Monday, October 31, 2016

Lies We Tell

He asks how I'm doing. I tell him fine. He says okay, which would imply that he believes me.

We're both lying.

He knows I'm lying. I know he's lying.

And yet we keep right on doing it. Because it's easier that way.

It's easier than admitting to him that I'm a total wreck right now. That I'm shattered into so many pieces I really don't know if it's possible I'll ever be whole again.

It's easier than him admitting that he's struggling to hold it together too. That he can't fix this for me no matter how bad he wishes he could.

So we keep lying to each other.

Last night, he said I was getting distant. I didn't know how to respond. Do I tell him yes, I'm distant because the only way I can keep up the lie that I'm fine is to close myself off? Or do I tell him he's imagining it so we can continue avoiding the fact we're lying to each other? I didn't know what to say so I said nothing. He let it drop.

I'm not in the habit of lying to him. We even have a rule against doing it. There's a rule against distancing too for that matter. Some days I wish he would call me on it so we can quit lying to each other and get it all out in the open. Other days I'm glad he doesn't because I'm scared that if I ever let go, I won't be able to pull myself together again.

For now, I guess we'll keep going with these lies we tell.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Thank You

You guys are really amazing. The outpouring of love and support has been wonderful.

Steve and I did sit down and talk about what he said. I was honest with him and let him know that while I knew on a certain level that he wasn't saying it to be hurtful and it was more a reflection of how he's dealing with things, it made me angry. I even asked him to read my last post so he can better understand where I am emotionally and mentally right now. I think he understands now that I need to talk, if not to him, then to someone. He even opened up some and talked a little about how he was feeling. Then we looked through some pictures he had taken in the hospital, which I hadn't seen yet, and he held me while I cried.

Later, he mentioned calling my mom to ask her to come back since she was such a huge help to me while she was here. I think he wants to make sure I have support even if he's not capable of giving it to me in the way I need it right now. In some ways, I think this is harder on him than it is me because he's not only grieving the loss of our child, but also dealing with the fact that he nearly lost me with her. The fact that he's always taken his role as provider for our family seriously and he's still out of work isn't helping either.

He did file a complaint with corporate headquarters over the firing and they said they would look into it, but we haven't heard anything yet. We're also trying to get his unemployment claim approved. So far, they haven't made a determination, just said that there is a problem with the claim and that he would be contacted once it was decided whether or not to approve his claim. If it is denied, we plan to appeal. We've thought about hiring a lawyer, but don't have the money to pay for one unless we can find someone willing to work on contingency.

On a good note, a friend of Steve's from his old job gave him a lead on what sounds to be a great job so he put in an application and they've asked him to come in for an interview next week. Keep your fingers crossed that he gets it. The same friend also organized a sympathy card and took up a collection to help us out. My jaw dropped when I opened the card and found a wad of money. By the time I finished counting it, I was in tears because Steve's former coworkers had donated enough to make half our bills for the month.

Thank you to the ones that mentioned GriefShare. I was not aware of it before so I'm looking into that now. I also did some searching and found a support group that meets here in town. They only meet once a month so I have to wait a couple weeks, but I have it marked on my calendar so I can go.

A lot of people have said that they wish there was something they can do. I'm normally not the type of person to ask for help, even when I clearly need it, but I'm going to ask a favor of you now. While I was in the hospital, the social worker told me about a program for women in my situation, moms who have lost a child. It's called The Finley Project. They assist with funeral planning, pay for counseling, connect you with local support groups and assign you a one-on-one support person, among other things.

About a week after I got home from the hospital, I applied to the program. I recently heard back from them and, unfortunately, they are currently out of funding. They are funded completely by donations and help as many women as they can until the money runs out. Right now, I'm on the waiting list and they're trying to help me locate other resources in the meantime. If you can spare a few dollars, would you please consider making a donation to the program (link)? You'll not only be helping me, but also helping other women that are going through what I am now.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Struggling

Note: This post is pretty raw. I may end up taking it down, but for now, I just need to get it out.

I've always thought of myself as a strong person. No matter how many times life has knocked me on my ass, I've always managed to pick myself back up. Even when we've been through rough times, I've somehow found a way to see the positive until we could make it through. I can't seem to do that now. I'm struggling.

My emotions are all over the place. There's grief, of course. It's a rare day if I make it through without bursting into tears. Even when the cloud of grief eases enough I can feel halfway normal, something always comes along to remind me. A baby item that Steve missed when he packed everything away. A commercial on TV. An article in my Facebook feed. A baby crying in the store. No matter how much I try to insulate myself, there's always something.

There are days when I struggle to get out of bed. I just want to pull the covers over my head and go back to sleep in the hopes that when I wake up again, this will all just be a terrible dream. Then I look down and see my deflated stomach with its line of stitches or feel a throb of pain when I move and I know it's real.

There's guilt. I constantly find myself wondering if things would have turned out different if I had made different choices at certain points. Even though I've been assured by the doctors and the midwife team that there's no way I could have known since I didn't have any of the signs that would have indicated that there was a problem, I find myself wondering how I didn't somehow sense that my baby was in danger. I find myself asking "what if...?" and no matter how many times people tell me that I'm just going to drive myself crazy asking that question, I can't seem to stop myself.

I'm angry at the world right now. At parents who mistreat or abandon their kids. At friends and family members who I thought I could depend on to be here for me like I've always been there for them. At Steve's former employer because I have to stress about money for bills on top of everything else right now. At the hospital, who dropped the ball on the final arrangements, despite me giving them all the information they requested, so I'm still waiting to bring my baby home. At the doctors' office for not having a separate room set aside for women in my situation so I don't have to sit in a waiting room filled with pregnant women and moms with babies every time I have to go in. At life itself for being so damn unfair.

Even Steve is not immune to my anger. I came close to losing it with him last night. Him asking why I'm feeling down was bad enough, but when he started saying that talking about what happened wasn't going to change anything and that we needed to put it in the past and move on, it took everything I had to not start screaming at him. I had to walk away to another room so I didn't.

I know that he's hurting too and that everyone handles grief in their own way, but it still made me angry. I lost my child. The child I had hoped for and prayed to get for years. The child I nurtured inside me for 9 months. The child that I went through 14 hours of labor, nearly dying in the process, to try to bring into this world. I need to talk about her and what happened. I need to grieve. I can't even think about moving on until I do.

Today was the first day I've truly been alone since losing my daughter. My mom had been staying with us but recently went back home. Steve was off doing a side job and our oldest was at school. It was hard being alone in the house with nothing to occupy me but my thoughts. I couldn't even bring myself to get out of bed until the early afternoon. I probably wouldn't have got up then if not for a phone call that I had to take.

The sad thing is that I'm already on an anti-depressant. The doctor put me on one before I even left the hospital. It dulls the pain some, but I still hurt. I've lost loved ones before, but none of that has even come close to the pain of losing my baby. It feels like someone has ripped my heart out of my chest.

I want her back. I want to hold her in my arms while she nurses. I want to look down and see her smiling up at me. I want to see her first steps and hear her first word. I want to see her smash her cake on her first birthday. I want to walk her to the classroom on her first day of school and watch her walk across the stage at graduation. I want to be there when she falls in love and marries the love of her life. I want to see the woman she would have become. But I can't. And it sucks.