dear alice,

Sometimes I find myself thinking about the things you will never do. Not any of the fun stuff like your first smile or snuggling your favourite toy… more the stuff I am glad you will never experience – heartbreak, disappointment, loss, fear, anger. I know these are all part of life but I am slightly pleased with the idea that you will never experience. No-one will ever, ever hurt you. It gives me comfort to know that all you have known is love.

I miss you my baby girl.
Love from your mommy.♥

dear alice,

Three weeks ago, I was in labour with you. This morning your papa met with the funeral home to find out when we can have you cremated so we can take your ashes home.

 

You are so very missed, my angel.
 

Love from your mommy.

building a fortress

8:18a last night i had two half glasses of wine and a unisom and fell asleep
all i heard for hours was the click-clicking of him on the ipad
a ding-ding of what-
ever other device that was in play
i pulled the blanket up over my ear to try to cover up the sound/feeling
whatever​ he was up to kept him happy/occupied until he went to sleep
he did not even shut the light off when he decided to retire

 

8:31a there is snow on the ground.

 

8:48a I am wretchedly unhappy, kids. Like truly crestfallen. I am not exactly sure how to proceed from here (that does not involve very permanent solutions for a temporary problem).

 

9:16a Do I want anyone to remember? No comment;​ no matter; it is already over; I am already gone. I watch from beneath and I will curse you forever in silence.

 

9:25a J has started the conversation of​ (ultimate) Iron Man vs. (ultimate) The Hulk. We both agreed, in the end, that The Hulk would win.

 

9:28a despondent (in low spirits from loss of hope or courage).
I would throw my hands up and scream ‘fuck this shit’ but that would require some passion (a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything) which, you know, I am lacking. I have nothing. I am empty in ways I did not know was possible. No, it is not Alice’s death that created this hole. I know that is the easiest and most direct route of explanation. What is not understood, obviously, is that I have felt like this for months – perhaps a few years. This is not a lingering case of melancholy. I am saturnine for a reason. I am an ​abject. I deserve nothing but dysphoria. I may not be sycophantic but this is only because I have no pride or self-worth to make any self-serving venture worthwhile. I am nothing.

My mother used to have me write the same phrases over and over again when I was being punished. I was often writing “I will not lie” or “My mom is always right”. She never looked at anything I wrote, she just tossed the hours of completed work I to the bin.

She would be proud of my ability to remember to repeat my short-comings.

dear alice,

Hello, darling. I am sorry that I have not written very much in the past few days. I am afraid I have not had anything of substance to say… not much has been going on here. I hate that I am enjoying the silence and ​the still. It makes the days drowsily go by. It is almost… peaceful. You run through my thoughts every few minutes and every thought is happy. You are missed and I wish that I could hold you or hear you cry. I listen to the electronic babies in The Sims cry and it makes me smile. They have such little, rhythmic cries.. it is like music.

 

Your sweet papa is ill. He has been coughing and sneezing for a whole day now. I keep reminding him to take medicine and to eat. He has taken such good care of me the past months, the least I can do is return the favour.

 

We attempted to go out last night to celebrate our two years of “meeting” each other. Neither of us really felt like celebrating – being out in public is still painful. If I had my way, I would stay indoors for the rest of the winter. The weather has been mild, though, so I have been trying to enjoy it some. It will eventually get cold and then I will be miserable because I stayed in bed for months.

 

This would be nice weather to take you out for a walk. It is a bit icy but during the day it would be easy to navigate. Not that it matters…

 

You are missed, my little angel.
love from your mommy.

the day after

We started the day like any other weekday. I got up at 6:50, made tea & breakfast. I woke the boys and snuck a snuggle in with Lu. I packed lunches and helped Lu with his clothes. Isobel opted to stay home from school. After the boys were off, I went back to bed. Will & I had plans to run a few errands but we opted to stay indoors. I did not want to go in public. The thought of running into someone and having to talk about Alice was too much. 

Not that I look like I just gave birth. My womb has shrunk down to nothing. My breasts are sore, trying to create milk but otherwise, I just look soft. 

My labour was intense but I handled it. I rocked my way through contractions, trying to calm Alice from the squeezing. Three hours later, we heard her little cries. She was a dull blue colour. The staff took her away and started to work on her. 

I was up on my feet ten minutes after I delivered my placenta. I went to the incubator to see my daughter. Her colour was already improving, but she was not moving or crying. Will followed them down to the neonatal unit. I stayed to get examined by the midwife. 

They had her on a ventilator for all the 18 hours she was alive. We only got to hold her once she was taken off. I felt her heart stop beating about three minutes after I put her to my chest. 

29 hours later, I am sitting in my living room with my family watching Ant-Man. They had frozen pizza for dinner. Jonas came home early from school. He got very sad and needed to cry. I held him in bed while he wept. I explained to him what had happened to his little sister. I made him some cocoa. He told me Alice was beautiful. We cried a bit more and then he played a game. 

Lu came home from school feeling much better than he had the night before. His teacher called, Paul told her what had happened. 

I told the kids they could stay home for the rest of the week if they needed to. It had not occurred to me that they had lost a sibling. I was so wrapped up in my own loss that I did not put that together. I was just trying to put everything back into its right place… minus the baby. 

I was naïve to think it would be that easy. It is not just me that lost someone. They had been waiting on her as well. I may have carried her for nine months but they anticipated her. 

I do not want to be sad. I want to feel the blessings I was given by​ having Alice in my life. 

Tomorrow I will go to the doctor to get tablets to stop the milk from coming in. I have therapy before then. I do not want to do either. Tears. 

One foot in front of the other. 

One day at a time. 

Good-bye, my sweet girl.

Today is the anniversary of Will’s disappearance. For those of you that do not know what happened, here is the abridged version: Will & I got into an argument, he walked out into the woods with no word and was gone for three days. We looked for him everywhere to no avail. Three days I lived in my own personal purgatory – if I was not out walking around in the woods, I was in the police station or sitting on my sofa – the only vantage point in my house that both doors were visible – waiting for him to walk back through the door. I tried my hardest to keep myself together for our families – but for every winter night that passed, my hope began to fade.
Nothing has been right since then.
Neither of us has​ been right since then.
Finding out that Alice was unwell, was not a​ ​ huge shock. I had expected we would lose her too (we lost several pregnancies before hand). There was more optimism in the early days but still… I spent a lot of time convincing myself that everything would be alright. My intution shouted otherwise. I did my best to ignore it.
At 22 weeks, the doctor brought up termination. I was perplexed on why she did this – the baby’s prognosis up until then was average to good. She asked me to consider it. I knew in order for this to happen, I would have to go into labour anyway. It truly did not make any sense for me to go through all of that for them just to kill her. I rationalised that even if she was not going to survive, at least if we waited until she grew to term, we could meet her and maybe her chances would be better?
If you have spent any time around me in the past months, you know already that I was fairly realistic about Alice’s outcome. Will’s enthusiasm is what made this pregnancy tolerable. Every drop of happiness during this pregnancy came from him. I could not poison his excitement with my negative thoughts because what if I was wrong?
Will woke me up about half an hour ago. He sat up in bed, reaching out. The noise that came out of his throat nearly wrecked me. He spent every moment by Alice’s side for the 18 hours we were gifted with. He held her hand, talked to her about what the doctors were doing for her, what life with him as her father would be like, how beautiful she was

and how very much he loved her.
I stood on the other side of her, kissing her little cheek and stroking her long, dark hair. On the outside, she was absolutely perfect. I whispered in her ear how much I loved her. And how proud of her I was – she was so strong.
I felt her spark leave her hours before the doctor told us that there was no chance she would survive. I had my hand on her tiny chest and … something just… disappeared. I told her we knew she did her best and we could not of asked anymore from her.
If I had listened to the doctor weeks ago, I may have spared us all a lot of pain… but then we would have never met Alice. We were blessed to have her in our lives, even just for less than a day.
I do not know how the next days or weeks will play out. I may or may not respond to your messages but know that I have seen them and we appreciate your words… so much.
Even though I knew this would most likely be the outcome, I have no solace. I still just gave birth and I have no infant to show for it. I am empty.
My kids are all feeling differently. Isobel just sits quietly, not knowing what to say. Jonas avoided to talking me all evening and Lu… he was so proud to be a big brother.

Instinctually, I told him he would always be Alice’s big brother.
And yeah, you can judge my decisions. Even though the doctors never told us how her prognosis had worsened (we had been under the impression from 26 weeks on that she was doing quite well), I knew. I am putting everyone through hell because I thought I was doing the right thing… but how was I was I to know, really? I am not a doctor. I only understood what the ultrasound pictures said when they explained it to us. Everything was positive.

 

I miss her.