Every year, 26,000 babies are stillborn in America. In 2003, one of them was my son.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Honest Scrap

Overeducated Mommy and Debbie tagged me for this award last week (I think) and so, here we are:

(I can't get the picture to load...beats me.)

The rules of the award:

1) Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.
2) Show the 7 winners names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with "Honest Scrap." Well, there's no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.
3) List at least 10 honest things about yourself.

* I love TLC's "What Not to Wear." (Somebody gimme $5000 for a new wardrobe, quick!)
* I definitely believe in shoe therapy, though I don't indulge very often.
* I do not enjoy winter.
* I once worked in a bank, in their vault, counting money. 1/2 a million a day, usually. I hated that job.
* Once upon a time, I wanted to be a Rockette, or else on Broadway.
* I turn 40 this year. I think I'm having a midlife crisis. Or maybe it's just a mid-winter crisis.
* I love animal crackers - but not the cheapie kind. Trader Joe's are particularly good.
* Currently I am fixated on nonfat vanilla lattes.
* I love sweet and salty.
* I really think winter should be devoted to hibernation.

I nominate Niobe, Antigone, Monica, Mrs. Muelly, C. at My Resurfacing, The Other Side, and Mrs. Spit.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Is Winter Over Yet?

Blah. Blah blah blah.


Ok, here's a dilemma for you. What would you do if, say, you found out that your 8-year-old daughter, who is strong-willed, stubborn, and difficult - you'll be the first to admit it - has this friend, who is a bit older, in a different grade. But your daughter Capital-A Adores her. And you've just found out that this friend has said, not within your child's hearing, that your daughter is "fat" and "annoying." After spending hours at your house, sleeping over, being fed, coming to birthday parties, etc. And now your child knows it too.

I don't know what to do. I don't know if I should do anything. But this bugs me. And I also realize it says more about me and my insecurities than perhaps my daughter. I don't have many friends here, even after living here for 11 years, and I lack even one person I feel I can consistently turn to as a confidant. Except my husband, but, we all need a girlfriend to talk to sometimes, yes? I never had many friends growing up; I was very shy, which others translated as stuck up. I have a hard time making friends and I know I'm not easy to get to know. And yes, my daughter is a little chubby, but so was I when I was her age; she's also very tall, as was I. And yes, I'm lonely here. I'm afraid that my daughter will feel the same way I did growing, the same way I feel sometimes now - like she doesn't fit in, that she's different somehow.

And it makes me want to cry.

What would you do?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What, Posting Again So Soon?

Hmm. I just posted yesterday, whatever am I doing posting again today? Well, I have some unexpected free time, thanks to my 8-year-old dramatically lying on the sofa, clutching her stomach and moaning. Don't worry, she's fine, just feeling a bit off today. Heaven help us if she's ever really ill, with something serious; she's such a (lovely) drama queen that the slightest poke can have her howling.

So, I keep thinking about this story. Thoughts anyone? Or are you sick of it? Because, honestly, I'm both sick of it and morbidly fascinated. Who allowed this to happen? Did anyone ever suggest mental health help? What about all of those babies - who will take care of them? Will they feel like freaks growing up, everyone pointing and whispering on their first day of school, or as they walk down the street?

And I'm angry with their mother for allowing this to happen: while she has the right to have children, 8 at once? Did she think about the health risks to those babies, far more likely when born so soon, with eight little beings fighting inside her womb for what they need to grow strong and healthy. What problems will they face? I'm not saying she should have done a selective reduction, which apparently some of her doctors recommended; I don't think I could have either. But she didn't need to have all those embryos transfered.

And infertility treatments for an unemployed woman with 6 kids already? Oh boy.

I can't say I've added anything new to this debate, I'm just having a little vent, really. It just boggles my mind.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

First Candle's 2009 Research & Advocacy Symposium

First Candle is "a national nonprofit health organization uniting parents, caregivers and researchers nationwide with government, business and community service groups to advance infant health and survival. With help from a national network of member and partner organizations, we are working to increase public participation and support in the fight against infant mortality." (From their website.)

I expect many of you who read this blog already know about First Candle, and I know I've mentioned them here before. They are holding a symposium in Washington, DC on March 23, 24, and 25. They're planning some presentations on stillbirth and SIDS research, a networking session, and, most importantly (at least to me) a "Day on the Hill" of grassroots advocacy to members in the House and Senate, providing anyone interested with transportation and information on how to talk to your Congresspeople. There are bills, like this one, we've been advocating for, and the Missing Angels Bill, which is all about getting birth certificates, not just death certificates, for our babies.

I hope to be there, and if you're in the area, please consider attending too. I should know in the next few days if I can definitely go; I hope to meet some of you there.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Another One of Those Things

It's another one of those things they don't tell you when you lose a child: 80% of couples who lose a child will ultimately split.


That number is huge.

I'm thinking about that today because a number of my blogger friends have been writing about their marital difficulties post deadbaby. And it rings true for me, those marital blues. And while I don't think I'm ready to get into my marital troubles in depth, let's just say I've had them, and am having them, and some days I think to myself, "If Ben hadn't died, we would be okay."

Which may or may not be true.

Grief has gotten in the way of my relationship over the last five years; we each grieve so differently, my husband and I. I grieve harder, while he doesn't know how to let it go. I wrap myself up in my own little world to get through the days (though this is not so much true anymore as it was) and ignore what my husband needs. I get it wrong, so many times.

And I'm tired.

Today is not a great day, despite the sun finally shining down on us, after 10 inches of snow dumped on us yesterday, on top of the 1.5 feet we already had. I don't like winter, I don't like feeling so ... down, inadequate, and ... well, useless, as I do right now. And part of that is my marriage.

I just want to feel okay.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Stillbirth Makes Headlines at Newsweek

Just a quick update before I get ready for my day: Jessica Clark-Roe, of the organization Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, which trains photographers to take portraits of stillborn babies--or babies who aren't expected to survive--and their families, has placed two articles about her organization and stillbirth in Newsweek magazine. The links are here and here.

More from me later....