After looking through several other Angel parents blogs, websites etc I've noticed one thing in common, especially in a stillbirth situation.
Regret's... Sadly we all have them and sometimes they can be so strong it leaves us emotionally breathless. It leaves us unable to focus on anything but those regret's.
I too have many regrets that I can't just get rid of. Its very draining to focus on all those would have, should have's and could have's. Of course we could have, and maybe should have and would have had we known what to do and where we would be standing many months, years later.
But its hindsight and we were thrown for a loop when we learned our child(ren) had died. I think for most of us the very words of "I'm sorry we don't see any caradic activity", "or hearing our "child(ren) is imcompatiable with life". Leaves us completly paralized.
We are stuck in a paralizing world, for me I dont remember a thing after being told my son was dead. Other than the chilling screams from family members, and my delivery. And I only remember the moments before my delivery because it was like a sceen from a movie. Horrifying to say the least. Those memories will be forever engraved in my head.
But I carry all those regrets with me daily. And because of the paralizing pain of those regrets this Christmas almost two years after Ethans passing I finally did something Ive been wanting to do forever. That is capture all of my children together. When I had Ethan I was so afraid to let my older two see him I wanted so badly to protect them from the pain I was feeling.
Now it's not like I can go back in time and capture a single image of them holding Ethan or even looking at him. I don't have a single picture of all three of them together and now four with Corbin here. So on Christmas I had the three boys sit and hold Ethan's picture.
But we are so hard on ourselves wanting to go back in time and make up for all the so called wrong's we created or didn't get the chance to create.
But really we did what we felt comfortable with at the time. It may not really have been right for us but at the time our bodies and minds were protecting us.
Unless we have known of someone personally who has been through this devestation or have been coached well by a nurse or doctor giving us their loving hand. Then it's bound to happen.
I watched my best friend say hello and goodbye to her son a year prior to Ethan's loss so I knew a little bit of what to expect. And I was able to have pictures taken of Ethan. Not once did I question whether or not it would be morbid to someone else.
Here are my regrets, I didnt ask to bathe Ethan, we didn't bring an outfit out of the store like filled nursery for him to wear and that we would be able to keep later, we didn't bring a blanket of his so we could wrap him in it and keep it with us, we didn't take many picture's ourselves, we didn't let the other boys hold him. I wish I would have held him longer, video taped his features. My list could keep going but its more traumatising to do so.
So even been exposed to this situation I didn't think of those things, my brain was flooded and my feelings clouded.
So I challenge you instead of making yourself miserable and wishing for eternity for things to be different. Why not make it different for another mom walking this life changing path.
Each year on Ethan's birthday we take down two gift baskets to the hospital where Ethan was delivered at. One for a boy and one for a girl. Each basket is filled with items of comfort and items that maybe got left behind. In order to maybe try to rid those regrets from someone else.
A disposable camera, an outfit, a blanket, two books that brought me comfort (Mommy Please Dont cry there are no tears in Heaven and Empty cradle full heart), a hand casting kit, a hand written card from me giving them sympathy and letting them know how to contact me in case they would ever like someone to chat with, poems of comfort, places to go to for support, things to think about like holding your baby as long as you would like, asking to be moved off the L&D floor, music suggestions, a little hair brush. Anything we can think of. I wish we could offer more but these baskets are pretty expensive.
You don't need to do that, its just an idea we do it for Ethan for his birthday. But you can do something for your hospital that suits you. Maybe starting a local support group, or attending a current one just to offer support to a member of this sad club we are all in ( how unfortunate our membership never expires). Writing up something to give to local hospitals with advice to a parent to be in this situation, asking your hospitals to be involved in the beverment program or starting one etc. But think of all the ways you can make someone else's journey a little less regret-full.
Lastly please be easy on yourself you did what you could at the time. You are dealing with a major loss and time will ease the burden of regret's. For now know you did what you knew how to do and what your body and mind was capable of.