Saturday, March 10, 2012

Re-post from Small Bird Studios - When you lose a baby

Wonderful piece by Fran over at small bird studios.  If you have not read this, please do.  It is amazing!

When you lose a baby...
You don’t know what to expect.
People surround you. For a couple of weeks. Making sure you are not going to kill yourself, refuse to get out of bed, or start rocking a baby doll like the crazy lady they heard about from a friend.
You get lots of sympathy cards, clearly written and designed to be sent to console a daughter losing her father. Not the other way around.
You get free baby formula in the mail. For months and months and months.
And free baby magazines. And free baby coupons.
You secretly envy every pregnant woman. But not without a tinge of guilt, because you know all too well that she might be one in four- expecting her rainbow child.
It seems like the whole world is expecting a baby.
You have baby stuff around your home. Because you never imagined you wouldn’t need it.
You feel jarred. In the grocery store. At a birthday party. At the dinner table. At Christmas. Driving.
The baby you never knew, but lost changes every part of your life. Every. single. part.
You see baby clothes and it brings tears to your eyes.
You get sick and tired of crying. You never knew it was possible to cry this much.
You find yourself angry at God. Angry at yourself. Just angry.
You sware you can feel them kick but they’re gone. They call them phantom kicks. I call them painful, all kinds of painful. But sweet too.
You know, or you have a strong feeling of knowing what your child would have looked like, and been like. You see a child in the store, or on the street. Their hair color, dimples, smile, their personality and suddenly you are reminded of your child. You miss your child even more, if that’s even possible.
Your Babies R’ Us Registry is still active. There is no delete button on their site. The babies r’ us people don’t make a dime on people like us. Why bother right? You have to call them, plead with them to remove your freaking’ registry, because there will be no baby shower. There is an awkward silence. There is sadness. There will be no baby.
You get hospital bills about 3-4 months after you buried your child. You have to pay for the baby you delivered but didn’t bring home.
You find that moment of happiness in life for the first time, but the guilt swallows it up almost immediately.
You remember the size of the casket. The size of the plot. The face of the funeral director. The expression of those that attended the funeral. The feeling of raw pain, like your chest has literally been ripped open.
Somehow you convince yourself that you deserve happiness. Because you really do. But in the happiest, purest moment, there is still that hole that only they were meant to fill.
People compare your pain to their own pain. The loss of their grandmother, husband, their failed marriage, rebellious teenagers. Somehow this comparing leaves you stranded. If they can compare their pain of a situation to the loss of your BABY, they will likely never get it. Babies are not supposed to die. End of story.
You lost a dream. And it almost feels like you imagined their entire existence up. Their name becomes a distant memory on the lips of others.
There is awkwardness when you talk about your child in a crowd. No one knows whether to cry, walk away or pretend you never brought him or her up.
You lose friends. You find new ones.
You can’t believe that women have actually survived this and you never knew about it. Not really, anyway.
You would do anything for another minute with your child.
You cry when others bring up your child, not so much because it hurts but more so because it such a precious and rare gift.
You long for the rewind button, even after many many instances of acceptance.
You want to know what went wrong, and why…
You find a new appreciation for moments in life that make you laugh… you laugh harder and love stronger.
You know that you can die bitter, or die thankful. There is no in between.
You never ever, EVER get over your child. The one you hoped for, prayed for, carried and loved for the weeks and months they were with you.
You learn to live with the pain.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

21 months

The other day at work, Ted was listening to music and the Irie version of Tears in Heaven (he calls it Jacob's song) came on. He thought he would be ok listening to it, but tears filled his eyes quickly. He told me about it that night and we talked about how it just never goes away. We can go along through the days feeling ok. Thinking about him and missing him, but doing ok. Then something like a song or a smell or just seeing something in a certain way brings us back and the pain is fresh again.

21 months is such a long time and it's still hard to believe that it's been so long since we held our baby boy.

I've been by the garden three times in the past week. I talk to him and sometimes I just sit there and listen to the sounds of the birds and the people and the traffic and the wind and think that this is what his body is surrounded by all the time. I know that he isn't really there, but it's the last place that we held him, even if it was his ashes.

I had a hard time sleeping a few nights ago and moved to the couch so I wouldn't keep Ted awake. I ended up crying over something silly and it quickly turned to crying for Jacob, missing him and thinking of what life would be like if he had lived. It brought me back to the days and nights of crying in the early days, of feeling just horrible emotionally all the time.

Today,, 21 months after Jacob was born, we went to my OB's office for our second appointment with her for this pregnancy. As we sat waiting to see her, I thought of what was happening 21 months ago at the same time. Jacob has just been born and we were holding him, loving him and memorizing him because we knew we wouldn't get to keep him for very long. She stood at the counter for awhile writing a note and I stared at her face, thinking back. Tonight we stopped by the garden and stood silently for a few minutes, both of us talking to Jacob in our heads. Ted said how it is just so sad.

We miss him.