Friday, July 23, 2010

Oh grief, you are exhausting

I have been so tired since losing Jacob. I didn’t sleep well for about 3 weeks after he was born, but it has almost gone back to normal…now I just go to sleep about an hour or 2 later then I used to, which wouldn’t be bad if it only happened once in a while, but it happens almost every night. I just feel tired all the time. I have been crying when I go to bed for the last few days. Crying usually makes me even more exhausted, but it doesn’t help me go to sleep.

Other bad side effects of grief:

• Obviously, just feeling sad all the time. Will I ever feel truly happy again?

• Not being able to concentrate on things. I couldn’t watch a movie, a TV show or even a commercial and have any idea what was going on for about 3 weeks after we lost him. I would drift off into my thoughts during conversations, unless the conversation was about Jacob or about the Monday or the Tuesday when we found out he died and when he was born. Reading a regular book was out of the question. I could only read things about baby loss, grief, etc.

• Feeling more fragile in general. Nothing will ever disappoint me more than Jacob dying, and I thought that would make the everyday disappointments in life not even register with me anymore. But I actually find some things more upsetting than I would have in the past. Something that doesn’t even matter that much in the grand scheme of things, but I will think about it for days. Maybe my mind just needs to think of something other than my baby dying, although I am always thinking about that underneath it all.

• Anxiety – I haven’t had an anxiety attack yet, but on Wednesday night I was making dinner and suddenly I felt really nervous, like something bad was about to happen. Nothing did of course, my heart was just racing and I felt a little bit nauseous. It passed after a few minutes. I’ve never felt like that before unless I was waiting to write an exam or go for an interview or something like that.

• Appetite – mine has returned to normal mostly, but the first 2 weeks I didn’t eat unless food was put in front of me. Then I ignored my hunger because I was so mad at my body, I wanted to punish it for letting my baby die.

• Crying, of course. The constant crying for the first week, then the crying every hour or so the second week and a gradual decline since then. The crying could be a few tears or, most of the time, it was a huge one. Sometimes I would just sit on the floor wherever I was and cry my eyes out, I didn’t even have the strength to get to the couch or bed. The past few days I lie in bed with Jacob’s blanket and cry while looking at his ultrasound picture. Seeing myself in a mirror, with no belly, also sets me off most of the time.

• The guilt, oh the overwhelming guilt.

I’m sure there are more things to add here.

Jacob, I miss you especially bad this morning. I realized last night while trying to go to sleep that I would have been 28 weeks pregnant yesterday. Our lives could have been so different.


Elaine said...

All of these are completely normal. Not only are you suffering a huge loss but you also gave birth. Your body is also handling all of the hormones and exhaustion from that. It will take time, lots of time to heal. It's been more than 3 months for us and I'm not even near close to any type of healing. I hope you have good people in your life taking care of you and making sure you can focus on you.

Julie said...

sending you hug, dana...

Angela said...

I'm sorry, Dana. You're right, grief is so, so exhausting. You're not even two months out yet. At the eight week mark I had my first day where I didn't fall apart at least once. The week and a half before the eight week mark was really hard for me. Thinking of you today. Sorry it's so painful for you right now.

Emily said...

Grief is exhuasting. It drags on all your energies, mental, phyiscal, emotional. I have no words of will feel better when you feel better and not before. Until then just keep being gentle with yourself.

Michelle said...

yes, grief is exhausting...I have the same sleeping pattern..I go to bed one or two hours later than I normally would have before Liam died. I have to fall asleep to the television and then wake up and walk up to bed with my hubby already sleeping. I'm afraid If I didn't do that, I would lay awake in my bed and think all night long. Even if my sleep I am grieving...last night I had a dream that my baby was alive and I started to nurse him, but even in my dream I somehow knew it wasn't true.

Jennifer said...

My heart goes out to you. It's been tough for me too and there are times I feel debilitated by grief. I can't function when the full wave hits me and I just feel lifeless inside. It is really exhausting and heavy to carry. Sometimes we need to share the load to our loved ones and close friends to find some relief. Sending you peace of mind.

Danae said...

Grief is exhausting. I'm still not sleeping without taking a pill, and I am almost out of them, and no refills. Plus, my Dr. wants me to wean myself off since we are trying again.

Thinking of you my friend!

Violet1122 said...

Oh, Dana! Grief completely breaks you down - and I know what you mean about being utterly exhausted. Unfortunately, I think all of those things you mentioned are a "natural" part of baby loss. There is just no way around it.

Sending you big hugs!!

Drew's Parents said...

You described the frustration and exhaustion so well. I had no idea that I could feel this alone, isolated, and sad. The sense of loss is absolutely overwhelming. Seconds turn into hours and hours into days. Time passes so slowly, and each moment is a cruel reminder of what I lost.
I hope that you have found some moments of peace this weekend. I am sending you healing thoughts!

Kairos said...

Grief is like this. It comes in waves and sometimes it is harder than others. I hope you get a moment of peace between waves.