Saturday, June 4, 2011

Data Recovery

So yesterday was apparently the day that everything was supposed to crash, technologically speaking, at least.

My phone crashed in the afternoon, and in order to get it to work again, I had to restore it from a backup, and the last backup I did was in February.  Thankfully, right after we returned from Maui, so at least those pics were all saved, but no pics beyond the ones of the hpt I took on the day after we got back.  I had some momentary panic, as I always do when threatened with losing digital information, it's almost like I will lose some part of me, never to be recovered.

About 8 years ago, I lost all the digital photos from the first two years of my relationship with E.  My computer had crashed and I couldn't recover the photos.  All gone.  I have to rely on my memory to recreate those first two years, as there are no visual aids anymore.  Our first camping trip, our first trip to the snow, our foray into becoming pet-parents and adopting Oliver the wonderdog...all the photographic evidence gone.   And most of the time, I'm pretty good at remembering, at least I have been, but I still panic.  It's like in losing the photographs, I lose so much of the memories as well.   I've gotten better about backing up media, but I'm still not great.  And I still panic at the thought of losing even a few months of mundane photos.  Really, the last three months of photos?  Not much on there but my dogs snuggling and perhaps a few that document a slight growth of my belly; but I was still in a panic.  But I got over it, and was pretty much recovered in an hour or so.

They're just photos.  And a few downloaded songs.  Just a silly loss.

Nothing will bring Otis back, Sarah.  Nothing can change history.

Then E got home from work, and he was in his office when he started swearing.

His computer and external hard drive were having "issues."

I let them be - I've learned not to interfere in their domestic quarrels.

But after an hour or so, I peeked my head in and asked if I could be of assistance.  E was almost hyperventilating.  "I think I lost all my photos.  All my music.  I don't care so much about the music, but my photos..."

E is the photographer of the two of us.  He takes all the pictures while I complain about him taking them; and then am thankful in retrospect that he's documented all of our experiences and adventures.  

He took about 100 photos while I was in labor (mind you, remember, I was in labor for three days) and many in the days preceding my labor, while I was hugely hugely pregnant.

I too started to get very scared, thinking that perhaps they were all gone, and they are one of our only remaining connections to Otis (thankfully my BFF, who is also a professional photographer, took many of Otis in the hospital and she has all of those as well...)  But my whole entire record of it...just like that.

I started to get worried too.  And angry.  And sad.

But then we found the photo library.  It was there, hiding on the hard drive.  Crisis averted.  Or so I thought.

See, there are a bunch of photos that E had taken that I had never seen before.  And last night, they caught my eye, and while I knew I didn't have it in me to go through them, there were still a bunch that I couldn't help but to see before I got up and out of his office.  There I was, though, sitting on the birth ball, 40 weeks pregnant, begging Otis to drop, to get the party started...Getting out of the car at the hospital...Getting settled into my hospital room.  In every picture, I have this glowing, exhausted, blissfully innocent and expectant smile on my face.  I am HUGE.  That's as close as we got to you, Otis, while you were still alive.

He was still alive then, I kept thinking.  He was there, we were ready, he was there.  Kicking.  Heart beating.  With us.  

It's almost as if he's more apparent in those pictures than in the ones we have of us holding his actual body, after his heart stopped beating, in the hospital room with us.  Because in these photos, he was alive.  Our hopes were still alive.  Our expectations.  Our dreams.  Our firstborn. Our baby boy.

So loved, so missed.

I sobbed myself to sleep last night, I haven't cried like that in months.  I barely recognize the woman in the photographs...she looked so...young, so hopeful, so innocent, so expectant, so excited, so joyful, so  And Otis, he was right there.  So close.  So fucking close.


Tess said...

Oh Sarah,

"So close. So fucking close".

That is the main thing that runs through my head when I look back at those last photos we have together, so alive, so loved, so missed and just seeing that beaming, innocent woman looking back from them breaks my heart a fresh.

I am so very glad that you were able to save those precious photos
Much love to you all

hayley said...

I am so sorry for all those many things that you've lost dear sarah. love and gratitude for knowing you.


Hope's Mama said...

Oh mama, I so get this. I have those photos. I too laboured at home for three days and we have 10 or so photos from that time, and I find them the most confronting photos I have. I remember the day I laboured with her (after we found out her heart had stopped) and I kept sobbing to myself "she was alive yesterday, she was alive yesterday". I was so close, too. I can't believe it for you, I can't believe it for me. I just can't believe it. Our poor babies.
This post has just reduced me to a bit of a blubbering mess. Excuse me while I go and get a tissue.....
Love to you.

Lori said...

oh sweetpea. yes. i have a few photos of myself getting bigger and bigger and when i stumble upon those in iPhoto i feel like i've been punched. but at the same time, i'm so glad they exist in the world.
yes. so close. those are the words i said to my husband as he held my hand in the ER the night we lost our boy. we were so close. i said it over and over, not believing what was happening.
now: promise me you will go out and buy and external hard drive and back up all your photos. ok?
love to you. xo

Shaina Gadow said...

Not too long ago I saw photos that my mom had taken of me during labor. Plus, there were some on her camera of Silas right after they had tried to resusitate him. I looked at them and then like twenty minutes later had a complete panic attack. I had those same feelings, I was huge, and he was right there ready, hours from coming into this world, STILL ALIVE! Now, I am tears too. Although it is hard to look at the pictures, I am very glad that I know that they are there, and I am glad that you didn't lose yours.
sending love.

Brooke said...

I remember saying that to my mom when they arrived after we were home for the hospital: "But, Mom, we were so CLOSE!" I just couldn't comprehend how my baby was so almost here and then just gone... It's heartbreaking and infuriating at the same time.

Shaina Gadow said...

well, I'm not kidding you, I just went on my computer to print out these beautiful black and white, naked (but covering the junk) pics my husband took of me at like 40 weeks pregnant and they ARE GONE! I am in tears. All of them are gone. I don't know how they just disappeared, but they did.

Anonymous said...

That is the one thing I hate about all of the 'before' photos.. all of the hope and the light that was in front of me.. and then gone in an instant.
I actually started documenting the changes in my face since Cullen died.. it is on my blog in its own tab but pretty obscure unless people go looking for it. I am fascinated by how much this life has changed my appearance.
Thanks for sharing Sarah.. it's good to know I am not the only one who sees this in these pictures..

Jenn said...

Oh Sara, I would have been in a total panic thinking about losing pictures.

And yes, those before pictures, they are so hard to look at. Thinking about those last bits of blissful happiness is almost worst than thinking of the sadness.


Ceil said...

Sarah, It always amazes me how on the same wavelength we seem to be. Cosmic sisters without a doubt. I have been looking at photos lately and thinking many of the same things.

Because Kai's birthday is Sunday, I changed my FB profile pic to my favorite one from the last day Kai was alive- the last day of joyful expectation. Its so hard to mourn the loss of our innocence and the loss of our beloveds at the same time. I definitely think those pictures are my favorite- he was there. He WAS so close.

Thinking of you and Otis, and sending love.

Roccie said...

I feel like you heart breaks in a new place almost every post. This one is especially painful. I hope you are doing better.

kate said...

oh honey ... you were so fucking close - as close as you can be ... i don't think my heart will ever stop breaking anew for you and otis... i have tears streaming down my face now... so much sorrow and loss and heartache.

kate xx

Sean Maverick said...

There are many data recovery tricks and software today, and they're cheap and easy to use. Some may neglect the fact that when the files are corrupted, their lives will be too coz we live in a Computer age where everything is stored inside a hard disk

Kate said...

Oh Sarah. So much resonates here, the anxiety, seeing children eating/choking. Your words 'my grief now sort of feels like a baby that I carry with me... Baby starts to cry, I pick the baby up, hold it, love on it, acknowledge it, cry with it sometimes...'. Some days I feel at that point to.
The unfairness of it all.
I came here from Angie's project (working through a few each night), but I've been following you for a while.
You're Otis is just so incredibly beautiful and something about him reminds me of Joseph. Maybe the strapping size. I don't know. But, he's just beautiful. You're writing so raw. I get so much of this post and will keep following if that's ok. x