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.

14 comments:

  1. Oh Dana, I'm so so very sorry. I'm glad you were able to write about it a bit, to get some of it out. Your heart is broken, you're angry and hurt and just plain devastated and that makes total sense. You must be in so much pain right now. I wish there was something I could do or say that would help in at least some small way.

    Have you heard of GriefShare? They have groups for people who have lost someone close to them (husband, sibling, child, etc.). I have some friends who have benefited from attending. Here's their website if you want to check it out and see if there are any groups in your area: http://www.griefshare.org/ Honestly, it may not be something that you're ready for at this point and that's okay, but I thought I'd pass along the info in case at some point you'd like to connect with others who have experienced loss. They also have daily emails they send out which you can sign up for on their website. (please don't think I'm pushing this, I just know of the resource and therefore am sharing)

    You remain in my prayers. If you want to talk sometime, please let me know. Though I haven't experienced the loss of a child, I've tried to be there for friends who are grieving. (((((hugs)))))

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  2. I stumbled onto your blog by accident through another blog I read, Jgirl's blog. My most sincere thoughts, prayers, and condolences go out to you and your family, dear. We don't know each other, but I do know your pain as I and my sister both have known the great loss of a child. My heart breaks with you, and I pray that God wraps you in His arms, and brings you peace and comfort each day. I know it's not much comfort right now, but I hope you know that she is watching over all of you and you will meet in Heaven someday when your life on this earth is done. God Bless you and yours.

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  3. Oh Dana! <3 My heart goes out to you. I had to read back a bit to catch up. I can only tell you that you have every right to feel those things that you are experiencing. It is totally normal to go through these kinds of feelings after losing a precious baby. You face your grief, and you move through it. You will go through all those stages that you have heard of. And even back and forth between them. It is okay. You have to allow yourself to see that.

    I think that in these kinds of times, our partners also go through this in their own ways. They may not sync up to what you are going through at that moment. If you are up to it at all, try to share. It's hard and all of that, but if you both know where you are, you can better support each other. I am only saying this as I have had experience from an RN NICU point of view. And my heart aches for you all.

    I wish that I could help more in some way. I am glad that you have this blog to get your feelings out. You have people who care. If you need to talk, let us know. In times like these, you can't erase the pain, but you can let those that care about you help to lift you up, carry you through.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers. Be good to yourself. Take care of yourself. Many hugs and love,

    <3 Katie

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  4. Dana there is nothing I can add that will make any of this better. Time will help you cope with your loss, but nothing will make it better. Anyone you tells you otherwise, doesn't understand grief.What you have written here is a very healthy step. Share your grief. Remaining silent and not voicing your emotions, stifles you. Not only are you grieving the loss of your daughter but the loss of part of a future you expected to have with her.

    Others are trying to be helpful explaining to you there is nothing you could have done differently,but I believe our thoughts take us to places and have us asking questions in hopes that we get all the painful emotions out front and center. I believe it is to help us learn to cope and hopefully ease the pain some day in the distant future. I also think it is completely natural to do.

    I pray that you and Steve will be there for each other. Please continue to turn to Steve and if he says that again to you find a way to tell him talking about it is your way of getting through this, even if it isn't his.

    I like Lilli's suggestions if you think that is something you might be ready for. Maybe not today or next week, but something to tuck away just in case.

    I hope you don't feel the need to take down your post. We are here for you in the way that we can be, because we care. Share anything you want as raw as you want, no worries.

    willie

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  5. My heart hurts for you. Maybe there is a support group for mothers who have been in similar situations, ask your doctor, because you do need to talk about it. What happened is just something that can't be explained or tucked away in a box. Your life will never be the same. I believe that you will find your way back to the living, not only because you need to for yourself but your family need you too.
    Please continue to share here on your blog. Writing is cathartic and we all care so much for you.
    Hugs and prayers!

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  6. Sweet Dana...Lilli beat me to it. GriefShare is a wonderful place for you. You feel the need to talk about your loss and Steve doesn't so rather than pull away from each other, lean into him but talk with those at GriefShare. If there isn't a chapter in your area, I'm sure the social worker at the hospital could recommend a grief counseling group to help you get those feelings out.

    As Blondie said, please continue to share the feelings here on your blog as it helps you to release them and we all love you very much...no judgement here sweet lady. Sending lots of prayers and healing energy your way.

    Hugs and blessings...Cat

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  7. Dana, my heart goes out to you. I'm so glad you shared here and hope it helped a little to get your feelings out. Please continue to share, we are all here for you.

    I think Lilli's idea could be good for you. You need to talk face to face and Steve isn't ready to do that yet. We all grieve in our own way and time.

    You are in my thoughts. Sending positive thoughts and prayers.

    (((Hugs)))
    Roz

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  8. Hi Dana, I am so so sorry for your terrible loss. I agree with the others that some sort of support group would be a good idea, if you feel you could cope with it. Men do handle things differently to us, so I suppose Steve's reaction is normal, just very hard for you to deal with on top of everything else. I am thinking of you, please try not to blame yourself, my dil, who is a midwife says things like this happen and usually it is no one's fault, just a tragedy. Much love Jan, xx

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  9. Oh Dana, My heart goes out to you. I am so very very sorry. Please don't blame yourself. Jan is right it happens and is no one is at fault.

    I think Blondie's idea is good as you need to talk to other people who have gone through this. You are in my thoughts. Take care of yourself.

    Love, and hugs,
    Ronnie
    xx

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  10. It does suck. You have to let yourself grieve - it's natural. I'm sure Steve is going through his own private hell. Love each other.

    Has Steve considered hiring a lawyer to fight his dismissal. He was always working all kinds of hours and I'm sure getting good reviews so being fired sounds fishy? Just asking.

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  11. Dana my heart goes out to you. You do need to talk about it and Steve would be processing his loss in his own way. Try to seek out a group to help you cope.
    Take care, hugs Lindy

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  12. Dana,
    I am so very sorry, there is nothing I can add to what everyone has said. I do know for me writing things is very helpful. You and your family are in my thoughts & prayers. I am so sorry for your loss and the hurt you & Steve feel.
    (((honey)))

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  13. Dana... My heart goes out to you and Steve at this time. I, too, lost a baby and it is truly devastating and you feel you are all alone. You are not. And I commend you for posting here those true raw feelings you have and I can say I truly understand where you are at. You are deeply grieving and hurting and that will take quite some time to soften. There is no right or wrong way to go through this process for you or for Steve. I encourage you to turn to Steve through these hard times. His responses may not be what you want to hear but it may be the best he can do in this moment as well. Go to him and ask him to spend some alone time with you and let him know you have a lot of things to share with him, some which will be hard. Let him know you don't blame him, but desperately need his support. I ended up going through extensive counseling myself at first for 6 months and then Sir was brought in to help me continue on to heal. It was a very long road for us both. You will get through this time, and the pain will lessen, but you will always remember right down to the smallest details this pregnancy, this precious daughter and this loss. Be kind to yourself. Do what it takes to make you feel somewhat better. Do not be concerned what others think of you or even say... they mean well but until they have walked in your shoes they will not truly understand even if their heart is in the right place. I will continue to keep you and Steve in prayer and do not hesitate to reach out to me if you wish to share more. Blessings and big hugs.

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  14. Dana, while I don't know your pain....I know the pain. I remember hating all the young moms who begrudgingly carried their baby to term. I remembered hating that every crackhead could have 10 babies without effort. I remember hating my body for letting that life go. I remember racing out of the hospital, getting on an elevator and honestly not having it in me to care if my Man was behind me or not. I remember him driving us home..........a car driving head-on into our lane of traffic....and not a single spurt of adrenaline released in me as I silently thought "That would be ok too". I don't remember my Man swerving away, I only remember that our cars didn't hit and we continued on home, silent.

    I don't know 'your' pain. But 'the' pain is real. It feel so insurmountable at times, most all the time. What I can tell you is that the more you want to hide, be invisible, disappear......the more you need to let someone see YOU. No one will ease the pain but as long as you can allow just one person to love you, you can make it through. Steve is down in that shit-pit too. You are not alone, even when you are certain you are.

    Thank you so very much for sharing this post. Although you may find this hard to believe, even in your lowest of lows....your post is giving strength to others who have that pain. It is not a consultation but it is true. You are not alone. Many, many hugs and prayers to you.

    XOXO Pearl

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