Thursday, February 10, 2011

Birthdays and life

I've been in a funk.

I don't exactly know why. Maybe it's this painfully long, cold winter full of ridiculous amounts of snow and ice. My never ending lack of Vitamin D. The ache in my back that doesn't go away. My constant worrying because one of the girls is sick. Or has staples in her head. My lack of sleep because one of the girls is sick. Or has staples in her head.

After four days of saying that her tummy hurt and acting a bit off, Em had some not so nice tummy issues yesterday. And threw up twice. The girls had just recovered from a cold/cough thing. Anna just had the staples removed from her head. I thought that we were finally going to have a healthy week. So I ended up "sleeping" with Em last night because I was afraid she was going to choke on vomit and I wouldn't hear her. I spent half the night with her little hand thrown across my face.

I hate always focusing on what comes next instead of living in the here and now. I hate questioning every decision I've made over the past six years. Why can't we all be happy with what we have now?

My babies will be four years old in two short months and I am painfully aware that they are not babies anymore.

Rich and I are in the process of planning the girls' birthday celebration(s). In an email discussing potential dates for their party, Rich asked me about dates for a mass for Abigail for her birthday. And that threw me into another kind of funk. Shouldn't I be planning a fourth birthday party and a fifth party party? What would she have wanted to do?

And while I'm in that funk, I think about some of the comments people have made regarding her death. You see, I don't hold any of those comments, no matter how much I may disagree, against anyone. I know that no one means to upset me. Everyone has a different belief system. A different view. Sometimes people say things because they think that it will make me feel better. Maybe it makes them feel better.

I've been told that if Abbey hadn't died, the girls wouldn't be here. But you see, Rich and I had planned to have two kids back to back. We would joke about me returning to work from my maternity leave pregnant again. That was the plan and the plan worked. So that really doesn't make me feel better. It almost seems like reverse logic. Like if someone walked up to me and said, "Hey, you need to have another baby. If you don't, you will never know your daughter, Samantha."

I regret ever wishing time away.


Tracey's Life said...

I think some people really don't know what to say, and in that awkwardness, unfortunately the wrong words come out. Yes, you have three beautiful girls, but the reality is that you have four daughters. One just happens to be an Angel - and for that I am sorry. Inadequate I know, but I truly am sorry for you and your girls that you will not know her in this lifetime.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what to say either, but as for the funk, this too shall pass. it always does.

Anonymous said...

Please continue to have her in your heart. I have a friend who yet celebrates her daughter's birthday that was born still 43 years ago. Condolences go her way each year, even from those of us who aren't old enough to have known about it at the time.

I love reading about your girls now and i love how you keep Abigail before them. So nice.

Anonymous said...

Nobody has ever made the if/then comment to me, I suppose because they were a package deal. If I hadn't lost Caitlin. . .well, I'd still have Julia & Gabrielle, and if Caitlin had survived, I'd still have them.

I did always think that was silly, if one hadn't died, you wouldn't have the others. If Abbey had survived, well maybe you would've gotten pregnant at the exact same time with the girls; and then again, maybe not. And if you hadn't, you'd be none the wiser and happy with Abbey.

I am busy preparing for my girls' 2nd birthday next week, with Caitlin's passing the day prior, so I'll be thinking of you. It sucks.

Jayme said...

Knowing what to say is so hard- and I've lost three babies myself! I'm so sorry Abbey isn't here with you and your trio.

Hope's Mama said...

I know exactly what you mean, Sarah. I am sorry for the funk. I know it all too well. For us, I KNOW Angus wouldn't be here if Hope hadn't been stillborn, but that's not to say I don't want and deserve them both. They are my children. I have been pregnant twice (both full term) yet I only have one child here on earth to show for it and it still breaks me every single day. And when people say to be thankful for what I have and to just appreciate Angus as I'd never have had him if Hope lived, I do get a bit riled up inside. I am grateful. I am blessed to have Angus. But I want Hope as well. And I miss her desperately. I miss all that I never knew about her, which is everything given she died before she was born.
It is just so bloody sad, Sarah. And I wish we both didn't have to live with this daily nightmare, despite the joy that has come our way since.
Love to you, and your girls. All four of them.

Anonymous said...

Hi Hope's Mama,
I went into early labor in 1981and came home without a baby and a broken heart. Every March 17th (due date) I still wish we were celebrating that baby's birthday and find that it's still a difficult day for me.
Regardless of our children's age--us Mom's wish we could take their heartache/pain away. I wish I could do so now for Sarah.
Love, Grammy (a.k.a. Sarah's Mom)

Colleen said...

I am so sorry Sarah. It's hard for people to know what to say. I remember some of the comments that came after I lost my son. You are almost shocked that people even bother. I'd rather nothing at all.

I hear you on the funk. This weather is starting to get to me too. That, and the mounds of snow everywhere.

Cindy said...

I do not know the pain of losing a child, so I don't know what to say. I will say that my heart goes out to you, especially during this birthday time.

JEN said...

People really dont' know what to say and I do think they do have good intentions. It doesn't make what they say any less painful, however.

Thinking of you.

And yes, we have terrible cabin fever in Michigan this year as well as the East Coast.

Wiley said...

On a semi-related note, I wanted to thank you. Had it not been for your posts about Abigail, I don't think I ever would have really considered the idea of giving birth to a stillborn and I really feel that having read your story (the parts I have -- only the last six months or so) and thought following some of the posts really made giving birth to my stillborn daughter in December an easier experience. I had known she was dead for six weeks before she was delivered (her twin brother will hopefully be released from the NICU in a few days!), but I honestly think your blog helped more than any other individual factor.

Random ramble, but it really just means thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you're feeling down and sorry for the loss of Abigail. I had four miscarriages before giving birth to my daughter in December. Just this morning I found myself wondering what if those other pregnancies had been successful. Would my daughter have a sibling two years older than her if my first or second pregnancy hadn't ended in miscarriage? Or a sibiling exactly a year older than her? My third baby was due in December 2009. Would she even be here at all? Life is full of so many "what ifs" I feel like I could drive myself crazy considering all the possible ways things could have turned out. What I do know is this: My daughter is only 7 weeks old, and I can't imagine my life without her.

Elizabeth said...

I know that I am going to regret how much I worried and wanted the girls to be quiet or just go play. I can't tell you how many times I want them to just grow up already so I can have some peace.

I appreciate posts like these because it lets me know I'm not alone.

I really am sorry for your loss. I think the death of a child is so terribly tragic and we just can't fathom the cruelty in that - for ourselves or others - so we grasp onto whatever reasoning we can hold onto. You're a strong woman to understand that it makes them feel better.

Chantel said...

I hate the whole "if _____ had lived, you wouldn't have ___" why did THAT baby have to die? Why did I even conceive that baby if he was only going to die? How is that fair to HIM? We planned kids back to back too....I would have had Claudia. You would have had the girls even if Abbey had lived. Plain and simple. They were meant to be here.

I love your mom's comment, Sarah. What an amazing grandma and mom.

Hope's Mama said...

Big thanks to your mum, Sarah. She's a great mum and grammy to you all. I'm lucky to have one of those as well.
Just wanted to add, when I said I know Angus wouldn't be here if Hope had lived, I should have clarified that that's because we planned a much bigger gap, you know, back when we felt confident enough to actually plan things in life. And if I'd breastfed Hope as easily as I have Angus, then I doubt very much I'd have conceived six months later. Angus was such a special gift in our lives at a time when all else was black. I'm quite sure he wouldn't have been here if she was, but like I said, I still want them both. As a mum, I don't think that's too much to ask.

Sarah said...

Thank you all for your heartfelt comments. And for everyone who has lost a baby - we are unfortunately in this horrific club together - it is nice to know that we are not alone.

Amy - I will be thinking of you. That has to be so very difficult. How bittersweet....

I honestly do believe that Curtis, Hope, Claudia, Angus and my girls should all be here. We can't go back and change the past so how could we know the future?

Wiley - thank you so very much for saying this to me. One of the reasons why I write about Abbey is to reach others. I've always said that if I help only one person, than I have done my job. Thank you. I am so very sorry that you beautiful daughter was born sleeping.

Yes, Grammy is a wonderful, caring mother and grandmother!

Wendy said...

<3 it's all I can give