This evening, Henry was loving on his baby sister. He said, “She’s my baby!” and then said “but when baby dies, we won’t have anymore babies left”. So I had to try to explain to my 4-year-old that it’s not typical for babies to die. And that even though Oliver died, most people die when they are old. Then he said, with a hopeful look on his face, “Will he come back??”
And then the pieces of my broken heart shattered into even more pieces.
My Facebook feed is filled with graphics proclaiming “I am 1 in 8”. My feed is filled with these because I have a LOT of friends who struggled with infertility. We connected over our struggles to conceive. I am infertile. And it sucks.
How did I get so terribly unlucky to always be on the wrong side of statistics? 1 in 4 (pregnancy loss), 1 in 8 (infertility), and 1 in 2500 (give or take).
Just the mere fact that I am having to Google “how many babies per year die from SIDS?” is utterly depressing, in the minimum.
Infertility was hard. Soul-sucking. It dominated YEARS of my life. But now, what I wouldn’t give for that to be the worst of my defining statistics. Because this struggle I face now… the death of a baby after trying SO HARD to have the baby… it’s nothing short of brutal, heartbreaking, debilitating.
And National Infertility Awareness Week is just another reminder of what my life was like before. Of how things can always be worse. And of my sweet IVF baby boy, Oliver.
Beyonce is having twins. Haven’t you heard? Unless you live, well, nevermind. I know you’ve heard.
It’s everywhere. Her announcement photo. Memes about her announcement photo. Memes saying “I had twins before Beyonce made it cool.”
And I can’t avoid it. I cannot get it out of my face. It’s everywhere, and each day a new something to be shared all over my newsfeed.
And I can’t step away from Facebook, because it is essential to my job.
I want twins again. I want Oliver to be here. It’s not FAIR. I hate saying that, because I feel like a 6-year-old. But fuck. It’s not fair. IT’S NOT FAIR.
Recently, I’ve been reliving so much of the time around Oliver’s death. Not full days, ever, but specific hours of certain days. Specific happenings. Crying in the car. Crying at the computer. Crying as we moved in to our new house. A house that Oliver was never in.
This is not cohesive, I know. My brain is not organized enough right now to write a post that makes much sense.
I just miss my boy so, so, so much. I see photos of 3-month-olds, and 4-month-olds, and I want him back. I want him back so desperately.
Sometimes, I relive the most painful memories of the day that Oliver died, in an effort to force myself to accept that this is, in fact, my reality. That this isn’t some weird nightmare I’m in, it isn’t someone else’s life I’m looking down on. That isn’t someone else saying, “Yes, she had a twin brother, but he died.” That’s actually ME saying those words. That’s actually ME saying, almost sickeningly nonchalantly, that I just ordered the headstone for my baby’s grave, and it should be here in February, on a truck full of other headstones.
That’s me wondering what to do with the “Oliver” stocking I ordered while I was still pregnant, because PB was having a great sale. That’s me talking to my mom about ordering a Christmas “blanket” of fresh pine for his grave. That’s me making payments on his medical bills. That’s me looking at the photos from Avery’s recent photoshoot, and cursing the heavens or the Gods or whatever the fuck took him away from me.
That’s me wondering so often what he would look like now, today, right this second. What he would be doing that would be the same as his sister, or different than her. That’s me softly telling Henry that it’s not nice to say, “Baby looks dead” while talking about Avery.
That’s actually me, missing my sweet, chubby, perfect baby boy, every second, of every day. That’s me fearing that someday, I’ll forget so many of the little things he did. That’s me fearing that I’ve already started to.
It’s ready. The autopsy report. After three and a half months of waiting, it’s ready.
I got a letter in the mail stating that it has been completed, and if I send a check for $15, they will send me the report. They don’t usually send a letter like this, apparently. It was only because I called and requested the information (well, I called, and then had to send in a handwritten request for the report once complete).
It’s odd that the state Medical Examiner’s office won’t just send the autopsy reports to parents who have lost their child. But I suppose not everyone wants the documents.
I will be calling Avery’s pediatrician tomorrow to see if we can schedule a time to go over the report. I’d like to understand what I’m reading. And then will schedule a therapy session for husband and I. We will definitely need it.
Sometimes, while sitting at my computer, I open up the folder where many of your photos are stored. I click through the photos. I cry. I pause on a particular photo that takes my breath away. I touch the computer screen, wishing that instead of a screen, I was able to feel the warmth and softness of your sweet baby skin.
Spoiler alert: if you plan to watch the second season of Marco Polo, you will want to skip this post. You have been warned.
My husband, who finished watching the second season of Marco Polo while I was traveling for work, forgot to tell me that there was a surprise boy/girl twin birth.
Talk about a trigger. It set me off on a bad path for the rest of the night. Lots of crying. Hysterics. Picking a fight with my husband for no reason. For the first time in a while, I cried myself to sleep.
I had such a wonderful pregnancy and delivery. My birth experience was one that I could look back on fondly. That has since changed. I am both wistful and angry. And seeing the birth of a baby girl first, then a baby boy, well… it was bad.