Search Results for: casey
Now that Emily is in high school, I think I have a better idea of what life would be like with Casey. He’d be getting his learner’s permit, and the shrieks heard ’round the world would be me, hands on the dashboard, eyes squeezed shut or open wide, as we careened along side streets. (I always picture him as a dare devil.)
But I have to admit that as time passes, I feel less connected to the kid Casey might have been. We can imagine babies in all their temperaments — cranky or calm, excitable or chill. But a mostly grown boy can be so many things. Athlete. Gamer geek. Gregarious. Shy. Friendly. Quiet. So many shades between. He is unknowable, forever a collection of white blips on a black background, a shape in the dark.
It’s not often that I think of him with sorrow anymore. Casey is the name of my mission, my life’s work, the purpose handed to me from my first-born. He becomes ever-abstract, a dividing line in my history.
But today is not one of those days. Once again he becomes a baby, and today is the day that we might have celebrated his arrival. And the future I would have had with him is as unknowable as he is to us.
Every year we celebrate what would have been Baby Casey’s birthday with new site features, prizes, and give aways!
This year we’re trying this trendy new gadget called the Rafflecopter (see it down below)! You enter the giveaway by doing certain tasks—including telling us your baby’s name, finding us on Facebook, and other activities that get you points toward the give aways.
While we’re celebrating baby Casey, my book Baby Dust is only 99 cents for the ebook or $5 for the paperback now through Sept. 13! This is a GREAT time to gift the book to a friend, to snag it if you haven’t had a chance yet, or to donate a copy to a hospital for another mom who might need it.
Baby Dust $5 for paperback (shipping is $3.97 in the US)
HERE ARE THE PRIZES!
A HeartBeat Bear. Super cute bears are recorded with a heartbeat at the rate of your baby that is activated when you hug the bear. You can tell us based on sonograms or NICU stats what your baby’s last heartrate was, or we can record a heartrate for your baby’s gestational age. Wonderful little bear.
In the Company of Angels Memorial Book. This hardback baby book has pages ready to fill out about your baby, whether you were only a few weeks along, or delivered a full-term stillbirth. No page will go blank in your book, and gentle prompts on gorgeous pages will guide you to remembering every moment of your pregnancy.
Here is the Rafflecopter. I had to sort of puzzle it out the first time I used one—you’ll get it! Each thing you do gets you more entries in the contest! Only do what you feel comfortable with.
- +1 entry — Tell us your babies’ names or how many unnamed babies you have!
- +2 more entries — Become a fan of “A Place for Our Angels” where we talk about our babies (if you’re already a fan–just log in and it will know!)
- +2 more entries — Follow Deanna Roy (that’s me!) on Twitter. Except I talk about random things. Like Crunch Berries. Follow at your own risk! 🙂
- +3 more entries — Tweet about Baby Dust being 99 cents. Don’t worry about “finding the link.” Just hit Tweet and the text of the tweet will come up.
- +1 more entry — Go hit the “like” button on Amazon for Baby Dust or for In the Company of Angels. This helps the books be more visible on Amazon!
When Rafflecopter picks a winner, the entries will be verified. Yay! Good luck!!!!
Sometimes when women arrive at my Facebook group for those currently going through a miscarriage, they ask, “How long until I get over this?”
All I can say is, “Fourteen years and counting.”
One of the hard things about losing a baby that no one else felt, or saw, or touched is that everyone wants you to get over it quickly. They don’t have the same emotional investment. Pregnancy, with its sleepiness and dream-like quality, encourages the visions of the baby to come, the moments ahead. It’s how you get through the hard stuff—throwing up, bone-tiredness, caution and fear. So we’re wired to already see and experience this baby well beyond the sensations in our belly.
In her book Virgin Blue (which has lots of miscarriage and pregnancy trauma within it), author Tracy Chavalier’s characters, both midwives, talk about how the pregnant mother is always “listening” inside her. She’s distracted, taken out of the outside world, and focused on what is happening within.
It really doesn’t matter when the conversation stops, the day after the positive pregnancy test or during the birth, when some tragedy takes the baby during its final journey to the outside. It’s still a cutting off, a silencing of a relationship that had become the focus of your life.
Fourteen years ago today, I didn’t realize my connection had been cut. I suspected—but then every pregnant mother seems to always have some fear—but until the Doppler was silent, until the doctor was rushed in and the sonogram machine powered up, until he moved and moved and moved the paddle, trying to find an elusive heartbeat for a 20-week baby who should have filled the screen with movement and sound, but didn’t. Until I had proof; I hadn’t known.
April 28 taught me how to listen, how to hear, how to know when the conversation ceased. My next two losses were no surprise. I had learned the difference between the hum that reverberates between a mother and an unborn child and the silence that means the child is gone.
And this year, at 42, I am getting married again and, next month, taking that journey one more time. I don’t even know if the conversation will start. I may not be able to get pregnant at all. The chromosomes in my eggs may be too sticky to divide properly and get the baby on its journey. But I will listen, and I will hear. And whatever conversation I might get, however many days or weeks or months I may get to feel that hum, I will take them.
One thing I’ve learned in 14 years—I am not afraid. I hope, for all of you, who may be reading this after searching the internet about pregnancy loss, that you find that courage too.
My first baby Casey would have been thirteen years old today, and we’re celebrating his would-have-been birthday with give aways of some great books on loss.
Since we can’t give Casey the things he would have liked, instead we’re giving things to YOU!
Head on over to the site of Baby Dust, my novel on pregnancy loss that will be released Oct. 1, and comment on any of the titles that you might find helpful. We’ll give away the books on October 1 to kick off Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Month.
We’re also taking this special day to celebrate the completion of the Baby Dust Book Trailer. Women from Ireland, London, Australia, Mexico, and the US talk about their babies, and the women of Illuminate, a photography class for grieving mothers, took the images that are used.
Ten years ago today, at this very moment, I sat in a waiting room at my obstetrician’s office, flipping through baby magazines and occasionally glancing at the pregnant women around me, trying to decide who was the farthest along, and if I was above or below the curve in getting too fat, too fast.
I was 20 weeks pregnant. I’d just taken a half day off at the high school where I taught. As I walked away, my newspaper staff was making a big chart on the board, and all my students were placing bets on whether I was having a boy or a girl. I was instructed to call the room after my sonogram, and they’d be there to answer and announce the winners. Many a Dr. Pepper was riding on the outcome.
My husband John came out of the coffee shop with bottled water just as they called us back. I commented as I stepped on the scale that lately I had felt skinnier, which I thought odd. I had been so concerned about it that a few days ago I’d gone to the nurse’s office at my school to be weighed.
“Nope, you’re growing plenty!” the nurse said, jotting down the number. I felt relieved and sat on the exam table. She pulled out a Doppler to get the baby’s heart rate and I automatically tensed. She had struggled with this at both my previous visits, so when she kept moving it around and around and found nothing, I didn’t worry as much as I might have.
“No worries,” she said. “We’ll see it during the sonogram.”
But when my doctor arrived seconds later, rather than after what was normally a lengthy wait, I knew something was wrong.
And when his first words were, “Try not to worry,” this set my pulse flying.
He immediately flipped on the machine beside us and laid the sonogram paddle to my exposed belly. He grimaced as he worked, and John held my hand tightly. I was already crying, but not really noticing as the moment was so intense, so long, so agonizingly slow.
Finally the doctor said, “There’s no heartbeat.”
The rest of the words sort of slurred in my mind. The baby was measuring out at 16 weeks, so had died shortly after the last visit. I remembered that sonogram so well, his heartbeat and the shifting of his shoulders making us realize he was alive, so alive, and going to be with us soon.
The rest of my story is well documented on the site. You can read it here.
So much has happened since then. My life has gone in many new directions. I quit teaching. I had surgery to fix my uterus. I had two lovely girls among complicated pregnancies where I lost other babies.
But today is about little Casey, the reason my Facts about Miscarriage web site exists. It has been a long labor of love, at times causing me great anguish, but mostly being a source of strength and pride and comfort for both myself and the wonderful mothers who come here–this site takes 25,000 hits every day.
I am doing a number of special things to commemorate this day.
Early this morning, I created a Facts about Miscarriage Facebook Group that women may join so that we can create a community of women united in our losses, to tell our stories, leave our pictures, and find each other. If you belong to Facebook, join the group and invite others. If you don’t belong to Facebook, take a look at it. It’s sort of a “myspace” for grownups, with fewer glitter graphics and pounding music, but all the utilities for sharing as much, or as little, of your life as you like. Feel free to friend me there.
I will also add to my Miscarriage Sympathy Card series. The first one was a baby sliding down into clouds. This new one will include Casey’s sonogram. A third one, later this summer, will include Elizabeth and her angel twin Emma. To check on those, you can always follow this link.
Hug your kids today. Some of us never get that chance.
Today my first boy would have been 17. I can’t even fathom what sort of life I’d be leading if the fork in my road hadn’t gone the way it did, if Casey had been ours to keep. No Emily, for sure, as she couldn’t have come along in time. And probably not where we are now, about to bring more children into our home.
No matter how my life changes, no matter how many years pass, I do not forget. You could make a case for, “It was meant to be” and “Count your blessings,” but sometimes those platitudes just don’t apply. And all that’s left are the “What should have been.”
He should have been…here.