Monthly Archives: July 2009

Miscellaneous

I don’t know why but Monday was a really tough day.  There wasn’t any particular trigger but I spent most of the day in tears.  I miss Alexander every minute of every day but I really missed him this week.

At one point, I forced myself to go out for a couple of hours.  The only errand I had to run was to go grocery shopping.   That would only take me about an hour rountrip so I decided to also take myself out for lunch.

I went to a restaurant close to the grocery that Alexander and I used to frequent.  When the hostess first took me into the dining room, we headed for a table full of moms and their babies/toddlers out for lunch.  This wasn’t going to work for me.  I was prepared to ask to be seated elsewhere but the hostess decided on her own to find me another table.  Unfortunately, she took me to the table that Alexander and I had sat at the last time we were there.  The tears were welling up in me and I couldn’t tell her this wasn’t going to work for me.  If I had opened my mouth, I would have completely broken down.  I sat down, shed a few tears and then took out the book I brought along to distract me.  The book did help because it allowed me to focus on something else.

Medical Examiner’s Office

As I’ve mentioned before, Dan and I have decided to participate in the SUDC study.  As I headed out this morning, I was consumed by the thought what if the medical examiner’s office destroys Alexander’s tissue and blood before Dr. Krous’ office has a chance to contact them.  So, I had to call the office to find out how long they preserve blood and tissue samples from an autopsy.  The receptionist told me 7 years.

I felt relief that they preserved the samples so long but I was also a little sad to think that the M.E.’s office will preserve Alexander’s tissue longer than he was with us.  No parent should have to worry about a thing like this.

Speaking of which, we preserved Alexander’s cord blood with Viacord right after he was born.  Our pain was still so new and fresh for us this year that when it came time to pay the annual storage fee, I just let the time expire to make a change to our account and my credit card was automatically charged for the fee.  I did call the Viacord folks who told me I had 3 choices: pay the annual storage fee, donate his cord blood to scientific research, or authorize them to destry.  How does a parent make this decision to destroy this link to their child?

Skype

I had my first Skype video call last night. (If you’ve never done it before, I would highly recommend it.) I was talking to another SUDC mom. I think it was helpful for both of us to see and hear each and not just “talk” via email.

Facebook

I’ve been reconnecting with a lot of high school and other friends on Facebook lately.  If it’s someone I haven’t talked with in a long while, I like to send an email to catch up on things.  One question I keep asking myself lately is whether or not I mention Alexander’s loss in that first email.  I have several pictures of him on my Facebook page and if you didn’t know about our loss, you would assume I have a happy, healthy toddler in my life. Rather than one of these long lost friends ask about Alexander and then feel uncomfortable for having asked, I’ve decided that I will share the information.  Alexander’s loss is a part of my life and who I am now.  It’s not something I want to talk about but feel I must.

I’m seeing my therapist tomorrow and I’ll think we’ll have lots to talk about this week.

7 months

Seven months ago yesterday, we lost Alexander.  It was a long, slow day for me.

We met a couple of friends for bowling last night.  I’m a lousy bowler but it was good to be out for a little while.  While we were bowling, I kept thinking about the night Dan was trying to teach Alexander to bowl with the plastic set Dan’s mother had recently given him.  Alexander didn’t quite get it that first night and unfortunately, we never had another chance to try.

I stayed in bed a little later this morning.  I have plenty to do today but just couldn’t bear getting up to an empty house.  As I lay in bed, I listened to the city noises outside but the quiet of our house rang louder in my ears.

I’ve heard from other parents who have lost children that the pain and sadness does eventually become more manageable.  From where I sit today, typing through my tears, I just don’t see how.

Alexander continues to touch others

A few weeks ago, a neighbor shared a wonderful story with us.  She saw a group of about 15 kids walking past the tot lot.  She said as each child walked by, they put their hands on Alexander’s photo and said ‘I love you baby’.  The story made me cry when I first heard it and I’m sobbing now as I write this.  How wonderful to think these children who never met Alexander would be so kind.  This same neighbor told me that she sees people stopping and looking at Alexander’s photo often.

We had a bit of good news yesterday.  A bill was introduced that seeks to help reduce the occurrence of Stillbirths, Sudden Unexpected Infant Death and Sudden Unexpected Death in Childhood.  This will be done through increased research, awareness and education.  Here is a link to the press release on Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s website: http://lautenberg.senate.gov/newsroom/record.cfm?id=315708& .

I would encourage everyone to contact your senators and representatives to tell them you support this bill.

If the bill passes, the data collected could help prevent other families from knowing the loss and suffering we’ve lived with for almost 7 months and possibly help our family and others like us find some answers.

I’ve really been trying to keep myself busy everyday so I don’t focus on the big hole in my heart.  Try as I might, it’s never enough to keep me from breaking down several times a day and having a good cry.  I miss Alexander so much.

July 4th 2009

We have friends that do July 4th events at their home each year.  From the first time we were invited, Dan and I have always enjoyed attending these events.  This year was a bit tough for me.

Last year when I went to get Alexander up for the July 4th day, he was sitting in his crib patiently waiting for me with his left eye was completely swollen shut.  Being a new parent, I freaked.  I picked him up and then went to our bedroom where I told Dan we needed to take him to the ER.

I did call the pediatrician who calmed me down after I told him what happened.  We figured out it was probably just an allergic reaction to a bug bite and Benadryl would fix the problem.  We followed the doctors’ order regarding the Benadryl and Alexander’s eye was just fine.  Alexander wasn’t affected at all by the swollen eye.  It was me who was bothered.

Bug bite - July 4, 2008July 4, 2008 – Alexander’s eye was completely swollen shut.
This is after he’d had some Benadryl.

Benadryl in hand, we headed out for the day.  The first stop of the day was a brunch at friends.   Alexander had fun opening and closing the doors in the house.  He wandered through the party with confidence and as long as he could see Dan or I, he was fine.

After leaving brunch, we went home so Alexander could nap before heading to the cookout in the afternoon.

It was a wonderful day for the cookout.  Alexander’s eye was much better and he had the best time running around with the other kids.  Aside from flirting with the hosts’ niece, his favorite thing to do that day was to play with the radio.  If we weren’t quick, he’d be at the radio either changing the station or turning the volume up.  He loved turning knobs and it was a funny sight to behold.

July 4 2008 - ChesterCookoutJuly 4, 2008 – Alexander eating ice

All in all, it was a great weekend with good friends and good food.

This year, it was different.  It was hard for me to attend the gatherings because of all the memories of Alexander.  I told Dan I probably wouldn’t be able to stay at either event long but that I wanted to give it a try.

The weekend’s events were made more difficult by my having to tell two people about Alexander’s passing.  On separate occasions, each person asked “How’s your little boy?” I wanted to cry but didn’t.  I did tell each what had happened.  I thought I was past having to still people but I guess not.

I miss our little guy so much and wish he were here.

Red Balloon

I had a nice surprise this morning.  As I was heading downstairs to start the day, I was greeted by a red balloon near the top of the stairs.  Alexander loved balloons and one of the first things he learned from the book Good Night Moon was the red balloon.

Prior to the tot lot dedication on May 3, I filled a red balloon with helium to make sure the balloons would work for the balloon release.  I hadn’t seen the balloon for a few weeks and quite frankly had forgotten it was in the house until I saw it this morning.

I had some stuff going on today that I was a little worried about and seeing the balloon made me smile.  It was as though Alexander was telling me that it was going to be ok.

I love you Alexander.  Thanks for the balloon hello today.