Thursday, December 9, 2010

Trying to be brave

Last night I went to Laurie’s house to help wash Mom’s hair. I told myself just to suck it up and not let the size of Laurie’s belly bother me. I don’t want the difficulty I have seeing it start to affect our relationship. So I kept telling myself to be brave and to be strong. I got there and she was wearing a top that didn’t hide anything, but I was OK with that. I even talked to her about her anatomy scan today, without saying anything about all of the fears I have for her, particularly right now. She is 19.5 weeks. We think that Jacob died at 19.5 weeks. I haven’t asked her about movement because I just can’t. I know that she must be feeling the baby move by now, but I’m not anywhere close to being strong enough to hear about it.

We talked about the ultrasound. She is going alone, 1.5 hours north of Toronto because that is where she had her anatomy scan with Ben and they will give you a video there. I’m scared that she will be alone if she gets bad news. She has a friend in Barrie who works nearby and I’m sure her friend will go there if the baby is gone. But it would take the rest of us at least 2 hours to get there (I’d have to go to Oakville, get the car and then drive up…or maybe I’d just rent a car in Toronto and go…that would save a lot of time). She talked about her fears and I said that everything is probably fine, that 97% are totally fine and there is such a slim chance of her finding out something really bad (we never actually said it, but I meant that there is a slim chance of her finding out the baby is dead).

She told me that she told one of her coworkers last week that I lost another baby and her coworker was nice and said nice things. She saw this person again on Monday and she told Laurie that she has a really good feeling for me, like things will work out and I will have a baby. When Laurie was talking about going to Barrie for the ultrasound, I said that maybe I would go there too if I’m am ever lucky enough to need another anatomy scan. She said “not if, when”.

We washed Mom’s hair and normally I would have left right after because I am scared of seeing her belly too much. But I kept telling myself to be brave, so we sat on the couch for awhile talking. Then Ben climbed up beside her and pulled her top up and I saw her bare belly and I couldn’t hold it together anymore. The beautiful bump. I miss it so much.

I sat on the couch for about a minute as the tears came to my eyes and then calmly got up and went to the bathroom where I cried and cried. I kept trying to make myself stop because I didn’t want them to see me with my eyes all red. I don’t want her to be self-conscious around me. I stayed there for a few minutes and finally collected myself enough. I knew my eyes were still red, so I stood in the kitchen with the light out (the kitchen has 2 entrances, one of which goes into the living room where Mom and Laurie were sitting). Laurie suddenly asked where I was and then walked quickly to the bathroom calling my name. I called out and said that I’m in the kitchen. She walked in, took one look at me and asked if I was crying. I just nodded and started all over again. She came up behind me and hugged me, but I could feel her belly against my back, which just made me cry more.

Then she said the magic thing.

She said that she thinks about Jacob all the time, that just because they don’t say anything, doesn’t mean that they don’t think about him. I started crying harder because that means so much to me. She said that she just doesn’t talk about him out loud because she is scared to since she is pregnant. I totally understand that and told her that I did. I said a few times that it means so much to me to know that she still thinks about him. I wanted to turn around and hug her face to face, but I couldn’t stand having her baby belly pressing against my baby-less belly. Mom started asking what triggered me, but I didn’t want to say. She asked if it was talking about the ultrasound and I said no. She asked if it was something else and I said no. She got the hint then that I didn’t want to say and stopped asking. After Laurie and I stood there for a few minutes, she told me something funny and the spell was broken.

I played with Ben a little bit, running around the house holding him while Laurie chased us and then found us when we hid. It was hard to keep crying with a laughing 2 year old in my arms who had kissed my face several times earlier that night. When Andy got home from his run, I said that someone is at the door and Ben immediately shouted out “Ted” and ran to look. It was so cute. Mom told me that every time someone came in last Sunday, he would ask if it was me.

I told Laurie to call me after her ultrasound tomorrow and she seemed surprised and happy. I do want to know, I want to know a happy ending. I love her and I love this baby and I don’t want anything bad to happen to them. But I am supposed to have a baby that is 6 months older than this one. Then I was supposed to have one that is 2 months younger. I can’t help but be sad. I should have been having my 12 week ultrasound this week or next week.

I got home and had a shower. Allison called and it was so nice to talk to her. When we got off the phone, I sat on the couch and told Ted what happened at Laurie's and that Allison said that she and her family always think about Jacob too. I started crying and he got up and we stood in the living room hugging for awhile. Then he told me that he always thinks about Jacob too. Sometimes he feels really lonely and imagines the little boy that should be watching the basketball game with him and following him around asking him questions, thinking that his Dad knows everything and is the greatest guy in the world. It broke my heart.

A bit later I said that I didn’t know that he thinks about Jacob so much and he said that he isn't as vocal as I am and that he has to be strong for me. I told him that he can talk about him anytime, that it won't make me feel worse, etc. But I know that he doesn't really want to talk about it all the time.

While I focus on his loss and my whole life revolves around losing Jacob, he thinks about him and then moves onto something else and always comes back to think about him some more. It doesn’t define him the way it defines me. He can compartmentalize losing Jacob. I can’t.

This morning I was talking to my Mom. She said “Laurie couldn’t feel the baby move so she lay down on the couch and”. I cut her off and told her that I really can’t talk about this. My eyes filled with tears and I couldn’t say anything for a minute or two and I have been crying ever since. I know she felt the baby move or Mom would have been more worried. Now all I can think about is how much I miss feeling Jacob move, how much I loved those moments and all of the movement I missed out on because he left too soon. How I miss those little kicks and nudges.

How I miss my baby.


Melissa said...

It is hard to be brave. I have two SIL's who are pregnant too and it's been a difficult road. I try hard to be supportive and I have been open with them how I'm feeling but in the end it's just not the same excitement I would have had about their pregnancy without my loss. You have to be gentle with yourself and let yourself cry when you need to.

Lindsey said...

Working with children, like I do, has proven to be a difficult challenge. I like to think that I am brave most of the time. But there are days that I just want to hide in the closet and cry. The hardest day after losing Ella was 9 days later when my Goddaughter was born. I had to go to the hospital to see her, I wouldn't have forgiven myself if I hadn't, but it was so hard. In all of the pictures I am crying. I am so thankful for this BLM community because I don't feel like I have to be brave for you guys. You all know how I feel. Sending thoughts and prayers your way, as always.

The Wellman's said...

UGH I wrote a long comment and lost it :( Anyway, a short copy...I am so sorry you are going through this. I cannot imagine what it must be like having a sister pregnant and so close to the ages of your babies. My SIL will be within two weeks of our little ones due date...and I have yet to hit that date, I know I'll be a wreck. I question GOD daily about things like this, so many out there who don't want nor deserve babies and are constantly having them. My aunt and uncle have been trying for NINE years and nothing. She teaches at an elemetary school and seeing kids and their parents expecting I dont' know how she does it.....

sending hugs!

Jennifer said...

It's so difficult to be happy for family members who are expecting babies. Like Melissa said, it's hard to be supportive and the excitement has diminished because of our loss. But this doesn't mean we are not genuinely happy and even scared for them. It's just that it magnifies our loss so much more. There's no easing our pain, we just have to go through it. I'm sorry these couple of days were hard, I'm praying that you get a respite in the coming ones. (((HUGS))) Thinking of you and your little angels always.

car said...

You are doing a great job of being a supportive sister especially since it's been less than a couple weeks since you "officially" lost the Cub. You are more than trying to be brave, you ARE so brave. Remember that you can take a day off from being so brave if you need to, it sounds like your sister will understand how tough this is for you.

Loki said...

I've been having difficulty with my SIL, who was 16 weeks at Thanksgiving. All she did was talk about her pregnancy and how great it was. I was afraid that if I asked her to stop talking about it, she'd either tell me to suck it up (which is likely) or I'd just start sobbing at the table.

You're strong, friend. I'm always here to listen and if you want to e-mail me, I'll be sure to read every word and do my best to help. You've been such a big support to me during my loss. I wish I could be half as strong as you are. -hugs-

Angela said...

My sister and sister-in-law are pregnant too. It is hard to be brave, but you are doing a remarkable job. And your sister is so understanding, which is wonderful. It makes it a little easier, I think.

Sending love and hugs.

Anonymous said...

Oh Dana, you are so brave. I am in tears thinking about how hard that must have been. I haven't been around pregnant people that I actually know, but I know whenever I get around to seeing one of my best girlfriends (she is 28 weeks, she was one of my bridesmaids), I am going to have an incredibly hard time. <3 Love you.

Violet1122 said...

I really am amazed at how brave you are, Dana. And I am so glad that your sister is so sensitive and supportive. I, too, hope your sister's ultrasound goes well.

I wish there was a way for being around pregnant people to be easier. Most of the time, it just plain sucks. I'm sure your sister is so grateful that you are so willingly supportive.

((Big Hugs))

Drew's Parents said...

You are so incredibly brave and strong, Dana. After everything you have survived since June, you are still able to be a devoted wife, loving friend, adoring aunt, and caring sister and daughter. These things say so much about the love and strength in your heart and mind. I am sending you huge hugs and tons of love this weekend. <3 <3 <3