August 28, 2009

Top Tune #6

This Top Tune is brought to you by an incredible amount of emotional stuff.

Back in December, I downloaded this album, thanks to Kari's recommendation. In mid-January, I started using music to try to feel Charlie's movement for the first time. To my delight, when I played "Flume" for Charlie, he kicked! It first happened in the dentist's office and then he did it again later that night at home.

I sent out a text message to all of my people letting them know that I was finally feeling movement. I was so excited!

There was absolutely no way that I could have known that the very same night, maybe even right around the time I sent out my happy text message, my very good friend and her husband went to the ER because they could not find their baby's heartbeat on the doppler. Her pregnancy had not been an easy one for several reasons. But she was now in the second trimester, the "safe" point. They were just beginning to relax and look to the future with hope when they got the news that the baby had died.

She was due exactly one month after me. I had just been at her stage of pregnancy. I could not imagine losing the baby at that point.

I'd been having hopeful visions that their baby was a boy, too, and that he and Charlie would grow up together as best friends. And then those visions were lost.

It wasn't my baby that died, but I was devastated.

I spent the next couple of weeks in complete disbelief and shock. I was so shocked by the loss of my friend's baby that I could not cry. Then I accidentally ran over a cat one night. And finally, the floodgates opened.

I came home every night after work and cried. One night Roy and I sat on the couch together as I wept, and I expressed my frustration at not being able to shake my sadness. He said, "We have a full-blown tragedy on our hands. It's okay to be sad."

In early February, my friend and her husband checked into the hospital to deliver her baby. She had waited as long as she could to miscarry on her own. Since it wasn't happening, labor was induced and after several hours, the baby was delivered.

It was a boy.

And while I was at the hospital while it all was happening, I didn't get to see him. But being there offered me closure. I got to see my friend and her husband coping with their loss, and I think that's what I needed. I had no idea what things were like for them in the immediate days and weeks following the death of the baby, and not knowing was making it that much tougher for me to do my own coping and healing. When I saw how brave and accepting they were, I was able to be brave and accepting, too.

When we left the hospital late that night, I walked out of there and knew that I would never be able to see the world in the same way. This is a world that is sometimes cruel and unforgiving. It's a world that takes babies from their parents. I don't understand, and never will, why some babies die and some live. It's just not fair.

I still think of this baby often, probably every day. I thought about him a lot when Charlie was born and again on his due date, June 29. I think about him every time Charlie reaches a new stage in his development. It's always the same thought: "He should be here, too." It's just not right that he isn't.

In the last several weeks, several people (who have no idea that I even exist) have suffered heart-wrenching losses. They have experienced pain that I never want to feel, and they've had to say goodbyes that I can't even imagine saying. If you have a minute, please go here and here to offer your support and condolences. And while you're at it, go here, too. And hug your loved ones tight and tell them you love them.

That's what I do. And then I listen to this song, which reminds me so much of the wonder of feeling Charlie move for the first time - and the sadness for my friends' lost little one, the boy Charlie never got to play with, the boy the world never got the pleasure of meeting.

Flume by Bon Iver


I am my mother's only one
It's enough

I wear my garment so it shows
Now you know

Only love is all maroon
Gluey feathers on a flume
Sky is womb and she's the moon

I am my mother on the wall, with us all
I move in water, shore to shore;
Nothing's more

Only love is all maroon
Lapping lakes like leary loons
Leaving rope burns --
Reddish ruse

Only love is all maroon
Gluey feathers on a flume
Sky is womb and she's the moon


inflammatory writ said...

This was a really powerful entry, Leslie. I didn't know about your friend (or I did and I forgot) - my heart goes out to her. I can't imagine how awful that must be. I'm also glad that you liked the record. It's one of my favorites.

phairhead said...

this song really is powerfl

Angie Eats Peace said...


Nanette said...

I'm so sorry for your friend's loss. I can imagine the impact it had and continues to have on you from your vantage point. I go through a lot of that with Em when I think about her pal, Maddie Spohr.

amber said...

This is so sad. :( I remember my mom telling me that when she was pregnant with me (after multiple miscarriages), her friend at church was pregnant with twins and miscarried them in her 2nd trimester. It really affected my mom and she said that her friend had to bascially pull out of all baby related stuff for several months because it was just too much to deal with. I'm glad that your friend is dealing with all of this as well as can be expected. Love and hugs to you both.