Missing our baby boy

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Another step back

I’ve spent part of this evening reading blogs of friends…older blogs that were written long before I came along to this world. I have to admit, their stories are painful to read but bring comfort at the same time. Other loss moms feel as I do and think as I do. I’m not as crazy as I think sometimes.

I’ve found myself “backsliding” (as I’ve come to think of it). Reliving the grief process, yet again. This is not the first time in the last months I’ve been here, but each time is different. The sadness has shifted, the pain less sharp but deeper.

I spoke with my new doctor this last week. He was shocked at the lack of information we weren’t provided was able to shed new light on the loss of our son. At the time, the news didn’t mean much to me…gone is gone. Now, days later, I feel a little differently. Not better or worse, just different. Knowing he’s gone from a freak twist of fate, an ugly turn of nature, a fluke…call it what you will…makes me angry all over again. The unfairness of it all is startling.

I was able to go into his room the other day and sit for a while. Surrounded by things that were meant to be his, I sat on the floor and pulled out his pictures. I ran my fingers over his photos, held the blanket the hospital wrapped him in and cried. I opened a few boxes of the baby clothes that were packed and pulled a few things out.

Here’s where the crazy part comes in. I sat looking at his swing and wondered if I should get his box of ashes and put him in the swing. I could put his blanket in there, give it a push and rock him for a bit. I sat and fantasized about that for a while – and even though the thought was, at the time, appealing – I then realized I was one step away from wrapping a doll up and putting it in a stroller and going for a walk, introducing my neighbors to my “son”.

I can’t explain where that thought or impulse came from – but I’ll be the first to admit that it was a little off the charts. I don’t even want to guess what my husband would have said had he come home at that moment.

I’m not quite sure where this leaves me. I’m really aching for him right now. Sometimes, I catch myself forgetting that this is my reality. I read stories of losses and think, “Wow, that would be awful” and then remember…it is awful. It happened to us, I know this.

Some of this was brought on by my doctor’s appointment. I lost count of how many people I had to explain our loss to…how many times I had to relive it in one day. I didn’t cry (I’m proud of myself) but I was close. I bit the side of my tongue more than once to hold the tears back. I just wanted to get through my appointment…crying could wait for home.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The best intentions sometimes aren't

I’ve had my first experience with…well, I’m not sure what to call it.

We all grieve differently. Some are internal, some reach out for help. Some grieve longer, while others are functioning sooner. All of us learn to incorporate our loss into our lives, reborn as the parents of lost babies to cope as best we can with our new world.

Sometimes I equate this with the loss of an appendage…an arm, a leg or sight. We are alive, but not whole and learning to live as such. The internally handicapped, with shards of our hearts and souls ripped and shredded, masquerading as normal human beings with no one being the wiser to our tremendous grief.

I understand my reality. I live it and some days it’s painful to breathe.

I remember leaving the hospital. It was so loud…horns in traffic, birds chirping, people in the parking lot on their cell phones. I was even painfully aware of the wind rustling through the trees. I hated all of it. Didn’t the world know I had just lost my son? How could the world go on when one tiny soul was missing? Why didn’t it just stop for a moment in recognition of our grief and pain? Just for a second to acknowledge a precious life gone and that we survived to experience unbelievable pain?

But, the world doesn’t stop, not for a moment, no matter how much we want it to.

And we cope; we all do, as best we can.

Today is International Baby lost Mother’s Day. I received a flower on Face Book from a fellow baby lost mother for this occasion, and I was touched. Nobody can truly understand a loss like this with no direct experience with it. When baby loss mothers gather together to lend support to each other, its truly a beautiful thing and comforting in a situation with very little to offer in the way of solace.

I have a childhood friend who lost her son in February. She was told at 21 weeks he would not survive – a physical impossibility for him, and having to carry him with that knowledge was devastating for her. Our personalities are not the same, but being loss mothers, I felt comfortable passing this flower to her in recognition of Mother’s Day and her loss.

Her reaction was unexpected and hurtful. Like I said, I understand nobody grieves the same way or at the same timeline. I also understand that grief and pain can come out in unexpected ways. Her e-mail to me demanding I erase it from her page was cuttingly direct and personal at the same time.

She said that she didn’t feel the need to “advertise” her grief like “some people” (I would assume that would be me), and because of that “some people” (I would assume me again) treated hers as less real. She also said I wasn’t respecting her process, as I grieved differently than she is.

She said more, but I’m only touching on this part for now.

This is a slap in the face to me in a huge way. Weeks after we lost our son she got her diagnosis and I was the first call she made. We grieved together at that time, talked from four in the morning until five thirty. We talked every couple of days for weeks after…usually about her grief and her situation, which didn’t bother me as it took my mind off of my own.

She had hinted before that what she was going through was worse than what I went through – saying things like “you just wouldn’t understand” (oh, really). I let this go. Knowing her nature and mine, it was best not to touch on it. I told myself I was her grief talking – sometimes, we truly feel like no one else on earth really could understand, even those who have been through it. I don’t think either one of us came out on top, and it’s just stupid to compare the two situations. There are no winners.

Now, however, I’m angry and hurt and all of the conversations we had these last months are coming to mind. After her son passed, she didn’t want to talk about it. At all. I respected that. So, we talked about the future – her plans to try again immediately and mine to wait. How long to wait. What we felt was best for each of us – normal stuff.

Now I receive a scathing e-mail full of talking-downs intended to put me in my place. I’ve moved from hurt to pissed in the span of one morning. I’ve wondered if I was out of line, if she was, if we both were.

My conclusion: a well-meant gesture was taken and blown out of proportion, resulting in harsh words that can’t be taken back. Was it her grief talking? Possibly. Can it be forgiven? I don’t know. By explaining so bluntly her opinion of my grieving process that I inadvertently imposed on her, I feel she went too far.

I’m still grieving, too.

And this member of the “some people” club is choosing to “advertise” their hurt and frustration on their blog ;-)

At this point, I’m disappointed, hurt and feel like I’ve lost a friend when, ironically, through my loss I’ve found tremendous support through online friends and groups.

I suppose there are people out there who do not need those things. I just hadn’t encountered one until today.