November 8th is also Bram Stoker's birthday. It's kind of nice that Toren shares a birthday with a famous person, I suppose. Learning a bit more about Bram Stoker was a nice distraction this mornining. Bram Stoker was Irish and Dracula was published in 1897. Beyond being a horror novel Dracula presents concerns of that time in Victorian England. Bram Stoker died in 1912 at 64 years old, after several strokes.
Toren M died on November 8, 2007 by being crushed by his mother's contracting uterus. He was born later that day at 10:35pm. I don't know when he died because he wasn't being monitored because he was going to die anyway.
It's been five years.
I still take October 31 and November 8 off from work. Not to do anything in particular but just to avoid seeing people. The surrounding days are bad enough and I think if anyone wished me a good day today I would yell at them. Most days I'm fine and happy enough but I take these two days and his due date (the anniversary of the day when nothing happened) to not have to look happy.
On days that are tough, for whatever reason, I think to myself "at least I'm not back in that week where I was waiting for my son to die". Most shitty situations look pretty innocuous compared to hanging out in a hospital room waiting to birth the baby who will never go home, never meet his grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins, never make his own friends, never hear you say how much he is loved.
Those days between the fatal diagnosis and when he was born were the most unremarkable and exhausting days. Nothing was actively happening. We were killing time as the inevitable loomed.
It was terrifying. I remember being busy researching bilateral renal agenesis and what a baby of his gestational age looks like, and crying, and vomitting, and not getting out of bed, and then not being able to stand being in the house, and not talking to people because what was I going to say? My parents didn't even know what was going on until days after the diagnosis and then I don't even remember what I said to them. Probably something about how the baby is dying but everything is ok. Don't worry - I'm ok.
Unpredictably, embarassingly, the thing I felt most right after he delivered was relief. The labor pains stopped and I didn't have to wait for him to die anymore. It was time to grieve for a bit then get back to kicking ass. Right?
Beyond heartbroken, wondering how I was going to walk across the threshold to leave the hospital room and go home without my son, I told myself that it would be rough for a few weeks but once the new year came around I would be feeling much better. Looking back, I gave myself 54 days to "get over it".
I mean, things are much easier than being "there" but beyond that I'm not sure of much. I thought I would at least be pregnant with another baby within a year and my lousy, cheating husband and I would raise a family together. You know, all unfulfilled with mountains of hurt and lies between us. So I HAVE TO be happy about being where I am now. I must be thankful. But not on November 8th.
My son was going to have dinosaur pajamas. We would all learn baby sign language so we could communicate with him before he could speak. We would visit family and he would get excited with his cousins and all of the adults would cringe at the noise. He was going to be the oldest child.
Instead it's just me sitting with a pair of tiny dinosaur pajamas that have never been worn.