The Blackest Friday

It was important that this day be as normal as possible.  Remember that.  Normalcy was important to me.

Black Friday of 2007 started out normal and I was ever thankful for that.  My mom and I did our shopping and we had a good time.  I didn’t bring it up the entire time we were out.  Not during our first few shops.  Not over coffee.  Not while when we walked past the baby stuff.

When I got home with all my packages, I intended to decorate the house with Christmas and wrap all of my newly bought gifts.  Just like any other year.

But this is when my “normal” was shattered.

While I was out, Cort had made plans for us with our friends (who, by the way, are usually only in state once–maybe twice–a year).  This wouldn’t be a big deal to me if those plans had fallen into the customary time period after my decorating and wrapping frenzy, but the plans called for us to be ready to go in less than 2 hours and I hadn’t even showered yet.

I know.  Big deal, right?

My world fell apart.

I was immediately angry at Cortney for messing up my “tradition”.  Inconsolably so.

“Just decorate tomorrow,” he offered.

“THAT IS NOT THE POINT!” I told him. “TODAY is when I wrap and then decorate all to the sounds of Bing Crosby.  Why can you not respect this?  Why would you make PLANS for us during this?  Do you not know me at ALL?”

He was speechless.  He even offered to cancel the plans.  But I wouldn’t let him do that.

“how would that look?” I questioned him.  “what would they think?”

So I begrudgingly showered and got all ready.

And went out to eat and to have beers.

And acted normal.

But ignored Cortney. I mean, how could he be so thoughtless?

The rage built.

After dinner we all headed over to our friends’ house where we could sit around and visit and share some wine and snacks.

I continued to ignore  my husband.

It got so bad that nearing the end of the night he came to the chair that I was actively ignoring him from and asked if I would like to go home.

I said yes.

We left an awkward wake behind us.

I started crying somewhere between here and there.

Once home my memory blurs.  I think the yelling started as we got ready for bed.  I finally started telling Cortney how this entire day was a big suck for me thanks to him.

He didn’t yell back (he never does).  He just looked sad.

But he questioned me.  He questioned how in the world this small change in my “normal” Black Friday routine could be THIS awful.

I raged at him.

And then?  I collapsed into the ugliest cry I remember having and blurted out,

“We were supposed to have a baby this week.”

And proceed to cry so hard I couldn’t get my breath.

In the dark warmth of our living room, on the leather couch where I had lain recovering from the loss, Cortney sunk and wrapped his arms around me.

“Oh, honey,” he managed.

It all started to make sense.  I was grasping for routine.  For nothing to be out of the ordinary.  For everything to “proceed as normally scheduled.”

When it didn’t?  I lost my shit.

And we sat in the dark on the couch for a very long time.

He instructed me to breathe.  To take deep breaths, and to talk about it.  Neither of us had mourned that loss like this.  And I didn’t expect the due date to hit me so hard.  I thought I was over it.  That it never bothered me that much.

But it did.  I had just suppressed it.

In the winter, when we had found out my due date, it was perfect.  All of our friends would be in town.  Family would be around.  Everyone would be ready to celebrate our baby. Somehow that fact made our unexpected pregnancy ok.  It made things start to look up.

But that night while Cort’s arms held me, my arms were empty.

No baby.

And I started to cry all over again.

It still never escapes me that if the first time around had happened, we would have been throwing a 3-year old’s birthday party this week.

Sometimes I still don’t know how to feel about this.  If we were having a birthday party, Eddie maybe wouldn’t be here.  And he is…well…there are no words for how that little boy makes my heart swell.

But yet…

someone is missing.

(two little someones, actually.  but that is another post.)

The very next Thanksgiving, Eddie was baking away in my tummy and we have never had a “normal” Thanksgiving weekend again.

I am closer to Cortney.

And I have never loved this holiday more.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Oh, Katie. I wish I had words for this. I’m so sorry for your loss. I can imagine the kind of pain you must have felt that year and the sting that you still feel every year. All the blessings in the world don’t take that sting away and that’s OK, it doesn’t mean that you’re any less grateful or less blessed. It’s just… different.
    Thinking about you.

    • Krista, you are right…I was waiting for so long to just have the sting go away. but it doesn’t. it’s always there. but because of that sting? I totally appreciate what I have each year that much more. I totally feel the miracle of it all. Thanks for your words. I appreciate you.

  2. Oh bless your heart! I am sorry you had to go through that, but I’m so so happy that you have Eddie to enjoy your not-normal-Thanksgiving weekend with!!!

  3. Wow, I am crying and speechless. Absolutely amazing. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Oh sweetie! I know. I was pregnant again when the first due date came, but that did not make it any less painful. I felt for you so much as I read this. Because I have been there.

    • I was pregnant with E when when my 2nd mc due date came and went. it never really gets easier, does it? thanks for feeling with me. sometimes i just need to know i am not alone.

  5. My heart just jumped into my throat for you. You know that clenchy feeling? I’m so, so sorry for your loss(es), Katie.

    ((hugs))

    • i do know that clenchy feeling. a little too well. hugs back to you, my friend. I am glad you are in my life.

  6. Oh honey…

    I wish I could hug you right now. Sorry to hear that you are a member of the club. *sigh*

    Much love…so much love to you.

    • yeah, it’s a pretty sucky club, huh? we get sad every time we have to welcome a new member.

      much love in return to my fellow momma warrior. much love.

  7. Oh honey…
    I’ve never told anyone this before besides my BF but I trust you…
    When my husband and I started dating we had an “accident”. We were terrified. We were shocked. We worried. We talked. We planned. Then we lost at 10 weeks.
    And every year on May 15th, I think about what could have been. When we tried for our Chunky, I made sure that he wouldn’t be born in May. Kind of a way of honouring what could have been.
    And I pray.
    I love you Katie. You have beautiful angels that surround you every day. They surround Eddie.

    • you are so beautiful, Kim. Such a beautiful friend to me. I am so sorry you have to be part of this “loss club”, but honored that you told me. We both have angels around us and our boys. you are so right. <3 you.

  8. I had a very early miscarriage and then was surprised four months later when I got pg with #3. I know he was meant to be in our family but I do think about the pregnancy I lost. That child (what would s/he be like?) would already by 2.

    Hugs to you, my friend..

    • I agree. I know Eddie was meant to be here…he’s too perfect of a fit. but it’s hard not to think about the ones that got away. what would they have been like? were they boys or girls? I have would have a 3 year old. dang. or a 2 year old. but instead? i have a 1.5 year old. and i wouldn’t change it. hugs back to you.

  9. wow katie, thanks for sharing your heart. i can’t say that i know how you feel, but your sentence “If we were having a birthday party, Eddie maybe wouldn’t be here. And he is…well…there are no words for how that little boy makes my heart swell.” that’s the key. eddie is here!!

    i’m having a hard time finding the words I want to say b/c it’s not at all coming out right. so i’ll just stop there.

    so much love to you katie. so much love and prayers.

    • it’s ok to not have the right words. most people don’t. the fact that you came here and read my story and let me know that you are there in my life? that means more than any other words. thank you for your friendship and love, Julia. i appreciate you.

  10. The last miscarriage I had was the absolute worst because I went the furthest and I had the world’s most hideous OB see me. I know that had I had that baby, Darling Girl would not be here. That baby was due in July of 2007 and I got pregnant with her in December 2007. Sometimes I can’t help but wonder what that baby would have been like. I can’t help but wonder if we would have had Darling Girl too, but just a little later. As we have always planned to have our kids about 3 to 3 1/2 years apart, we would probably now have a 3 year old and a baby. Then I push it all out of my head because it overwhelms me to think about.

    • i think about those things too. i wonder if eddie would still be here, just as an infant right now instead of a busy toddler. it’s weird to think about the science of it with the psychology of it and the spirituality of it all rolled into one giant question mark. so i try not to think about it at all. instead, i move forward. but sometimes? i have to get it out…and so here it is on the ole blog.

  11. Nicola @Nikkitaasha says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss Katie. Thanks for sharing!!

  12. A dear friend who suffered two miscarriages before successfully having her second child told me, “It just took this little spirit a few tries to get here.”

    And you have your answer, beautiful one. Eddie is here because he is meant to be. Things are as they should be, because there can be no other. Maybe his spirit just needed two tries to grab hold tight enough, perhaps that spirit was simply meant to be somewhere else instead.

    But mom-you and dad-Cort and child-Eddie are the family you are meant to have.

    And it is perfect, the tree that you are growing.

    • oh Lori…I swear you have just the right thing to say. Yes, eddie took a few tries to “stick” as I like to say. He grabbed on the third try because he knew I wasn’t going to try again. that was it. and anyone that knows him knows that he is a determined little sucker…who doesn’t always listen the first time around. Thank you for being you and for being there. much love to you.

    • I love that. Such a good way to put it.

      Katie – We were also ready to give up if our last try that resulted in Darling Girl didn’t work. She knew that and said, “Ok fine! I’m coming!” She likes to do everything in her own time. (I have NO idea where she could have inherited that! ;))

  13. lila and zach says:

    Zach and me just read this together. And now we just wanna give you big hugs for your whole life except you don’t like that, so we just tell you.

    Super a whole bunch of love, zach and lila <3

    • yeah, i don’t do hugs. but? I will take your love. tell Zach i miss him. and both of you can stop into room 167 any time.

  14. Oooh Katie, my heart breaks reading this. In a way it reminded me of what a mess I was after Lil’ A was born but I had no idea what that means or even have the slightest idea that there is a name to that sucky feelings that I carried for about a year. I did a lot of ignoring back then, pushing my soon-to-be-ex a lot maybe a lot more than he could handle and maybe that’s what leads my marriage to finally crumbled to pieces. Cort is such a great man for standing by your side like that. Bless his heart and bless your heart, my friend and your beautiful Eddie.
    Hope you had a wonderful and blissful Thanksgiving Day, my friend!

    • time and time again i think that Cort deserves so much better than what he has been dealt with my and my mental stuff…but he refuses to see it that way. he is a great man. thank you for “listening” to this not so happy post. much love and hugs to you, momma.

  15. My heart breaks reading this. Although I have never miscarried, I can relate to the fact about having things be “normal” during other hard times of the year. 🙁 Hang in there. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your little family!

    • thank you, Julie. thank you for being there for the happy posts AND these not-so-happy posts. i appreciate your friendship.

  16. I imagine it is so difficult to think about what could have been… but how wonderful that you now have a sweet little boy to love.
    Hugs.

    • you are completely right. I have so much. and sometimes? i think the losses magnify how lucky i am to have what i do. hugs back.

  17. Katie, you are so brave. My heart hurts for all you have lost, but it also swells for the gifts you do have. Love you friend!

    • thank you, my friend. i appreciate you and your friendship so much. thank you for sharing my joys and my heartaches and loving me just the same. you are so loved by me!

  18. Oh honey. My heart melts for you so much. I’m so sad. And today I am glad for you and your beautiful boy, but I know that doesn’t replace the sadness. Thank you for sharing this. hugs.

    • thank you, my friend. the sadness will never go away, but there is always room in my heart for love. and i appreciate yours. many hugs back to you.

  19. I am totally crying. At work.

    And words escape me. Except: I’m sorry.

    Hugs, friend.

    • thanks, you. I did not mean to make you cry. just something i had never ever talked about that needed to come out. three years after it happened. there is more. more to come out that is not happy. i hope you will still be there with your hugs. I will need them.

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