Monday, December 30, 2013

FOLLOW ME


Follow me on our new adventure. This is my new blog.

http://discounthouse.blogspot.com/



Monday, August 12, 2013

SACRED


It's been so long since I've written here I literally forgot how to post something on blogger.

This used to be my safe place. Where I went to vent my frustrations to the world. This is how I kept myself sane; how I bounced back and became normal again. I feel like this is a sacred space, and in a way writing right now feels like visiting an old friend.

Truth be told I had to step away from blogging for awhile. I had to step away from the entire baby loss community because it's so easy to get caught up in it that sometimes it's hard to get out of it. I'm not sure if that makes sense, but that's how it was for me.

Sometimes instead of kind words and affirmations we need to hear that we are being ridiculous or overly sensitive and someone needs to tell us we need to put our big girl panties on. You don't hear that much in the baby loss community. Maybe we should.

I'm keeping this blog up here for all of you who have suffered a loss and found your way here. (I promise you it does get easier.) I plan on still blogging, so if you are interested shoot me an email and I will send you a link . (It's going to be anonymous, so I don't want to post a link here since too many people who know me "in real life" have this link!)

I've come here for the past five years. This has been my space. I feel like I'm saying goodbye to an old friend, who I will never see again. Just typing here is taking me back to five years ago, and that's not a good place to be, so I know it's time for me to move on.

So thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I would not be where I am today without this space to come to. I am eternally grateful.

To my Brenna girl, my life has never been the same since the day you left me. Kiss Big Grandma and Papa for me. I'm so happy you have each other up there.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

HARD NUMBERS

Judging by the angry mail* I've gotten I'm going to assume my last post pissed some people off. That is never my intention, but this is a place where I write what I feel. I feel that this Chick-fil-A debacle is ridiculous. I've been reminded that this company "donates millions to anti-gay organizations" which promote hatred of gays. If that was true it would change my mind, so I tried to find the actual facts and figures. I found a lot of articles saying that they donate millions, but I had a hard time finding actual numbers of what they donated and who it went to. The best I could find was this:

Chick-fil-A does it's charitable contributing through a company called WinShape. In 2009 (the most recent data available) WinShape donated to the following causes:

  • Marriage & Family Legacy Fund: $994,199
  • Fellowship Of Christian Athletes: $480,000
  • National Christian Foundation: $240,000
  • Focus On The Family: $12,500
  • Eagle Forum: $5,000
  • Exodus International: $1,000
  • Family Research Council: $1,00
What readers may not know about me is that my parents are very religious, and I am familiar with some of these groups. While these groups definitely have a "gay is a sin" vibe, I wouldn't call them hate groups. (If that is the case then my church could be considered a hate group, and I guess I've contributed to a hate group because I donate money in the collection plate). Exodus International's whole purpose is to minister to gay people. (They also want to "turn" them straight, which I don't think can be done. But, if they are trying to minster to these people they obviously care about them and therefor it stands to reason they don't "hate" them.) People are calling them hate groups, when they really have no idea what these groups even do!

I was brought up in a house where we were taught gay is a sin. I live my life believing it's not my place to judge. I think we should all have equal rights, and I have friends who are gay. To me, being gay is a non-issue. I support their right, just as I support Mr. Cathy's right to donate his money to whoever he wants. These groups are not out there beating up gay people or inciting violence. They don't want to have all gays arrested. They simply believe what a lot of Americans believe. That homosexuality is a sin. I don't agree with them, but I don't have to. This is America. We can believe what we want; we can donate to whom we want. If his beliefs make people not want to buy his chicken, then fine. That's their right. But to turn this into a political debate is sickening to me. To beat this man up when he speaks his mind irritates me. Mostly because half of the people beating him up for what he said, are the same people I hear telling gay jokes and fearing someone they know will come out of the closet. This country is so aware of political correctness we are afraid to say what we think. Mr. Cathy had to know that is views would be met with criticism. He said what he felt anyway, which is more than I can say for a lot of people I know. So while I don't agree with his views, I applaud him for not hiding what he really believes. It's a refreshing change for once. 


*Comments are appreciated, even when you don't agree with me. Weird emails, not-so-much.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

THICK SKIN

I have posted before on this blog that I believe strongly in gay rights. I think this country should be ashamed of themselves they way they allow certain members of our society to be treated. I think one day, years from now, we will look back on this time with shame, just like we look back at our treatment of African Americans with shame. But we aren't there yet. Homosexuality still has the ability to make people act like fools.

This whole Chick-fil-A thing has become political and it's making me crazy. I believe strongly in gay rights, but I also believe every person has the right to their own opinion. As long as that person presents their opinion is a respectful manner I don't have a problem with it. I don't think Dan Cathy was disrespectful in his opinion at all. All he said was that he believes in traditional marriage. Like it or not, a man and women is the traditional way people are married. That's how it's been done for hundreds of years. Technically, same sex marriage is non-traditional. That doesn't make it bad or wrong, it just makes it new. When things are new they scare the hell out of the old timers. People are afraid of what they don't know. That is just how it is. Getting all up in arms and boycotting Chick-fil-A is doing nothing to help your cause. Instead, it make those very people who are fearful think that you are irrational and further divides.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I couldn't find an instance were Dan Cathy said anything actually against the gay community. Instead, he said that he believes in the christian model of a man and women. You may not agree, but you don't have to. This is American, the guy can believe what he wants. He wasn't being rude. He was asked what he believed in and he answered. End of story. The entire thing has now been blown way out of proportion and it's turned into a political debate with the "conservatives" on one side and the "liberals" on the other. I wish something in this country could happen that wasn't used to further someone's political agenda.

Why does Dan Cathy not have the right to believe what he wants? I don't agree with him, but so what! I'm not going to boycott the restaurant. I'm also not going to go running there to eat their chicken just because of what he said. If someone doesn't want to support this restaurant because of Mr. Cathy's stance on this issue that is their prerogative. But, I think it's very unfair for everyone to bash the hell out of this guy who was just answering a question, and who answered it in a very un-insulting way.

This entire country has become so hyper-sensitive to what is politically correct that we forget why we were founded in the first place. Mr. Cathy has every right to his opinion, just as I have every right to mine. I wish the people who are bashing this man and his company would be half as respectful in their remarks as he was in his.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

INTERCHANGEABLE

Miscarriage and stillbirth are not interchangeable terms.

Nothing irritates me more than when I hear someone describe a full term stillbirth as a "miscarriage".

Especially when a woman says it.

While one is not necessarily more pleasant than the other, to those who are not part of this life it seems that calling a loss a miscarriage is their way of glossing over the horror that is a stillbirth.

It is horrible. Probably the most horrific thing one could ever experience. Imagine having a dead person inside of you. Imagine having to endure hours of physical pain to deliver a child you know is already dead. It is unimaginable to most people.

I was "lucky" enough to be spared many of the horrors of stillbirth (I was unconscious when my dead child was delivered) but I still bear the scars from my experience.

Maybe that is why even now, more than four years after my daughter died and was born, I still feel my pulse raise when I read something that insults those of us who have suffered a stillbirth.

There has been a shit-storm here in Michigan because two female legislators dared say the word "vagina" on the House floor. The whole thing is ridiculous, and actually embarrassing to our state. While I was reading a column about this issue I was surprised disappointed to read this: (I underlined the offending passage)

"The bill that passed the House last week would shut down most abortion providers in the state. But the GOP leadership tabled other legislation that outlawed abortion past 20 weeks, which could mean mothers who miscarry would have to deliver a stillborn baby..."

Would you believe a woman wrote this?

I wrote the author a scathing note, which she has yet to rely to. Part of my note said:


"For the record, a miscarriage is defined as a spontaneous loss of a fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy. A pregnancy loss after the 20th week is called a preterm delivery. Miscarried and stillborn are not interchangeable terms.

A woman who miscarries has options for delivery, even under the proposed legislation, because a miscarriage happens before the 20th week. A women who experiences neonatal death after the 20th week of pregnancy will always have to deliver her child."

and I ended it with:


"You are a woman (and a mother), you should know all of this.

I don't agree with this legislation, but not presenting the facts correctly does nothing to help our cause."


Maybe I was overreacting, but I don't think so. Thousands of people read this column, and they are reading this and are lead to think that miscarriage and stillborn are the same thing, when in fact they are very different.

They are both horrible. But different.


Monday, June 11, 2012

TABOO

The subject of dead babies is a taboo subject for the most part. It's not something you talk about at parties. It makes people uncomfortable. That is why the baby loss community has become a community in the first place. People (mostly women) who can get together and talk about their babies and their feelings and have people understand. It's important. It was a huge part of my journey to healing.

I am starting to feel like I don't belong in that community anymore. I've felt that way for quite some time, but I feel it even more so lately. There are taboo subjects even in the baby loss world. We only support each other. Speaking against another mother is strictly forbidden.

I can't believe I'm even going to say this.

It will probably get me thrown out of the club.

But, I think some of the baby loss moms are wrong.

If you've lost two or three children to the same fatal genetic disease, I will feel bad for you, but not as bad as I did the first time.

If you show pictures of your dead child at your husband's work party, I don't blame him for getting upset.

If you get mad because your mother in law didn't buy your dead child a Christmas present, I think you are being ridiculous.

If you go ballistic on an old friend because they don't celebrate your dead child's "angelversary", I think you are wrong.

When a new acquaintance asks you how many kids you have, you are not "betraying" your dead child if you don't include them in the count.

Men grieve differently than women. It's not fair to be mad at your husband because he doesn't grieve the way you want.

You are not betraying your child's memory if you are  now happy with your life. You deserve to be happy, whether your child is here or not.

I think parents (especially mothers) tend to be oversensitive when it comes to our kids. Since our babies aren't here we have a tendency to be hypersensitive. Over and over again I hear about friendships lost or family relationships strained because someone said or did something that a deadbabymama didn't like. Or because they didn't say or do something that the mama wanted.

Here's the thing: there is not handbook on this situation. Most people don't know what to say. They are probably afraid of making you cry. They don't want to hurt you, so they mostly do nothing. That doesn't mean they don't care. Yes, it's hurtful. But you flying off the handle about it only make a bad situation worse.

Your mother in law may never buy your dead child a Christmas present. Why does it matter? I'm sorry that your child is dead, but buying them gifts doesn't make them alive. It also doesn't mean that your mother in law didn't love her grandchild. Maybe it just means she doesn't see the sense in buying something for someone who can't use it.

We all want to acknowledge our children. Since they were here only a short time, the only way people will know about them is if we tell them. I get that. I really do. But there is a time and place for everything. Pulling out pictures of your dead child at your husband's office party is not appropriate. Ever. First of all, it's a party and nothing halts a celebration like dead babies. Second of all, it's his place of employment. These are his people. If he wants to share pictures of his child with them he will. It's not your place, and he has every right to be upset.

You have a right to be happy. Just because your baby isn't here doesn't mean your life has to stop. Yes it's shitty. It's especially hard in the beginning. But you are not required to stay miserable for the rest of your life. You will always miss your baby, but being happy and moving on doesn't mean that you love them any less. You are not betraying their memory. Get out of your grief. It's the only way you can move on with your life.

Men and women are different. Your husband may not want to talk about the baby much and that's OK. You can't get mad at him because of how he's grieving his loss. He suffered a loss too. It's not fair to tell him that he's doing it wrong. Think of how angry you get when people tell you that you aren't getting over it fast enough? Now what if they insinuated that you didn't love your baby because you get over it too fast? Just because he doesn't externalize your loss doesn't mean he isn't hurting. You badgering him is only going to drive him further away.

I'm not perfect. I know everyone is different, but I see the same thing over and over again and it just makes me crazy. Of course I would never tell anyone these things (unless they specifically asked me) because we are there to support each other. Maybe if we could say these things to each other instead of just telling each other how right we are, maybe then we could really help each other.

But, for now, saying these things is taboo in the baby loss community.

 

Friday, May 4, 2012

THIS POOR BLOG

This poor blog has been very neglected! Last year I was posting everyday, but lately it seems I can't focus.

My semester from hell is over. I overextended myself and let's just say my 4.0 GPA is no more. Oh well, at least it's over.

I didn't take the job. It paid very well and I liked the company, but I'm still under a non-compete contract with my former employer and he won't let me out of it. I have 7 more months.

Sorry this is such a lame update, but it's late and the best I can do for tonight.

I will have something with more substance next time. PROMISE!