Monday, January 30, 2012

I Got Out!

Before the pregnancy, I was a "going out" person.  Albeit, not as much as I was when I was younger, but I enjoyed going out with friends and to bars and just hanging out with people.  Of course during the pregnancy, I didn't go to any bars or drink or anything.  But even since then, I haven't felt like doing anything.  I went out a few months ago again, but just to small place... I no longer felt like being around crowds anymore, and if I were to go out, I wanted it to be very low-key.

I've been home from work since about January 9th or so.  I had also started Prozac since then.  Only a small dosage, but I started getting sleepy since taking it and became even more of a homebody.  It seems that although I am starting to feel better most of the time (like not always feel sad all the time), I'm also feeling like being by myself more and more and just not even wanting to go out.  The counselor recommended that maybe I lower my Prozac dosage even more by taking it every other day, so I have.  It's only been a few days so still hard to tell if that is going to make a difference, but I hope it does.  I'm just afraid to stop taking it now because I don't want to feel that unbelievable sadness again.  I was constantly thinking of Cameron all the time... and missing him and longing for him.  I feel guilty to say that I'm not thinking of him every minute anymore... but now I just feel kinda here.  I, of course, still think about him constantly throughout the day, but it's not every single second anymore.  

Well, my friend Adriana invited me out last week to a local club.  I hadn't been to a club in about a year... it wasn't my thing anymore and it's just too crowded for me now... plus, I'm usually sleepy!  But I agreed this last Thursday to go out with her.  And I'm glad I did!  Maybe that's what I need sometimes?  Just to get out and relax?  But I don't know... I still felt out of place there.

Adree and I

I've changed so much... I know I've grown these last several months.  How could I not have?  But I feel out of place and not like myself at places that used to be me.  It's weird.  Even now, I usually like going to work.  I really don't mind going there... not like at my previous job at USAA!  haha.... so it's not like me to not want to go back right now.  I'm confused by it because I'm usually relishing to go back... and I know I need to.  But I still feel like just secluding myself and staying in, even though I feel somewhat better.  Yes, I know it's a huge contradiction, but it is what it is, I guess.

I guess the best way to explain it is that I feel like a shell of myself now.  I feel like myself... I"m still here, but I'm not.  I'm different.  I also keep thinking of all the dreams I used to have... I wanted to be a lawyer my whole life and actually went to law school!  But then quit.  At that time, I wasn't happy there.  Being a lawyer wasn't what I expected and it was expensive!  I couldn't imagine putting myself in that much debt knowing that many that graduated weren't making it up in salary.  And I just didn't have the motivation at all... which if you know me, that is completely not like me!  When I want something, I don't lose motivation for it!  But with that other memo I was having to do for my legal analysis class, I just could never get up the motivation to do it.  I hadn't felt like that before.  

So, since being a lawyer was what I planned for my whole life, there's another part of myself I lost in that... what else was I supposed to do?  I went from being a pilot to teacher to real estate agent... just one extreme to another.  But because of Cameron, I know I want to be a counselor to help other parents that have gone through losing their child and keep Cameron's memory alive in that.  Maybe Cameron passing was showing me what I should do for the rest of my life... but gosh, that can't be it and I hope it wasn't.  That means Cameron dying was in vain to show ME what to do for myself.  I just can't accept that.  But maybe it was to help others in this situation... I like that reasoning better, although I wish I had him here more.

For now, I have to start prepping myself to go back to work... but it still seems impossible.  I know I need to though because we're running low on funds and I need to contribute to this household also!  I feel very lucky to have Eric in my life... he's been supportive and trusts me.  I just need to trust myself about this grief process and how I am handling it.  Not easy though.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Lifetime Movie

I've been off from work for the last two weeks, and I have to say, it's been good for me.  I've felt better than I have since Cameron died, but there's still something missing.  But I guess there will always be something missing, right?  My baby.  I wonder if the medication is helping me and maybe making me think less about the sorrow and longing for him... and I wonder if I'll have to always be on it to have that longing feeling go away.

I've been watching a lot of Lifetime movies.  Lots!  I saw one this morning called Still Small Voices... I put this on about 7 AM, but was sleepy and was going to go back to bed.  But then the storyline intrigued me... the woman in the film delivered her baby stillborn... she named her daughter Emma.  When I first found out I was pregnant, I was so hoping for a girl and I picked the name Emma for her.  So, this storyline already stuck out to me... it was weird at first.  It started off as her working as an emergency dispatcher and her taking pills... at this point, I had no idea what she had gone through.  I just thought it was going to be one of those corny, thriller Lifetime movies that I'm so addicted to.  But then her boss comes up and gives her a card.  She puts it away and says she'll open it later and follows to take some pills.  Then she goes home and walks past some unopened baby shower gifts and puts the card with other cards.  As soon as I saw those unopened baby gifts, I wondered if she had lost her baby like I did mine.  She did.

She ended up having a dream right after that of her in labor and not hearing her baby cry right afterwards.  But then there was a ghost girl in the dream and the lady woke up screaming saying that she was taking Emma.  I sympathized with her so much.  Her husband was comforting her and I felt like that was me and Eric.  Poor Eric for having to deal with my hysterics at night sometimes... especially at first.  I would just wake up randomly in the night crying for my baby.  Just crying.

In the movie, the woman had an aneursym, which she accounted for her having visions of a little girl.  The husband was trying to get her to a hospital, but she refused to go because she felt the aneursym was allowing her to do something for her daughter Emma, and if she died from it, it was meant to me.  I related to her with this too.  I'm not afraid of death anymore.  I used to be.  All the time.  I was afraid of car accidents and someone breaking in and bridges falling, and just whatever else you can imagine.  I still am, but it's more of now that if something does happen, I'm okay with it.  I just get to be with Cameron then.  I had told my counselor about this and she mentioned that it's because I don't feel like I have a purpose for life anymore.  I lost my purpose.  I didn't think about it like that, but it made sense.  

Everyone thinks of their children as their lifeline.  Their heart.  They would do anything for their children, but I didn't get that chance.  I didn't even get to hear how he sounded when he cried.  

She felt like she needed to keep looking into the visions she was having to make a purpose for Emma dying.  And the end of the movie, she had her "rainbow" baby.  A rainbow baby is something I've seen referred to on a lot of Stillbirth message boards.  The baby is the rainbow after the storm.  But she was with her family and the baby celebrating her first birthday... and I could empathize with how grateful she was probably to have that baby in her arms, but then also wondering whether I would always be starting at my rainbow baby wishing their brother was here.  I kept looking at her baby's birthday celebration and to me, it was bittersweet... there was another family member missing and a celebration the mom never got to celebrate with her firstborn.  

So, yes... I did an analysis of a Lifetime movie!  Haha... but it's relatable to me... well, except the psychic visions and kidnapping and stuff.  :)  I keep telling Eric that my dream now is to be a stay-at-home wife and become a socialite!  I think I have to keep dreaming about that!  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stepping Stones

My birthday was this Monday, the 16th.  When I first found out I was pregnant and Cameron was due January 8th, I kept saying, "He's going overshadow my birthday!"  Oh, how I wish he was here to do that.  Instead, it didn't feel like my birthday at all this year. 

I usually love my birthday.  I love getting all my friends together and having fun and letting loose.  But even the days leading up to my birthday, I didn't feel like my birthday was coming.  I actually somewhat forgot my birthday was coming.  So, now I'm 29.  No celebration or anything; it would have felt odd to have a celebration when it didn't even feel like my birthday. 

On a good note, I think the medication has been helping.  The doctor told me it usually kicks in about three weeks into it and I think I have felt a difference.  Luckily, I am blessed with a super understanding manager and was able to take a few weeks off from work.  I think I went back to work too early.  I wasn't ready to go back yet.  I should have known from the start when I was crying every week... but I just thought that was normal.  I mean, I just lost my precious baby... it's normal to cry.  But maybe that also should have been a signal to me to take some more time for myself.

I'm also blessed to have Eric support me from being off of work.  I know it may difficult money-wise and such, but it's something I think is helping me in the long run.  I also want to start volunteering at different places around town.  I think me helping others and making other people happy will be therapy for me, as well.  I called Threads of Love... the people that made the little knitted hat for Cameron and a sock baby also.  So, I want to be able to make things for other family's that went through something like I did.  I also need to get my application together to get my Masters in Social Work.  I'd like to work with other mom's or family's that have lost their children and try to help them cope with this.  Although I'm still in the beginning stages of my grieving process, I know that it is important to me to help others.  I hate that others have to go through this and feel like this.  It's not fair to anyone and anyway I can help also, I want to.

So, this is a quick note from me... I'll write another posting later in the week. 

Thank you everyone for reading.  I've gotten notes from others about my blog helping them too and that's motivation enough for me to keep Cameron's name out there and know that my baby is making a difference in others lives too.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

If Only

Sunday was January 8, 2012.  This was the day that Cameron was supposed to be born.  His supposed to be due date.  But instead he came September 1, 2011.  Four months early.  Too early to live or take a breath.  I didn't know what to expect Sunday... I didn't know if it would be a hard day or sad or what.  But I expected the worse.  Maybe my expectation helped me because it really wasn't that bad of a day.  I had went to an online message board the day before and read another mom talking about her upcoming due date.  I read it because I wanted to see how she was handling it.  One response stood out to me by saying that she wished that the anticipation of the due date would be worse than the actual day.  I thought that was odd at first, but thought it then and wondered if maybe that would be my case.  It was.

I wanted to remember Cameron all throughout the day, and we did.  We went to church in the morning and then had breakfast.  And I had decided I wanted to release balloons for Cameron.  A lot of moms tend to do this... I thought it would be a nice gesture, but until I did it, I didn't realize how symbolic it actually was.  Eric and I went to Party City and bought some baby blue and white balloons.  I wrote a note on one of the balloons to Cameron just telling him how much I missed him and loved him.

There were five balloons.  I gave one to Eric, my brother Andrew, and my mom and dad.  We all said a little something and released them up to the sky.  The balloons went South... and stayed together as a group.  Watching them fly away was sad, but hopeful.  I hope Cameron can see that we are thinking about him and remembering him and knowing that we are doing our best to love him and show him that.  The balloons were bittersweet.  I didn't understand why people released balloons, but now I know.  It's almost a symbolism of freedom and the balloons are going up to the heavens where my baby is.  They're free in the sky and air, with nothing to shield them or hold them back.  They're just in the air, like my baby is.

Maybe it helped that I was with Eric and family throughout the whole day.  I was actually feeling at ease all of Sunday.  After we released the balloons, my family and I went to another church to light a candle for Cameron.  Saturday night I woke up dreaming that I was holding Puffins and she was looking at me with those eyes that told me she loved me and licking my face... I felt it in my dream!  It was so real and I woke up feeling elated... I felt Puffins again!  Maybe she came back to me in my dreams knowing that this would be a hard day for me and came to tell me she loved me.  I hope she's with Cameron... We miss him so much.

I keep imagining how things should have been right now... let me daydream for a moment:

I would be off from work for the next six weeks.  Eric had to go to work, but I was already up at 3 AM because Cameron started crying.  I have him in the bassinet next to my side of the bed.  Actually, I still don't think I can even get a good sleep because I'm constantly staring and checking on him.  Always looking in the bassinet at him sleeping... looking at his little mouth and hands... and just gazing at how beautiful he is.  Making sure he's warm and breathing and just in awe of him.  We have the nursery set-up in the other room with his dark wood crib and dresser with the jungle theme crib set and a glider to rock him to sleep.  But I don't want him to sleep in there just yet... he's too little and I just bought him home.  He needs to be right by me... not in another room.  Not yet.  

Eric leaves for work and I get up and go to the living room to put on the TV.  I take the bassinet with me... he's never leaving my side.  A few minutes later I see Cameron turn and his mouth open and he cries.  I love hearing him cry... it tells me he's there and alive and he needs me.  I pick him up gently and hold him and kiss his head and rock him.  I tell him how much I love him and how beautiful he is.  I go and change his diaper on his brand new changing table.  This is the one thing I don't care for doing, but I'm enjoying it because he's mine!  I put him in a warm little onesie and sit in the rocking chair to feed him.  I rock him and sing a lullaby to him and talk to him and tell him about how much we wanted him and how we're all so glad he's here. 

I would walk back to the living room and hold him while I watch a little tv... then put him down for a nap.  I try to take a nap too.  I always heard to sleep when the baby is sleeping... so that's what I try to do.  But I can't stop looking at him.  He's so perfect and he's all I ever wanted.  My doorbell rings and it's my parents... they can't wait to see him and hold him also.  I tell them to be quiet because he's sleeping, but they're all gathering around him cooing and touching his hands and feet.  He is the most loved child of all time.  

That's how I keep imagining how things should be right now.  But it's not... it's not even possible.  Instead I have rituals now that I know some will think are crazy.  I have his urn with his rosary around it.  Eric's mom had given him the rosary in the hospital when he was born and it was around him in the hospital crib... so now it's always around his urn.  Every morning I wake up and I take his urn to his table in the living room.  I can't stand to leave him in the bedroom because I feel that he will be alone all day... and who wants to be in a dark bedroom all day?  I'd rather him be where the light is and where the more action is.

When Eric comes home, he has his ritual of lighting a candle by Cameron's table for him.  When we're about to go to bed, Eric takes the urn off the table in the living room and brings him to my dresser and places him on there with his rosary.  So, he could be by my bedside like he was supposed to be in the bassinet.  I can't imagine leaving him alone in the dark, empty living room at night.  Is this crazy?  I don't know... I know it's just his ashes, but it's still him.  Those ashes were him.  They're our most prized possession.

Friday, January 6, 2012

What Happy New Year?

New Year's Day came and went.  I wasn't sure how it'd feel.  Would I be okay?  Would I be sad?  I knew I didn't want to have a big celebration.  I didn't want to go to a party or club or bar like I normally did.  This was not a year to celebrate.  I'd feel guilty celebrating a new year without my baby with me.  So, I knew I would stay home, but thought maybe we should invite a friend or two over.  It ended up just being Eric and I, but I wanted to make it our own celebration still.  I wasn't feeling as sad as I thought I would so I thought a nice, intimate celebration would be good for us.  We grilled some steaks and stuffed crab, and I made queso and had cheese and crackers out for us.  We also had champagne and drinks and even had a little dance in our living room together.  It was sweet. 

But then midnight came.  I felt a rush of sadness come over me.  Eric hugged me and we just hugged for a couple of minutes.  I cried.  I was expecting to feel okay… I had been feeling okay up until that moment.  I felt so sad as we saw people celebrating the new year on TV and here I was in my apartment feeling empty.  I told Cameron Happy New Year and told my cat, Priscilla, Happy New Year… since she surprisingly made it out at midnight from her long nap.  But Cameron and Priscilla were the only two I said Happy New Year to.  I haven't told anyone else that.  I haven't felt right telling anyone else that. 

People keep telling me and I think it's so odd.  Happy New Year to me?  What could be happy about it?  Yes, I'll be getting married this next year, which is a happy time.  But I just don't feel right being wished a happy new year to.  And I don't feel right wishing anyone else one since I don't feel happy.  Every time someone tells me that, I just reply with, "You too," so as to not be rude.  So, midnight came and I felt bad.  I felt worse and sad and depressed.  And now, I'm three days away from my would-be due date… January 8th. 

I keep thinking how different my apartment was supposed to be.  I looked in the second bedroom this morning and pictured where the crib was supposed to be and the dresser and rocking chair.  And instead, it's the same as it was before I got pregnant.  Nothing has changed… but everything has. 

Cameron's Urn and things

My birthday is also coming up next weekend.  I ended up sending an e-mail to the person who coordinates the birthday's at work to not do anything for mine… I didn't want to make it awkward, but I just rather not have any sort of celebration this year.  I don't want people to be celebrating me and I don't feel like celebrating either.  She told me that they wanted to, but they would respect my wishes and not do anything.  I just told her not to even mention it to anyone else since no one would remember if she didn't remind them and then it wouldn't be awkward. 

As for this Sunday, Cameron's would-be due date… what to do?  I know I want to go to church.  I was thinking about releasing balloons for him.  I don't know… I don't know how I'll feel.  Today I've felt better than I have in a long time… but that's the thing, everything is so unpredictable.  One day I feel amazing and great… then the next day I feel like staying in bed and crying.

I do know that 2012 will be a better year than 2011.  How could it be any worse?  There is just no way possible.  I lost my baby Cameron, my family had some drama that I still can't get over, and it just seems like my life was crumbing around me.  After all that family drama, I found out I was pregnant, which just elated me so much.  It took my mind off everything and I was so looking forward to being a mom.  This was supposed to be the best year ever... but instead 2011 will take the cake as the worst year ever possible.  Nothing will top this.

As for Cameron, I miss you my sweet baby… I hope you are okay and happy and I hope you can't feel anything I'm feeling.  And Happy Birthday, Mamo… I hope you're taking care of my sweet baby boy.  I love you both. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Perfectly Said

I saw this posted on a Facebook post by another group and thought it said everything so perfect.  I had to share.

1. I am not strong. I'm just numb. When you tell me I'm strong, I feel you don't see me.

2. I will not recover. This is not a cold or the flu. I'm not sick. I'm grieving and that's different. I will not always be grieving as intensely, but I will never forget my loved one. Rather than recover, I want to incorporate his life and love into the rest of my life. That person is a part of me and always will be, and sometimes I remember him with joy and other times with tears. Both are ok.

3. I don't have to accept the death. Yes, I have to understand that it has happened and it is real, but there are just some things in life that are not acceptable.

4. Please don't avoid me. You can't catch my grief. My world is painful, and when you are too afraid to call me or visit or say anything, you isolate me at a time when I most need to be care about. If you don't know what to say, just come over, give me a hug or touch my arms, and gently say, "I'm sorry." You can even say, "I just don't know what to say, but I care, and want you to know that."

5. Please don't call to complain about your husband, your wife, or your children. Right now, I'd be delighted to have my loved one here, no matter what they were doing.

6. Please don’t say, “Call me if you need anything.” I’ll never call you because I have no idea what I need. Trying to figure out what you could do for me takes more energy than I have. So, in advance, let me give you some ideas:

a. Bring food

b. Offer to take my children to a movie or game so I have some moments to myself
c. Send me a card on special holidays, birthdays (mine, his or hers), or the anniversary of his death and make sure you mention his or her name. 

You can’t make me cry. The tears are here and I will love you for giving me the opportunity to shed them because someone cared enough about me to reach out on this difficult day.

d. Ask me more than once to join you at the movies or lunch. I may say “no” at first or even for a while, but please don’t give up on me because somewhere down the line, I may be ready, and if you’ve given up then I really will be alone.

7. Try to understand that this is like I’m in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language and have no map to tell me what to do. Even if there were a map, I’m not sure I could understand what it was saying. I’m lost and in a fog. I’m confused

8. When you tell me what I should be doing, then I feel even more lost and alone. I feel bad enough that my loved one is dead, so please don’t make it worse by telling me I’m not doing this right.

9. Please don’t tell me that I can have other children or need to start dating again. I’m not ready. And maybe I don’t want to. And besides, what makes you think people are replaceable? They aren’t. Whoever comes after will always be someone different.

10. I don’t even understand what you mean when you say, “You’ve got to get on with your life.” My life is going on, but it may not look the way you think it should. This will take time and I never will be my old self again. So please just love me as I am today, and know, that with your love and support, the joy will slowly return to my life. But I will never forget – and there will always be times that I cry.

I wish this could've been handed to everyone around me.