Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Joel's Story

I started this blog because I wanted to make myself do something productive (if you can call this thing 'productive), other people, however, have done a much better job of contributing to the world since the loss of their child or children.

Take, for example, Malory, who created Every Life Has a Story in honor of her daughter Janessa after she passed away. She makes keepsake / memorial videos for those of us who have so little to remember our children by.

I woke up this morning to find that, along with a snow day, she had blessed us with a video for Joel. (Yes, this woman is such an angel I am crediting her with the snow day too).

'Thank you' is not enough.

Monday, February 15, 2010

snowy thoughts

Sitting at work (lunch time - my time - union says you can't fuss at me! ha!), watching the snow fall in 5 different directions, sipping the gas station cappuencino..cappaccc..capikachu...toffee-coffee for which I braved the insane snow for, I wonder to myself, "WHY HAVEN'T THEY SENT THESE CHILDREN HOME YET??"     I'll keep my fingers crossed.

On the upside, the longer I'm here, the more kids get to marvel at my 80s outfit: cuffed, faded jeans, tucked-in Iron Maiden t-shirt, rat-tail (thank you, wife).       Most kids saw me this morning, flippedo out, laughed.  One bright young lad looked at me, smiled, and said, "this does not surprise me."  Yes, Mr. Culver is the funny one....or at least the weird one.

But you guys already knew that. 

DB blog coming up shortly :  some heads-advice when it comes to religion and the dead baby experience.  Its as much for "comforters" as it is for the DB parents, so feel free to pass it along to all your friends and neighbors!

time to fluff the rat-tail; students are on their way.

...wait, that sounds dirty... ick.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ask a DB Dad: a question you won't think to ask

You'll never see it coming.

So here is an issue that has bothered me since I first started reaching out to other parents that have suffered a miscarriage or stillbirth: resentment from the paternal family.

While it certainly isn't always the case, I was amazed at just how many couples found themselves facing this after losing a child. As my wife would explain, it is something that DB Mom's specifically deal with: people looking at them, thinking "what did she do to kill her baby?"

Pretty harsh.

But even more so when it is your supposed family thinking these things, or even worse, outright saying them.

To my own experience, it was things we never heard, but heard about; and more important than that, what their actions and attitudes had to say. Not to mention the years of turmoil beforehand. Of course, some members of the family were kind enough to verbalize their opinions, backing up what we'd suspected.

For others, it is years of snubs, snide remarks, not so passive aggressive comments and the complete ruin of once live-able or even loving relationships. (or, you know, at least as loving as a daughter-in-law/mother-in-law relationship can be)

In some cases, the stress of not-knowing, which tends to go hand-in-hand with a miscarriage or stillbirth, amplifies the existing tensions. For others, it is a never-before-seen undercurrent flowing through their entire family dynamic.
Common DB theme: it's different for everyone.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that an awful lot of DB parents seem to end up trying to survive the fallout in ways they never expected. You are busy deing with the pain as a parent, as a father and husband, then there is this other thing. This strange conflict where the woman you want to protect is under attack from the people that could do no wrong.

So what does a DB Daddy do?

Fuck if I know.

Me, I found no easy solution, finally going with the simplest solution. (want details? well, thats what the rest of my blog is for, you nosey bastards...but no, I didn't kill anyone)

I'm certainly not one to judge any man's reaction to this family situation; it is a turmoil on top of an already excruciating hell.

I do, however, say "shut the fuck up" to all those family members that cannot help themselves but to pass judgement. Aren't these people going through enough without you....being you!

I'd love to get a wider range of feedback from other DB parents and families. How did this work out in your family? Was there an issue at all? Is it still a source of tension/stress/strife? What did you do? Did you do nothing at all?

If you're new to this club, I am both sorry and glad that you are here. My hope is that your family -- in all its facets -- is kind and supportive to both yourself and your co-parent.

But as always, my advice is to talk about these things, at least think about these things, and assess your situation. Be aware of your family; you know them best. If you need to pull away, do it. Talk to that person you knocked up, ask her what she thinks, what she feels, because as tends to be the case, the family's ire is focused on her, not you.

Yes, unfortunately, your child has died, and now I am telling you to be paranoid about your family. Congratulations, you are NOT in Kansas anymore (and if you are reading this from Kansas,well, think of your own damn idiom.)

Good luck, and keep your head up, because next time I'll talk about how God is trying to step on you. **humor? I like to think of it that way**

Saturday, February 6, 2010

zzzZZZZ**KKzkkzK** ZZZzzzzZZZZZ

I keep attempting to get a blog written, but I'm a bit too busy snoring...and subsequently destroying my wife's sanity.

To my understanding, I am one hell of a snorer, and have been for years. When I used to travel with my college Model UN group, I was eventually relegated to bunking with our professor after a trip to New York where my snoring inspired an other-wise polite teammate, who was also a cop back home, to eagerly pronounce his desire for his sidearm. Said professor slept using a C-PAP machine, so he didn't mind the snoring because he couldn't hear it over his own Vader-esque breathing.

Finally after years of friends and, um, co-sleepers, complaining of my nocturnal rumblings but also detailing the fact that I would occasionally stop breathing all-together, -- and the added fact that as a student, University health care would help pay -- I went and got a sleep study. (I could explain the road-blocks my family threw out to keep me from seeking medical advice, but it's the same story with different nouns at this point)

Now let me tell you, nothing recreates your normal sleeping habits like having 20+ wires and monitors strapped to you, including about 10 on your head and face. Diagnosis: mild sleep-apnea. Apparently the emphasis was on 'mild' because they actually told me I didn't really have any problems and sent me on my way. I didn't actually receive the "diagnosis" until I went in for my vasectomy (same hospital) and it was in the computer. Now I've also been told I have abnormally large tonsils, which is probably another issue.

So not only do I snore to the point that I wake up tired and would literally just pass out around 4 o'clock no matter what I was doing, I'd also started snoring to the point that my wife can't get any rest (difficult enough of a challenge for a pregnant woman) and now I'm waking up Jules as well. So yeah; it's bad.

So what did I do? To avoid the C-PAP, and knowing I can't get my tonsils taken out any time soon, I bought an anti-snoring mouthpiece: pulls the lower jaw forward to where your teeth lineup, pulling your tongue away from the back of your throat, which is often the cause of snoring.

Does it work? Well, I'm still in the stages of "getting used to it", but I feel like it was making some improvements. "was"? Yeah, I say that because two nights ago I apparently managed to snore through my mouthpiece, which created a whole new symphony of strange bodily noises. Then last night Jules wasn't sleeping without my arm under him, so I never got my mouthpiece. Silly, sleepy me never thought to grab the mouthpiece all those times I was back up with Jules, trying to calm him back to sleep. Apparently I should have, as my house-shaking snores returned full force. Now I'm left trying to figure out where to get flowers during a major snowstorm...

**update** most disappointing "major storm" ever. I can still see the grass! ...Now I really have no excuse to not buy flowers...