Saturday, February 25, 2012

Videos Of Baby Marc

I am so extremely grateful that I took these videos while I was pregnant with baby Marc. I am so fortunate to have sonogram videos and things like this as tangible things to remember him by.

Baby Marc moving inside my tummy at 36 weeks!:)

Midwife Appointment 14 days before Marc was born and died. Wish I could tell that Jena to go to the hospital and have a csection that day!

These are all at 13 weeks

These are all at 10 weeks

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I have been ignoring my need to blog for too long. Part of me wonders if this may be the reason I am having such a difficult time lately. I usually pride myself of my carefully worded blog posts however I haven't been able to organize and articulate my emotions as efficiently as I usually do.  Thoughts and feelings are mixed up and scattered in my heart and mind like a jigsaw puzzle with thousands of pieces. It actually makes a lot of sense if you think about it. I am nearly 15 weeks pregnant and almost 8 months out from losing baby Marc. I have the extreme joy of knowing that I have a little life growing inside of me and I have the extreme sadness of losing the one I was just beginning to know all at the same time.

I feel like a broken mess. Sadness, love, fear, anxiety, stress, joy, guilt, anticipation, anger, hope and a whole mess of other things that I could never describe are things that I feel a little of every single day. It is so exhausting! This is such a roller coaster of emotions. Everyday I have sweeping highs and deep dark lows.  Sometimes I get a very brief moment, maybe ten minutes where I feel like I can do anything. For some reason this usually happens on my drive home from work. I usually plan out all the things I am going to do for the day. It is usually like 20 things that I know take longer than just one day but I feel happy and energized. Then I get home and that feeling is just gone and it makes no difference if I sit down and try to relax or I keep going and run errands or try to clean.  There are usually a few happy, distracted hours that I get to spend with Marc before he goes to work but once he leaves it sets in again and slowly takes hold of me throughout the rest of the day until I am totally depressed and crying hoping that Marc walks in the door soon. I wish I could write about my steady climb to happiness. I wish I could report that I am stronger every day but I lately I just feel weak.

I have so much fear and anxiety mixed in with grief of not having Marc. I am worried about the same type of loss, a cord accident. Even though I know that only 1%-2% of pregnancies result in a late pregnancy loss no matter what the cause. I have general anxiety and stress about everything! The bad part about that is that I need to stay busy and plan trips and projects to try and ward off the deep depression but I stress myself out trying to do that. Most days I end up being so exhausted from the stress and anxiety that I just don't do anything and then the depression sets in. I thought I was doing better! I really cannot understand this process. How could I go from doing better to being so depressed, its like one step forward and then five steps back.

I do have good days though. I have times when I am laughing for real, usually when I am around people, specifically Marc or Amber. I feel like over the past 8 months I have depleted my internal source of positive energy and now it is so hard to pick myself up when I need to. For example, I started making a baby blanket for this baby. I got about twenty minutes into crocheting when I started thinking about making baby Marc his blanket, the blanket that is still hanging over the glider in the nursery that we rarely step foot into. I remember spending the hours crocheting that blanket and dreaming of the day I would wrap my little Marc up in it and rock him to sleep. I thought why am I making this blanket for this baby when he might not even get to use it. Then I felt bad because this baby deserves to have the same things that baby Marc had. This baby deserves a special blanket that mommy made while she was waiting for his arrival. Even if he doesn't make it here he still should have the same type of things prepared for him.  Then I just got so angry that I could not have that dreamy wonderful feeling that I had when I was pregnant with baby Marc. I immediately started sobbing uncontrollably, I was actually hyperventilating and had to text my mom to call me so that she could calm me down since Marc was at work.  I finished the blanket in three days but I didn't dare dream of this baby being wrapped in it. I have to catch myself when I realize that I say things like "if this baby is here at Christmas..." or "maybe we will get to do this with the baby..."

I thought reading to this baby might help me bond with him, something I can tell is harder than it was with baby Marc. Of course I love and want this baby but I can tell that things are different this time. When I was pregnant with baby Marc there was not one moment that I forgot I was pregnant, now I forget that I am pregnant quite a bit. I know I do it as a coping mechanism. I can't think about being pregnant all of the time because when I do I have all those mixed feelings and it's overwhelming. I assume that forgetting I am pregnant will get harder to do once I can feel him moving, at least I hope.

The sad thing is that before I could start reading to this baby I had to go to half price books to buy some new children's books to read. Although the trip to the bookstore was not due to a lack of great children's books already in the nursery. I just could not bring myself to read the books I had read to baby Marc or imagined myself reading to him. That makes me feel awful too! I need to be able to read those books to this baby. I need to be able to do all the things I imagined with baby Marc with this baby!

A study done in 1989 found that, regardless of the timing of the subsequent pregnancy following a loss, mothers in their descriptive study talked freely about having feelings of replacement. I know I will never be able to replace Marc and that this baby is his/her own unique person but I have instinctively done a few things that have made me feel guilty. First, we were on our way to get a sonogram and I told Marc that I was excited and I couldn't wait to see baby Marc. Second, my friend Amber and I were at half price books and I picked up a book that had a Andrew written on the inside cover. I put it back and told her that I did not want to buy a book that had some other little boys name in it but that I wanted Marc to be able to put his name in the book. I am glad there were not any kids in the children's section that day because I must have looked insane as a sat on the floor crying. Maybe I would have done those things even if Marc were here, like my mom who can't seem to call any of us by our name when all five of her children are in the same room.  Maybe it was just one of those kinds of mix ups and if baby Marc were here we would laugh about it and it would mean nothing but he is not and since I don't understand all these feelings it made me feel guilty and hurt.

So like I said....this blog post is a mess.  I tired to produce coherent thoughts but still feel like its all jumbled and I am too tired to figure out a better way to word and organize things.  No real conclusion here. Just a jumbled mess of raw thoughts that I happened to be able to get together and off my shoulders.


The Best Laid Plans-Random Thoughts on Death and Living

"Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force."
YODA, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

I never really thought about death before baby Marc but his death was such a slap in the face that now I can't ignore it.  At any given moment something crazy could happen while you are doing normal everyday things and we or someone we love could be gone in an instant. Case in point:

2007: Humberto Hernandez, a 24-year-old Oakland, California resident, was killed after being struck in the face by an airborne fire hydrant while walking. A passing car had struck the fire hydrant and the water pressure shot the hydrant at Hernandez with enough force to kill him
2008: Isaiah Otieno, 23, a Kenyan student living in Cranbrook, British Columbia, was killed when a Bell 206 helicopter crashed on top of him as he walked along a residential street
2010-Amy Rose Coxall, a 15-year-old British schoolgirl studying in Hong Kong, died of strangulation shortly after her scarf got caught in the wheel of a go-kart she was driving on a karting course.
2010-Jimi Heselden, owner of the Segway motorized scooter company, was killed when he accidentally drove off a cliff on a Segway at his estate at Thorp Arch near Boston Spa.

Ok ok...the likelihood of myself or someone I love dying from a freak accident like these is slim I know but then I think about my cousin Alex who was healthy and in his early twenties when he had a brain aneurism that killed him instantly.  No warning. No battle with illness or old age. Just gone. Gone in just a few moments. Even though I have experienced the death of baby Marc it is still almost unfathomable. Someone can be alive and talking one moment and then just completely gone the next. My baby was kicking and moving with a strong heartbeat one minute and the very next was hanging on by a thread...that broke.

"How surely are the dead beyond death. Death is what the living carry with them. A state of dread, like some uncanny foretaste of a bitter memory. But the dead do not remember and nothingness is not a curse. Far from it"

Death is not a subject we talk about in society very often. I would say that it is hard to find people who are actually comfortable talking about death. To talk about death is morbid or weird and most people will probably change the conversation in favor of a lighter topic but one thing baby Marc is teaching me is how life is so fragile. Thinking about death and it's inevitability and it's element of surprise brings perspective and forces one to see what is truly important.
I used to need to plan things, need to know what was going to happen each year over the next ten years. How many kids will we have, how will they be spaced, when will I get a job, when will we buy a house, I just so badly needed to have a plan. What did that do for me? It only made me worried when things weren't right on track or had to be changed. I would waste hours of my present day thinking of the plans. Now I see painfully that we can't control everything and our plans no matter how carefully laid can be changed in a matter of seconds.
Of course we still need to plan, have hopes and dreams and set goals for the future.  That is the happy kind of planning. I am talking about the obsessive and stressful type where you are so consumed with that specific course that you don't take the time to enjoy where you are at the moment.
At the moment I am consumed with stress, anxiety and all sorts of emotions but I do take a minute each day to think about how lucky I am to have what I have in this very moment. I do try to learn from baby Marc and live as much as possible in the present. Naturally I worry about things in the near future but I don't worry about long term things anymore. Not like I used to. We will talk about when to have baby #3 and #4 when we are ready, I will look a teaching job when the time is right, maybe Marc will go back to school, and maybe we will buy a house in a few years. Those kinds of things will happen when they happen and those decisions cannot be made right now with the limited information that we have. Those decisions have to made as you come to them because we never know what tomorrow holds and how what happens tomorrow will shape our future plans.

One has to live in the present. Whatever is past is gone beyond recall; whatever is future remains beyond one’s reach, until it becomes present. Remembering the past and giving thought to the future are important, but only to the extent that they help one deal with the present.” – S.N. Goenka