Sunday, October 23, 2011

October 15th

This October 15th, I went to a memorial ceremony for lost babies at Trillium Hospital. My good friend Jackie got the hospital to do the service, after a few years of trying. And it was so nice and touching and sad.  

I was the first one there and met Kevin, the social worker that Jackie has been working with and 2 other women who work at the hospital and were helping with the ceremony. Then the other Mom's, Dad's and sibling started to arrive. I felt like it was a reunion with friends I haven't seen in a long time, although it was less than a month since I had seen most of them. It just feels so good to be with people like me. We all hugged each other and even the hugs seem different than a hug does from a "normal" person. There is shared pain and strength in those hugs. 

The ceremony was beautiful and Jackie wrote such an amazing speech about her spirit boy, Oscar. That is when I started to cry. Here it is:

Two of the greatest mysteries of all are birth and death….for
us here today, those mortal adventures have happened all at once… our
children. Since grieving is a form of love, and we are parents, the grief is
bottomless, shapeless, and timeless.

His name is Oscar Solo, and he was born upstairs, in room 6, sleeping at 9 months….he is permanently 7.5 pounds, 22 inches of lifeless
perfection, and he is my son.

The silence was thick, and the terror was crushing, but, the love in that room, that day was intense. Fate forced us to live his entire lifetime with him in just 7 hours…..his hand,
holding mine, taking in every hypnotic smell from him. Tranced in horror and love, I said goodbye to his body, and to my partial spirit, and left these hospital doors clutching on to a box of Kleenex, instead of my boy.

I am now 3 and a half years into my grief journey, and only now, at this distance, can I begin to understand the trauma I was hit with that day. The loss of someone very unreplaceable, unrepeatable and uncomparable.  Someone I love and miss with all my might….a son, and a brother…I mourn him, and the families he would have started on his own….I mourn that he is parentless, that he never tasted his breast milk that came in for 21 months after….that I never got brush silly curls out of his eyes, watch him play soccer with his dad and brothers, or read him “Goodnight Moon” before bed. I don’t know if he is left handed like his brother, or right handed like his sister……all of these “don’t knows” engulfed me, and spit me out into a
shoreless sea……

Babyloss is painfully isolating…..we are still proud parents, regardless, and there is nowhere to go, nowhere to share the beautiful memories of our pregnancies, or to relive the labour, or to describe the soul-stirring of having them placed in our arms for the first and last time.
Friends and family disappear in all awkwardness…. afraid to talk about it, to remind us….. but, truth is, they are never, not for a single instance forgotten……always swirling around in our minds, patiently waiting to hear mention of their name….yes, we will cry…love and pain is the chemistry of tears. Allow us that, allow us the time to express the gapping hole running right
through us….we cannot rush through the grief, cannot go around the pain…..the work is hard, physical, and exhausting. We must go through the pain, into the eye of it, to find, again,  our own private connection with that little womb-dancer…and to work on the beliefs that
we will find out why this has happened to us, and to make some sense of why they were given and taken…… and, above all, that they will fit perfectly back into our arms again.

We are all parents….the trick is to work out how to parent the sky babies from such a distance, but it can, has, and will be done….i wish you all strength, peace, and grounding focus….i mourn for your every loss, very deeply, and wish you friendship in this horrific time….and I thank you for all the times you have shared your child with me, the stories, and photos. Remember I am grateful if you’ve  allowed me to share Oscar with you…a kind word or compliment of him is never forgotten.

Please find ways to continue survival of this ultimate loss, but, never feel you are alone…..and its okay to cry. Fino cielo, Oscar.

She is such a beautiful writer, person, friend and Mother. 

Kevin, Jackie's nurse, a chaplain and one of the women I saw when I first got there all went up and spoke and/or read a poem. Then it was our turn to go up and say our babies' names. I went up 3rd or 4th and said that I was there to remember my son Jacob who was stillborn on June 1, 2010 due to amniotic band syndrome. I said how much we wanted him and how we remember him always, love him and miss him everyday. I also said that I was there for the babies I lost through miscarriage - August, Cub, Madeline and Emma Grace. After I sat down, I thought of more things I wanted to say. That Jacob was our dream come true. That we had never felt so much happiness in our lives as we did when he was with us, that as much as we hurt that he is gone, I feel so lucky that I get to be his Mom, that I got him. That August, Cub, Madeline and Emma Grace brought some happiness back to our lives and we often think of what life would be like if they had been able to stay. 

As we left the podium, we were handed a rose for each baby that we lost. 

We all had little plastic candles with LED lights and held them throughout. When I was up saying my babies' names, I noticed a nurse at the back of the room who hadn't been there before. When I looked back a few minutes later she was gone. Was she there for the babies she has seen born that didn't make it, or did she lose one? 

There was some tea, coffee and cookies for us after and I stayed for about an hour talking to babyloss Mom's and Dad's. I saw an 11 year old girl sitting in a chair crying, then she brought out a photo album and looked through it, still crying. I knew they were pictures of her little brother, born sleeping 3 years ago. I asked to look at them and he is so beautiful. There are moments when it just hits me and it all seems so wrong. Here was this beautiful, perfect baby...just not breathing. 

Afterwards Jackie and I were going to the room where Oscar was born. I have been wanting to see it for awhile. Unfortunately we couldn't get onto the L&D floor because it was 9pm and access is restricted then. Hopefully I will get to see it soon. 

I should be 19 weeks pregnant with Madeline and Emma Grace right now. It hurts so much that I'm not. 


Elaine said...

It sounds like it was a lovely event. The little girl with the album broke my heart. I'm glad you spoke with her.

fireworksandrainbows said...

Jackie's speech made me really emotional. Such poignant words.

I didn't know this was happening at Trillium, if I had I think I might not have ignored the day.

Your children are blessed to have such a dedicated mother to keeping their lights shining bright.


Becky said...

That speech was beautiful:)

Sarita Boyette said...

Dana, it sounded like a lovely event, although I wish there were NO need for you to attend such an event. You honor your children so well. I love the beautiful names you chose for the twins. (((HUGS)))

Drew's Parents said...

Oh my goodness...Jackie's speech was beautiful! I have tears in my eyes and a knot in my stomach after reading it. I am glad that the hospital agreed to hold the ceremony. It sounded like such a special event. Like Jackie said, too often we have no place to talk about our little ones. I am remembering Jacob, August, Cub, Madeline, and Emma Grace always <3 Love you!

Rhiannon said...

What a beautiful ceremony and speech. Her words gave me goose bumps. I am glad that you were able to go and remember Jacob, August, Cub, Madeline and Emma Grace (love your girl's names). I am so sorry that they are not with you physically. I wish that they were. Thinking of you and sending love. <3

Tyann said...

Hi, Thankyou for finding my blog, so I could find yours! So interesting that you would add what this lady wrote about her son and that it's ok to cry. That's what I wrote about today...

Linda Anderson said...

Dana please know that Jacob,August,Cub,Madeline and Emma Grace's candles burn bright every night at my house.For i will light there candles till the Lord calls me home.And i promise if i go before u.I will so tell them what amazing parents they have.And how much u love them and miss them.And i will tell them of all the love u show other hurting mama's and daddy's.I love u.And im so sorry u had to go to this special ceremony.I so wish u never lost any of your sweet babies.And i so pray that one day very very soon.U can get out of the waters.And stand on the sand.And never have to hit the deep end ever again.U write and talk with so much love in your heart.Dont u dare give up honey.For i know God hears u.And he will bless u with the baby that u can bring home.It hurts me to see u go thru all the pain i have had to go thru.God i hate that u do.I may not always comment.But i have read everything u have ever wrote.And im holding u so close to my heart.Hug Ted for me please.Tell him to never give up.And that he is a wonderful daddy to all his beautiful babies.One day u both will no the joy of holding your first living baby.Try to hold onto faith guys.I know its so hard to do.Dont let satan tell u lies.I to at one time felt i would never be blessed with a living child.But he showed me i was wrong and blessed me with 3 wonderful loving sons.I am an angel grandma of 3 now.And it hurts so bad to see my youngest son and his wife Misty going thru the pain we are in.But they were blessed with a son named Owen.They suffered yet another MC Dec. 29th 2010.At 8weeks.I held my grandbaby in my hand.And asked God why again??? But as always i get no answers.I guess we will have to wait to know the why's.And maybe it wont matter once we have them in our arms again.I wish u both all the best in this life.I love u both more than words can ever say.Please Lord bless this couple with a baby that comes home in there loving arms.I ask this in the name of your son Jesus!!! AMEN