My mom came back yesterday. It was good timing. Yesterday was an especially hard day. I started a photo book of my pregnancy with Lydie. It was something I did for Ben and I planned to do it for Lydie. And I still want to do it and I'd like to have it at her memorial, so I feel like I have to get it done... but I don't know where to start. This is not the way I pictured it. Shutterfly doesn't have a book template for when your baby dies. So I started using the pregnancy one, and it's all joyous, all these emblems like "spreading the news!" and "feeling you kick!" And Lydie Girl, I can tell you the first time I felt you kick. We were at the cottage, Dad and I were laying in bed. And there you were. But that "feeling you kick" emblem can't help me to think about how I stopped feeling you kick. How I didn't realize it. And the joyous pictures that are supposed to be at the end of those 9 long months? They look different for us. In our pictures, our daughter is dead.
I was pregnant on Ben's first birthday, though I didn't know it yet. So I put a picture of the 3 of us celebrating in there. And Ben looks so young, so young, such a baby still, when now he is such a little boy. And it hit me how long I was pregnant with Lydie. How very long pregnancy is. 34 weeks is a long time.
When I needed a break from the photo book, when my heart couldn't handle it anymore, I started taking a survey for mothers who lose their babies to stillbirth. I want to stop this stupid shit from happening. I want someone to hear my story and research how the hell this happened. And the survey asked all these detailed questions, about what I consumed during pregnancy, what position I fell asleep in, what position I woke up in, if I took any sleep aids, details detail details. And I think about how many times I woke up on my back. And I think about how I started taking melatonin, after my doctor suggested it, because I was having such a hard time sleeping. And I think about what I possibly did to hurt my baby.
Sometimes the guilt subsides a bit, and yesterday, I felt it full-force.
You know what contributes to stillbirth?
I am certainly not obese. And I was still working out 4 or 5 times a week.
High blood pressure.
Advanced maternal age
African-American people have a higher rate of stillbirths.
So there doesn't seem to be much to explain why this happened to us.
So I was glad to hug my mom.
But then I started wishing.
She had planned to be here when Lydie was born, help us with Ben and Lydie while I recovered for my c-section.
Why couldn't she be here because she was helping us with Lydie?
Or maybe, Lydie could just be in NICU, and she's here to help us because of that?
It's pretty ridiculous when you wish your baby was in NICU.
I wish my baby was in NICU.
I spend a lot of my time wishing things were different.
I try to remind myself that it is what it is. That wishing won't bring Lydia back to us. That it's not productive.
This song echoed in my mind all night, as Ben wouldn't sleep for hours and both Justin and I were up with him.
Woke up and wished that I was dead
With an aching in my head
I thought of you and you were gone
And the world spins madly on
I have wished I was dead. Not because I'm suicidal, but because how else do I get to be with my daughter?
I was reading this memoir when this all happened written by a man whose wife died in labor, and he has to raise his daughter on his own, without her. I wonder now which is worse.
So the thing is, I knew these things happen. Justin and I have had conversations about it, especially because he asks why I read stuff this like when pregnant.
But the statistics are so, so low. .5% chances of stillbirth, probably even lower at 34 weeks.
Something crazy like 2%-4% are due to cord accidents.
So, if someone had told me those numbers at week 33, I'd probably feel pretty safe betting that that wouldn't be us, wouldn't be Lydie.
And yet here we are.
And wishing isn't getting me anywhere.