because it's been awhile, and I needed to talk about Nevan. I'm not very outspoken and it just felt like everyone was competing for "air time". Seriously, there were some big talkers. Maybe I should go to a counsellor for guaranteed talk time. I do find what's helped me the most is reading other people's blogs and experiences. I've found some others who've had almost the same experience I did with Nevan, and just hearing (or reading) their thoughts and feelings has helped.

The wedding last week turned out to be so nice. And it was great to see all of my girls again, I shouldn't have been dreading it. The whole week was actually a welcome distraction and I was too busy at times to always be grieving, which was actually very nice. During the week, the 4 month mark kind of blew by. Now that it's been 4 months, it's starting to feel like a long time has passed. Before I was thinking "it's only been 2 months, 3 months, 3.5 months...." I remember in the first weeks I couldn't imagine making it to 3 or 4 months out. I think now maybe I'm feeling pressure to be "feeling better" or "moving on" put on me from other people. Really, how can you go back to being the same person after your child has died? I do laugh and have fun sometimes, but I feel like a very changed version of myself, with a very heavy heart. I feel like I'm in a weird limbo: so far away from Nevan's birth and death, but also not pregnant, and so far away from becoming a mom.

Monday, June 14, 2010


I held a baby on Friday night. The first since Nevan. We were going to friends for dinner, and I was a bit nervous all day. They lost a baby last year, so it was different in a way, I wasn't dreading it like I would have been if they hadn't (that sounds horrible, doesn't it?). The mom knew how I was feeling, and it was nice to hold their little 8 week old girl. Chris held her for a long time too. It didn't upset me at all really. It was nice. Hopefully we'll have our own baby to hold next year.

Our support group puts on a butterfly release picnic every year, and we went yesterday to release a butterfly for Nevan. It was a nice event, but I was surprised at how many people were there (I'd say between 100-200). So it felt a bit less lonely, to see that many people in real life in our area who'd lost babies. There were also lots of new babies and some pregnant ladies around, which gave me hope to see. It does happen. People have babies after loss. I really needed to see it and feel some hope after a pretty rough week.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I need air..

Ugghh...just feeling blah lately. I'm so sick of all these ups and downs. Just when I'm feeling a bit normal or ok the bad days come again. I feel like I had a delayed reaction to the autopsy results and last week was bad. Chris was also away for a few days on a business trip, so the house was quiet and lonely. At over 3.5 months out I'm impatient with this grief and just want to feel some happiness and hope again. I'm so tired of the weight on my shoulders and hole in my chest.

My best friend is in town from New Zealand for her wedding. It's been hard trying to connect over email or skype about all this. I was actually really dreading seeing her but I did this weekend, and it was completely fine and we had some good chats. I went to her bridal shower, and felt a bit emotional (especially when a couple gals my age with kids there asked me if I had any....awkward). I did end up telling them about Nevan, it just kind of came out before I had a chance to think of anything else to say. I felt a bit wierd after like the "debbie downer" at the shower, but they were ok with it I guess. I have to admit, I'm really dreading seeing the other bridesmaids. They're coming in the day before the wedding, and it's the first I've seen any of them since Nevan. One has been super amazing and supportive, and I haven't heard much from the other. I just feel like I'm going to have to be "on" all weekend, which will be exhausting. I find it hard to be excited or happy about much these days, especially to fake it around others who will be super excited.

I miss you so much. I think of you every day and just wish you were here with us.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

We finally got Nevan's autopsy report after an extra week delay. And just like we were warned they didn't tell us anything. She died of 'hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy' (lack of oxygen to the brain) and she had also inhaled meconium in the womb. I was just feeling numb about it all yesterday, but it really has made all the guilt come rushing back again today. The OB was amazing, said we can't carry all this guilt around, and there were really no signs. But still....
All in all, I'm glad the day is over. This was the last appt. dealing with Nevan's death. Maybe we can move forward now?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

3 months

This week was alright for me. I started sewing again, and it felt really good. It sounds crazy, but I made baby quilts for the cousin having twins, whose shower is on Sunday. I took Angus on lots of big walks, so I felt healthy and energetic. It's the first time in a long time I kind of felt good or positive or even happy. It felt good to hold on to that feeling for a bit because I knew the sadness would come back, and it did. It all hit me last night after a dinner with my old co-workers. The dinner was great, and it was good to see them again. I found out the woman who I'd been pregnant with at work had her baby (which I knew would be soon). On the way home, I just started crying in the middle of the street. This morning I felt ok, but I had to get a card to go with the shower gift (Chris was dropping the gift off - there's no way I'm ready for baby showers yet and it's going to be a big one, his family is huge). Anyways, I couldn't bring myself to buy a baby card. They were all so happy, and in my head I was thinking "but what if both babies don't come home?" I ended up buying a blank card with a flower on the front, and Chris signed it for us. I feel like a crazy person sometimes.


It's been 3 months since your birth. It kind of hit me by surprise today since I was focused on tomorrow which is 3 months since your death. When I was walking Angus yesterday, I noticed a butterfly seemed to be following us. When we got home, Daddy called me into the bedroom to see the same butterfly resting on the windowsill. It stayed for a few minutes and flew away. I always think of you when I see butterflies. The week after you died, Daddy and I took Angus down to the beach. It was unseasonably warm for February but there was still snow on the ground. I looked up and saw a monarch butterfly. I don't know how that was possible, but I thought of you.

Your auntie K gave me a beautiful memory box for all of your things. It's filled and on my dresser. I'm so glad we have your hand and footprints, locks of your hair, crib cards, and most of all your gown, blanket and little hat. In the first weeks after you left us they still smelled like you, which was so comforting to me. Now your smell has gone, and all I have are all of these mementos. I'm glad I have them but all I want is you.

I love you and miss you, mommy.

Monday, May 10, 2010


I've been dreading May since we lost Nevan. 3 dates rolled into one month. First Mother's Day, which actually wasn't as bad as I was expecting. Then the 3 month anniversary, which is on the same day as Chris's cousin's baby shower (which I'm not going to). And the worst one for me, and the one I can't wait to get over with: the autopsy report. I have to call tomorrow to make sure it will actually be in, but whenever I think of our appointment date May 19th, I'm filled with dread. We've been warned more than once that the report probably won't tell us anything we don't already know, but of course, there are all the 'what-if's' in my mind. This date seemed so far away back in February, but now it's here and the time has kind of flown by. On the other hand it seems like 3 years has passed, and I'm here but the world is whizzing by. I don't know how to explain it. Most of the time I've felt like a zombie living on autopilot, and I look back and wonder what I've done for the last few months?

In the past week or two, I've felt a bit more hopeful or a bit more like myself??? Starting around Christmas time, most of the couples we know were starting to try to get pregnant. So it's now a season later, and we're beginning to hear pregnancy announcements. Which is great for them, but knocks the wind outta me at first. All these happy newly pregnant friends with no cares in the world as to how it will all turn out. And for all of them I'm sure, they will get a healthy screaming baby at the end of their pregnancies. And although I would never wish my fate on anyone, it's just so wrong and unfair that our lives took this horrible turn.

I want to have hope for the future, and long to be pregnant again sometime soon. Right now at almost 3 months out, it all seems too soon. I'm terrified of never being able to get pregnant again. I'm terrified of having a miscarriage or any of the other things that I now know can go wrong. I'm terrified that the doctors damaged my uterus while performing the c-section. I want all this fear to just go away, and I also want my body to heal a bit more; it was a tough recovery for me.

So I guess whatever the results of the autopsy turn out to be, I hope to have hope again. Hope to begin moving forward. To try to ignore my fears. To one day give Nevan a wee brother or sister. Hope is the only thing that will get me through this.

Friday, April 30, 2010

the big 3-0

When I imagined my 30th birthday, I imagined maybe a nice dinner with good friends and only one glass of wine (breastfeeding). My sweet baby would be in the background, there to entertain when our friends arrived for dinner, then after a feeding, she would have slept peacefully and gone to bed. Little did I know how things were to turn out. As it happens, I have amazing and wonderful friends. The ones here in the same city as us came over for a bday dinner. The ones far away sent an amazing DVD slide show. Thank you all for being there, and I love you very much.

On another note, this song has been getting me through lately. I'm a seamstress by trade; I do costumes for theatre, dance and film, and this song by Jason Mraz called 'Details in the Fabric' speaks to me, and it has strongly since Nevan died.
Details in the Fabric Lyrics
14 Mar 2009

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sweet Nevan,

Some of my favorite memories of you are when you were still in my belly. Every night between 8 and 11 you would move around so much. I loved feeling your wee heels kicking out of my tummy and imagining what they looked like. It was so amazing to feel your little bum rolling around in there, and I couldn't wait to hold you, rub your back and nibble your toes.

I also love to remember the first time we saw you, at the 20 week ultrasound. At first, you weren't moving enough, so I had to have a snack and walk around. After that, you wouldn't stop! I was in awe of your perfect little legs kicking up and down. You had one hand on your tummy, and were trying to put the other one in your mouth. I was just so amazed that you were so little, but so perfectly formed. Daddy and I really wanted to find out if you were a boy or girl, but you were kicking so much, we couldn't tell. We knew right then that you'd be strong willed like both Daddy and I.

I'm so happy we got to spend that precious hour with you. It means more to me than I can ever say. When the doctor put you in my arms, I was speechless for a moment, but Daddy started talking to you, and I felt like you looked right at him. You were so beautiful and perfect. You look so much like Daddy, but your eyes were light gray, and I think they would have been the same color as mine. I love to look at all the photos we have of you, and I'm so thankful Daddy thought to take lots of them.

I miss you so much, but you will always be with me in my heart.

Love mommy

what if's...

The guilt keeps coming back. Particularly when I'm having a bad day. I feel so guilty and so angry at myself for not having that induction on Feb. 12th. In the early days, every Friday was a reminder of the 'what if's'. Maybe she would have lived and been perfectly healthy. But maybe, if I'd been induced it would have been worse because the synthetic contractions would have been stronger than natural ones? I just remembered one detail of my labor the other day. At the same time I got the epidural, the doctors also gave me Pitocin to strengthen my contractions. The nurse in the room was over in the corner doing paperwork, not paying attention to the baby's monitors or to me. Why wasn't she watching or paying attention? Why was it Chris who noticed that the baby's heart rate was not normal? When all the doctors rushed in and they were poking at my belly, I remember one saying that I was having continuous contractions. Did this cause Nevan's oxygen deprivation? Or did it have something to do with the epidural?

When I go back over the fine details and think logically, I know her death was not my fault. We were in the hospital, and the doctors and midwives were constantly monitoring the baby and she was fine. I think that on that Friday, if the doctor was concerned about the baby's well being, she would have told me the risks of not being induced, which she never did. If I had thought there were any risks to the baby, of course I would have had an induction. Hell, I would have had a c-section on the spot if there was any hint of distress.

I guess questioning my decision is natural and inevitable, but it is extremely toxic to my well being. On most days I know I can't turn back time or change the outcome in any way, and there's no sense wondering 'what if'? But the guilt still comes creeping back sometimes.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Nevan's birth story

This is a long one...

I had an amazing pregnancy, felt great and generally loved being pregnant. I am a big believer in natural birth, so I had planned to have a home birth with my amazing midwives. I wanted to give birth without unnecessary interventions in the comfort of my own home. I finished work 2 weeks before my due date, hoping the baby would come a bit before. As it turned out, I had lots of time to finish a quilt I was making for him/her (we left the sex a surprise), finish all the baby laundry, set up the nursery, and relax.

I got past my due date, but was not concerned as the baby was moving like crazy, and I had read that most first time moms are a week late on average. I had an appointment with my midwife at 41 weeks, and she sent me for an ultrasound to check on the baby, and suggested I go for acupuncture to induce labor. I went the next morning for the acupuncture (not so pleasant), and then for the ultrasound. My little stubborn baby was moving like crazy in the waiting room, she decided to nap during the ultrasound, and then resumed moving around when we went back to the waiting room for the results. The ultrasound score was almost perfect, but we scored one less because they wanted her to move her trunk once more. My fluid level was great, the baby's hear rate was perfect, she was moving her arms and legs, and she was doing her practice breathing. I wasn't that concerned because I could feel her arms, legs and trunk moving as soon as I wasn't lying on my back on the table. Our midwife told us to meet her at the hospital for a Non-Stress test, and a consult with an OB.

We headed to the hospital, and I was very upset, because I knew the OB would recommend induction because I was past my due date. All of the reading and research I had done on induction seemed bad to both baby and mama, and I strongly felt my body was going to go into labor at any moment. I had been having increasing Braxton Hicks all week, my cervix was 50% effaced, and I was dilated 1cm. I knew I'd go into labor naturally, and strongly felt the baby was fine. Our Non-Stress test results were great, but the doctor still wanted to induce me because I was late, and it was "hospital policy". Because of our good test and ultrasound results, the midwife, my husband and myself all were confident the baby was fine. I felt the best thing for the baby would be to go into natural labor, so I decided against the induction. The doctor had horrible bedside manner, and said to me "everything will probably be fine, but if not, then it's all on you." This comment will probably haunt me forever.

We went home, and I felt happy with my decision, and could feel my saucy little baby moving all night, and all next day. Chris and I went to the movies the next night, and lo and behold, contractions!! I was relieved and excited I was finally maybe going into labor. When we got home, we took the dog for a walk around the neighborhood. It was a beautiful clear night with stars, and slow falling snowflakes. I remember I thought this was a great way to start labor. I didn't get much sleep that night, I had irregular contractions until the morning. My mom came down, and we called the midwife to let her know. She wanted us to do another NST, so we met her again at the hospital. My contractions had slowed down, but I was fully prepared to be induced that day. I felt it would be bad luck to go against the doctor's orders twice. But again, our test results were great, and the doctor sent us home (different dr. from the other day). It was Valentine's day, and our midwife was going out for dinner with her family, we joked we'd see her soon.

As soon as we got into the car to go home, wham! Big contractions. We got home by 5pm, and they continued to get bigger and stronger all night. Chris made a delicious dinner for him and my mom, but I could only eat a few bites between contractions. By 9pm they were really strong, and getting closer together. At midnight we called the midwife, at this point I was hanging off Chris to get through a contraction. The midwife checked me, and said I was only 2cm. She said to try to get some sleep (ha!) and call her when they were regularly 3 min apart. I got into the bath, which helped a lot. Chris sat with me, timed the contractions, and poured fresh water over my belly. Soon I was in so much pain, and no amount of deep breathing, hot water, swaying, or crying helped. I remember saying to Chris "take me to the hospital, I want the drugs". So much for my natural labor! At this point, the contractions were 3 min apart, so the midwife came back. It was 3am, and I was 5 cm dilated. I was back and forth between the shower and bed, and being very whiny about the pain. I was checked again, and 8 cm! Apparently, this was quick. My water broke when I was standing up, and I looked down and saw thick meconium. This meant we had to transfer to the hospital, so the baby could be checked by a pediatrician at birth. That was one long car ride...

At the hospital I was strapped up to fetal monitors, and continued to labor on the bed. This was the hardest part, as I could not go in the tub, or get up and move around because of the monitors. I remember being very nauseas and not able to drink anything. Apparently I was very dehydrated, and was given IV fluids. I was now fully dilated, and ready to push. It was such hard work! I tried a few different positions, and the baby was making good progress, then stopped. It had been over and hour and a half of pushing, and the baby still wasn't descending into the birth canal. I decided to get and epidural for a bit of a rest, and then would push again.

Our care transferred to the OB and nurses, and our midwife went to have a nap. The baby's heart rate was fine at this point, and I had the epidural and tried to rest. After about half an hour, Chris noticed the baby's heart rate was dropping. The nurse called the OB, and then chaos ensued. Doctors and nurses rushed in, were pushing the baby around through my stomach, giving me oxygen and medication, and then wheeling me into the OR for an emergency c section.

I was lying on the table and very freaked out, but I thought everything would be OK. They got the baby out in a few minutes, and Chris told me "it's a girl!". I didn't even see her, they whisked her into the next room. Our midwife went with her, and Chris stayed with me. The midwife came back with bad news. The baby wasn't breathing at birth, and her heart wasn't beating. They managed to revive her, but it took her 40 minutes to breathe on her own. I was wheeled into recovery, and extremely worried, but thought everything would work out alright. Then the pediatrician came in with more bad news. Our little girl was so sick, and would never recover. Her oxygen had been cut off sometime during labor, and she had no brain function at all. Chris and my mom went into the NICU to see her, and I stayed in recovery in complete shock.

Shortly after that, they took Nevan to Sick Kids hospital to run more tests. They brought her to my room so I could see her for the first time. She was so sweet, but hooked up to so many tubes and wires in her incubator. I couldn't hold her, so I just stroked her little cheek.

Chris stayed with me that night in the hospital, and at about 5:30am the next day, we got a phone call saying that Nevan's kidney's and liver were starting to fail, and it wouldn't be long. The doctors brought her back to us, and took out the respirator. When she was placed in my arms for the first time, she opened her eyes for a few moments. They left the 3 of us alone as a new family. We had one precious hour with Nevan, to cuddle, kiss, sing to her, and all be together. She looked so sweet and perfect, I told her we loved her very much, and to go peacefully. She was a little fighter, and every so often would take a few breaths on her own. At the end, she took one last breath, and passed away gently in my arms. I'm so grateful we got to spend that hour with her, take lots of pictures, and let her know she's greatly loved.

The autopsy results are still about a month away, but the doctors and midwives think they won't tell us anything, other than her oxygen was cut off in labor, which caused brain damage. We'll probably never find out exactly when it happened, and I know I will always wonder if things would have turned out differently if I'd had the induction...

Just know, sweet Nevan, that your Daddy and I love you so much, and you will always be in our hearts.

"One star in the night sky...

....shining for the one who will always be in my heart."

This is from a sympathy card we received recently, and I thought it was beautiful. I want to hang on to every memory and thought of her, as it's getting to the time when others are moving on and not talking about her so much. It's been just over 2 months now since Nevan was born, and passed away. Most of the time it feels like so long ago.......and yet I can't fall asleep most nights because her labor and birth are running through my head like a movie. I like to change the end of that movie in my head.

The grief of losing her has been like a horrible roller coaster ride. I remember reading about a week after our loss, that the first weeks and months (months?) you are in shock and denial, and after that life gets really hard. I was hoping this would not be true, and as time went on, "time would heal" (so many people said this!). All I know is that while I can still laugh at times, and enjoy certain moments, the pain is still very raw. I miss my baby girl so much, and life would be so different if she were here.