Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What Pregnancy Loss really looks like.

I recently read a blog about what childloss really looks like and it resignted with me and captured me word for word and emotion by emotion. I felt trapped by her very words. So I decided to follow lead and tell what pregnancy loss looked like for me.

When we got the news Ethan's heart had stopped, I don't remember much other than the shattering echos of the doctors words, "I'm sorry we don't see any caradiac activity". I felt myself melt into the very ground below me and I just wanted to die.

"How could this be possible, I just felt him last night?", "My friend just lost her baby last year, how on earth could it happen to two people so closely intertwined?", and most of all "Why my baby?"

I went home and dreaded doing anything, I didn't want to look at my other two children in fear they would see my crumble in front of their very eyes, I felt dead, out of body and I couldn't believe this was my life.

I sat on the internet looking for a way to prepare my self for what I was about to go through, and there wasn't much. I had to just be prepared for what I saw my friend go through and how her son looked.

The cold dark red lips, cold skin, peeling possibly. And little did I know until I had my son, how much their skull moves around since they have passed and the skull bones are fussed. I think the first time I moved Ethan I almost lost it.

Going to the hospital that night to deliver my dead son was nothing like the other two childrens births. People avoided contact with me, no one really said anything. How could they? No one knows what to tell a mom who's body is carrying a dead child. As I was told "I'm sorry just didn't seem good enough".

I constantly rubbed my swollen belly in hopes they were wrong and he would kick and my nightmare would all be over. My body had failed me and I failed my child.

And here I was in the hospital to give birth and go through the same thing women in every room there were going through but in the end I recieved no rewards for the hard work behind it all.

I still had to push and yes I got lucky I guess it only took three pushes, but I promise those three pushes were much harder than the women in the other rooms going through many hours of pushing. Plain and simple I would be in a slient room after, other than the cries I made which felt earth shattering. I remember before the third push they said he was coming and I just screamed " I can't do this and I don't want to do this".

I didn't want to see my lifeless baby and I didn't want to make this nightmare a reality. I didn't get to see my babys eyes, hear him cry and make this 12 hours of labor worth it.

If I pushed and delivered him my life was going to stop. Or so it felt at the time.

After my son was born no one came around, who would want to go into this cold room, when nothing they could do or say would make anything the slightest bit better?

In-fact the only person I saw outside my family and a couple close friends was my ob who came over that afternoon, she wanted to check on me and make sure that if I wanted to hurt myself I would tell her.

I was very close to her and I think her stepping into that room, putting her arms around me and letting me sob was the first step besides holding my son into healing.

But while waiting hours later after giving birth I realized how alone my life was going to be from those moments on. I was abadonded by hospital staff, purposely maybe or maybe not. Maybe it was to protect me and not make me feel worse, or maybe they werent educated.

But no one ever came back to make sure I was ok, in fact the next time we talked to a nurse again was at 5pm that night so only 9 hours after giving birth to tell them I wanted to go home I couldn't stand to be there anymore.

I had to let someone else take my baby and know I would never ever get to hold him again or touch his face. I had to be wheeled out of a room where my baby sat alone and none of it was natural.

On the way home it was silent my husband and I didn't know what to say, I could of said I am sorry for not protecting him and now I life is going to be a living hell for a few years, or he could tell me as he did a year later, it was his fault he didn't really want another baby buy did it for me. So by him not wanting another it was his fault. All things irrational, yes. But felt.

Then not only do you go through the whole birth process like everyone else, sign papers for your baby to have an audtopsy to find out why only to feel like shit because you chose to have your baby cut open and messed with, to getting your milk in and being slapped in the face because your body doesn't know your baby died, to sitting in a hospital room calling funeral homes and trying to pick the best one, if thats even possible in your state of mind, to life has to go on even if you want it to stop. Then you get to be the plague to the rest of the world.

People avoid you at all costs, why because baby loss is unimaginable, frightful especially fro pregnant friends and family and then not only that but no one wants to say the wrong thing or knows what to say. So plain and simple your avoided.

Its no ones fault I get that and I am thankful for the few friends I did have. The ones who came and looked at my dead baby in a casket trying to make sense of the world we live in and how bad things like this just don't happen.

But in fact they do, to 30,000 plus families every single year.

As Laura Schubert states

Infant loss is nature's cruelest practical joke. It's investing all of the required time and effort into pregnancy, only to be robbed of the result. It's cradling a body that grew within your own and trying to reconcile the cold, lifeless form in your arms with your memory of the baby who turned double flips in your womb.

It's worrying that you'll forget what your child looked like and snapping an album's worth of photos that no one will ever ask to see. It's sobbing so hard you can't breathe and wondering if it's possible to cry yourself to death.

Infant loss is handing off a Moses basket to the nurse who's drawn the unfortunate duty of delivering your pride and joy to the morgue and walking out of a hospital with empty arms.

It's boxing up brand new baby clothes and buying a 24-inch casket. It's sifting through sympathy cards, willing your foolish body to stop lactating, clutching your baby's blanket to your chest in hopes of soothing the piercing ache in your heart.

It's resisting the urge to smack the clueless individuals who compare your situation to the death of their dog or who tell you you'll have another baby, as if children are somehow replaceable.

Infant loss is explaining to your 7-year-old that sometimes babies die and being stumped into silence when she asks you why. It's watching other families live out your happy ending and fighting a fresh round of grief with every milestone you miss.

It's being shut out of play groups for perpetuity. It's skipping social events with expectant and newly minted mothers because, as a walking worst-case scenario, you don't want to put a damper on the party.

It's listening to other women gripe about motherhood and realizing that you no longer relate to their petty parental complaints because, frankly, when you've buried a baby, a sleepless night with a vomiting toddler sounds something like a gift.

Infant loss is pruning from your life the friends and relatives who ignore or minimize your loss. It's recognizing that, while they may not mean to be hurtful, the fact that they don't know any better doesn't make their utter lack of empathy one whit easier to bear.

My baby girl would have been 5 years old this month. I don't know what she'd look like, what her favorite food would be. I've never had the privilege of tucking her into bed, taking her to the zoo or kissing her boo-boos. I will never watch her graduate or walk down the aisle.

Infant loss is more than an empty cradle. It's a life sentence.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Grieving and society

I have to say I have been blindsided several times over the past 3.5 years by peoples ingorance and hurtful comments regarding loss. Ones such as "get over it", " it's been x amount of years, let go", "OMG you took pictures of your dead baby, how disgusting".

Comments that have made me want to hurt someone, sit alone in a closet the rest of my life just so I didn't have to deal with the rest of the world.

I had a friend delete me off fb because they said they couldn't handle my educating people on what to look for in pregnancys and that hurt too.

But today I think I about feel out of my chair when I read comments to another grieving mom. She had posted about her duedate coming up and how close she would have been to full term etc. And some not so nice person, kept telling her over and over to let go.

To move and and quite grieving.

I was totally in shock that another human being claiming to be someones friend would write that to her in front of hundreds of baby loss parents (which by the way were about to jump through his screen and hurt him). And keep going with it.

He has no idea of what this loss feels like. And then I hear my great friend/teacher telling me in my head. Have grace. UGH do I realyl have to be the big person here? Ok no I don't but I should. I wanted to call him all kinds of not nice names and go off.

And sadly this wasn't done to me. But when you lost a child and one of your now sisters in life(another mom who lost a child) is being hurt and the words cut so deep..... You will do just about anything to protect them and the memory of so many families.

You do NOT every quite grieving. Just as if a parent was to die you can't replace them with another one neither can you with the life of a child. You don't move on with life and not rememeber.

I have wondered many times where my friends were when I needed them? Why didn't they call and check on me? And it hurts sometimes still. But when you lose a child you learn who your true friends are.

I wish society would buck up and get over how sensitive the topic of the death of a child can be and learn how to support us as a whole, just as we do with cancer and everything else. It hurts it hasn't happened yet but I sure hope in my lifetime it does. I refuse to sit in a closet and grieve the life of my son and the life he should of had.

Grieving does NOT equal crazy. Grieving does not equal stagnating. Grieving does NOT have a timeline or an expiration date. Anyone who CANNOT accept that, and for that matter, anyone who cannot accept ME... fine. Don't. But do not claim to be my friend.- By my wonderful friend Annette Benavides

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I miss him a little...... I lied I miss him a lot

This time of year always brings on so much emotion. This year I have taken on the task of making a memorial slide show of angels for the Infant and Pregnancy Day and as well as posting daily little bits of info about Ethan and facts.

I love doing it and not feeling guilty others may not want to read it..... But my heart aches more than usual because its a topic of discussion by many of my friends and many I consider family. I wouldn't trade it don't get me wrong. But it makes me miss him a lot.

This time of year is a constant reminder of something missing. The holidays will never feel quite right, because we are missing one of our family members. And when we go out and about we get tons of comments on the size or our family or whatever and I feel myself scream inside, I have another son you just can't see him.

I feel like no matter what I do will be good enough for my Ethan. And not because he wouldn't feel that way but because nothing will ever feel good enough for me other than to hold him, mother him and all the things you are suppose to do for your child.

I love facebook it's been so amazing to have all these connections to other moms and make new connections or rekindle old ones and share Ethan all over again. But its also heartbreaking.

I see new moms suffering this horrible gut wrenching, heart stopping pain from the beginning and I feel so helpless for them and then I am almost brought to my knees with the pain all over again.

Sometimes it feels so long ago I held my baby and I kissed him. I don't think I ever said goodbye but in my heart it felt like goodbye then. And other times it feels like yesterday, when I was on my way to the hospital to hear the devestating world changing news, "I'm sorry we don't see any cardiac activity.

It was a slap in the face, punch in the gut. "Here carry this baby for 8.5 months, make a place for him in your heart and home and prepare yourselves for a lifetime with this baby...Just so it can be all taken away".

And yet now I know how truly blessed and enriched my life has become since losing the most scared part of your life.

But sometimes like tonight it doesn't feel so blessed it feels crappy, rotten and unfair.

My dearest Ethan I love you always and forever and until we meet again know I love and miss you.