Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I guess the stage of grief I'm going through the most right now is anger.  Although I do throw in some denial and bargaining.  But mostly anger.  I'm pissed.  This is not something that should happen to anyone. But why me?  Why the man I love?  Why my little girls?  And mostly, why my son?  My only son, my baby, my Holden?  He was such a perfect little boy.  Perfectly sweet, and precious, and beautiful.
I read people's blogs, and support group posts.  I see how everyone is so supportive and they all come together to hold each other up in their times of sorrow. And I HATE it. I don't belong there.  This isn't my life.  I should be completely oblivious to their plights, nursing my baby on the couch, unshowered, hair a mess, unfed, and tired as hell.  But HAPPY, nursing my baby on the couch.  All damned day long!  I shouldn't be able to clean the house or have dinner ready when Lee gets home. I should be napping all day while Holden sleeps on my chest.  I should be doing mounds and mounds of poopy, pukey laundry.  But I'm not.  I'm sitting here at the stupid computer writing a blog about how bad losing my baby sucks and reading blogs and posts from other people who've gone through the same thing.
Sometimes I hate these people.  Why do they have to exist?  If none of them existed, that would mean that stillbirth never happens and we would still have Holden.  I hate their posts about god and how he needed an angel, our babies are watching over us from heaven, too beautiful for earth, and how god only takes the best.  I hate it.  God is cruel.  A loving god would never do this to anyone.  A loving god would have given him back at the first wail that erupted from my Meadow's throat after I told her that Holden was gone.  He would have taken it back as Lennon lay there sobbing quietly as she lay in my arms the day we found out Holden's heartbeat was gone.  He's not in a better place now.  The best place for my baby is home with his family that loves him.  In his mother's arms, on his Daddy's knee, surrounded by brothers and sisters that will play with him and make him laugh, enveloped in love by aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends.  NOT in a cold grave in the dirt.  That's not a better place.  And if there is a heaven, it could have waited.
God doesn't give you more than you can handle?  Well I don't WANT to handle this!  I don't want to and I shouldn't have to.  I don't want to figure out the budget and see if we can afford Lee's memorial tattoo for Holden.  I don't want to think about how much it's going to cost for gas to get to the cemetery and back.  I don't want to buy any sculptures or necklaces or ornaments to remember Holden by.  I don't want to update my Facebook status with lyrics that explain how sad I am that I miss him.  I don't want to type "stillbirth support" into Google.  I don't want to decide whether I should make a scrapbook or just do a photo album with the 9 (NINE!) pictures I have of my baby.  I don't want to have to keep reminding my daughters that they do, in fact, have a brother.  I don't want to sit on the couch with the love of my life getting drunk 2 weeks after I've given birth and talk about the baby that we couldn't bring home.  I don't want to keep explaining to people that I'm on maternity leave because I DID give birth to a baby and will not go back to work earlier than six weeks.  I don't want to have to figure out what kind of birth control to use so that I can try to make sure I can get pregnant again.
I don't want to get pregnant again!  I want Holden!  I want Lee to get "fixed" and for us to be done!  I WANT HOLDEN!!!!  But I can't have him.  He shouldn't live in my heart.  He should live in my arms.
This is my life right now.


  1. Hi Nerissa. I'm Eliza.

    Angie directed me to your blog. Our stories are a little different, but our pain is the same. My Gabriel was born at 21 weeks, alive and perfectly healthy but far too soon to be saved - all due to cervical incompetence and malpractice and really fucking awful luck.

    He's not an angel, and he wasn't taken because God needed/wanted him more. He died because he was born too soon and because I had medical providers who overlooked a glaringly obvious tidbit about a previous ectopic pregnancy in my cervix and didn't consider that all the bleeding and issues may have been as a result of damage sustained then. Not until weeks after his death when I switched to an entirely new practice of doctors.

    I too have only 9 pictures of Gabriel. And a box of ashes that fits in my palm.

    It's not enough. It's never enough. It's not fair and it's awful and it hurts and I am so fucking sorry that you and I have anything like this in common.

    I am angry for you that this is your life right now. It shouldn't be.

    Please do know, though, that those of us out here who wish we didn't have to meet you because of this, whom you never wanted to meet - well, we are here. Here and at and elsewhere. And we will sit with you, and rage with you, and cry with you and be silent with you, whenever you need us.

    So much love to you, dear mother, and to your family and your Holden.

  2. Oh Nerissa,

    I am so very very sorry Holden is not here with you. It isn't fair. And it is no consolation that you are not alone in this place because that means others too know this awful pain.

    When you are ready, please know that there are many of us who will travel with you as you find your way in this new world - as Eliza says, in rage, in tears or in silence.

    For now be angry. Weep for that aching empty place on your chest. Weep for the baby who is no longer as he should be. Weep and know that we are here for you.

    Much love to you and your family and your beautiful Holden.

    x Louise

  3. Hi Nerissa

    I'm here via Angie too.

    I am SO sorry Holden isn't in your arms, right where he should be. There is NO better place than that. No matter the platitudes that people might throw at you.

    You are right. About the whole awful thing. I hate to read of all the mothers missing their babies. But right now I am absolutely convinced that without this community I would be in a much much darker place.

    Rage on. Let everything out.

    We will listen.


  4. Hi Nerissa, I don't want to be in this community either. I still want my baby in my arms too. It sucks. As much as I hate it, I can't make it go away, and my baby's death has shaped me, it has taken away parts of me as well as added to who I am. I will never be the same ever again.

    My advice is to keep writing it all down, or typing it. As Barb says, Rage on, let everything out. We have been listening to each others stuff for some time now and we will listen to yours too. I came here via Angie too. I am so sorry that your beautiful son Holden is not wriggling in your arms today and keeping you awake all night long. I am sorry that you have landed in this place. Love to you today. Julie

  5. Hi Nerissa,

    I am also here via Angie and I'm just so sorry that Holden isn't here with you. I wish it was all very different, you should be doing all those things with Holden and never know of the pain of stillbirth. The platitudes are awful and it's a lonely place sometimes, grieving a child that you never got to know.

  6. Anger is good. Anger is perfectly ok. And you're fucking right -- a baby's place is in his mom's arms, not underground or in my case, a box within a baggie on the top shelf. That's just wrong.

    This isn't a community I like welcoming people to, but I'm glad you've found us. I hope you find some solace here; it does help to know that you're not alone in this ugliness and that it happens to others, and happens a lot. Sometimes being just a bit less lonely helps get through the day.

    Missing Holden with you.

  7. Hi Nerissa, Angie from Still Life sent me your link. I'm heart broken to learn of your Holden being gone. The early days will be the worst of your entire life.

    My story isn't too far off from yours. My first child was stillborn 9 months ago. After my perfect pregnancy, Aiden's heart just stopped one day in my 37th week, for no fucking reason. I'd give up every possession and let go of every other person in my life to have him here, with me.

    I'm sorry you're here. I'm sorry you have to blog about life after death instead of how wonderful and perfect your beautiful family is. It's just not fair. But, for what it's worth, you are not alone. There are others out there like us who understand and who are there for us. When you are ready, I'm here for you.

  8. I had this fantasy of going to a thrift shop and buying a set of dishes. On each one I wanted to write something stupid someone said to me. And then smash it. The whole event would involve angry girl punk rock music and a bottle of bourbon. That didn't work out, because I was too grief-stricken to organize something like that. It is so fucking cruel this life. I think that one of the most horrifying things is that from the outside, nothing is different, so people think of that as an invitation to say things they would never say about any other family member who died. And we have to walk away justifying our grief, our child's's so cruel. Sending you love. Grateful you emailed today, and that I am meeting Holden through your words and love.

  9. Nerissa, I'm so sorry for your loss. When Angie told me about Holden, my heart absolutely broke for you and your family. I'm so sorry that your baby boy isn't nestled in your arms, that the number of photos you have of him is finite. It's so, so cruel. And oh, the shit people say. Seriously, Angie made a video about it that captured brilliantly all of the idiotic things people, people who have no idea what it's like to lose a child, have the audacity to say.

    Like others, I'm sorry you've had to join this club that no one should have to join. I'm sorry it even exists. But I hope you find support here and people to hold your hands and your heart as you learn to live without your beautiful boy. Much love to you.

    Paige xo

  10. Nerissa-

    There is nothing anyone that can say that will make this right, and it sucks beyond words that people will also say things that make it all feel a whole lot wronger. I am so sorry you are here in this surreal new world. It's a rotten and lonely place, to be sure, and any one of us would give whatever we had not to be here. But if you need us- to listen, to get it, to be furious at the people who don't get it, to yell until you're hoarse- we are here. I am here.


  11. Nerissa,

    I'm so sorry that your son, Holden, isn't here with you. You're exactly right that he belongs with you and your husband and his sisters. It's just so goddamn unfair. I'll echo a lot of what everyone else has said. We're all out here thinking of you and sending peace and strength as you find your way. This is a big, nasty pill you have to swallow. Be patient and gentle with yourself. Best to you and yours.


  12. I am so sorry for your loss. There is nothing worse than recovering physically from giving birth and having no living baby to show for it.

    I was right there on that couch with you 9 months ago. I went in for my 36 week growth scan and was told that my son had no heartbeat. I was shocked, and sad, and angry. It had been a completely normal and healthy pregnancy and this news came as a huge shock.

    I understand why you don't want to be a part of this community of women who have lost babies. I don't want to be here either. In fact, I wrote a post on my blog about it a while called The Club That No One Wants to Join.

    But I will say that this community has been a source of unbelievable comfort for me. And we are here to support you as well. It's not an easy path that we walk, and sometimes we need someone to walk it with us.

    I am missing Holden with you.

  13. Hi, Nerissa. I'm so sorry you're here. I'm angry that you're here, too. These things shouldn't happen - you couldn't be more right about that. You should be happy and tired and cuddling Holden.

    I wish I could give you something big to smash and a baseball bat to take to it.

    Thinking of you and sending love.

  14. Nerissa, I'm also here via the lovely Angie. I'm "glad" for lack of a better word I found you. Like Tash, I hate that we keep welcoming new members to this club. I remember when my Hope was stillborn at 40+ weeks three years ago, I wanted her to be the last stillborn baby EVER. If I could have made that happen, I would have.
    Like you, in the early days when I stumbled across all the many, many loss blogs out there, I wanted out. I didn't want to be part of this shitty club. It felt wrong and dirty and awful. I hated it. I couldn't leave comments for a long time and it took me three months to start my own blog, as I was in such denial. But now I am "glad" (there's that word again) that I found these amazing women to hold me up on the days where it all got too much.
    Our babies are not angels. They are not in a better place. The best place for them is here. And I'm so sorry your Holden is not.
    With love, Sally.

  15. Hi Nerissa-
    I am also here via Angie. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. It pains me to think of another person having to go through the pain that we had to feel. I lost my son Silas after he was born, due to complications during his delivery. I miss him every single day- and wish he was a happy 2 1/2 yr old here with his family.
    My heart is with you and your family and Holden and i'm thinking of you all as you go through this heartbreaking time.
    lots of love,

  16. Nerissa,

    What to say? I am also here via the Angie posse. I hope you know that as horrendous an experience as you're going through, as thoroughly and utterly as losing Holden is changing you, you too have a posse now. We really should get jackets or something.

    I am sitting here, four years out from my own loss with tears in my eyes because a) it still hurts and b)I'm pissed to have to "welcome" you. I can't tell you how sorry I am. Losing Eva...I understand despair. I know fury, but words fail me.

    All bad jokes aside, no one who understands, no one here will suggest that you need to move on, that there is some higher purpose or any other of the other insipid shit that people say to MAKE THEMSELVES feel better.

    I hope this offers you some small comfort.



  17. I really want to thank everyone (especially Angie) for the comments and support and... everything. Find me on facebook if you ever want to chat. I'm on there a lot and my email is
    dreamersdisease at yahoo dot com