Saturday, May 5, 2012

May

I see that May has snuck onto the calendar, as it has for the past five years, bringing with it promises of early summer weather and sorrow.  I never know whether to feel saddened or comforted by the fact that there are other parents out there with the same feelings.  Others watching that anniversary approach.  Others wishing for time to stand still.

I recently read a blog post by a pregnant woman who has never lost a baby.  She spoke of her connection to her unborn child and a pregnancy scare and then talked about God's way for the future, even if that future meant the death of her baby.  It didn't sit well with me.  In fact, it irked me a bit.  I've come across this many times over the past almost six years.  Those who have never been there saying how they would feel if it happened to them.  The fact is - you don't know what you would feel because it has never happened to you.

I have nothing against those whose religion helps them heal but I felt like her statements invalidated the grief of thousands of mothers.  Then there's the vibe that our babies aren't here because we don't love God enough or we did something wrong.  

This is such a difficult road to travel.

I get up every morning and I do what I need to do to live and provide for my three children here on earth.  You don't know how many times I have wanted to tell someone to eff off because the drama, politics, bull crap that they are spewing is just that - bull crap.  This isn't what life should be about.  What's really important?  My kids.  My family.  Nothing should be treated as brain surgery unless it is really brain surgery.

I didn't spend enough time holding Abbey after she was born.  I have many regrets surrounding her birth and death and this is one of them.  About a month later, I was forced to go into work.  Into an office full of people who didn't know what to say to me.  I had to fight back tears because I didn't want them to see me cry.  On the drive home, I called Rich, no longer able to hold it inside.  I wept tears of anger and frustration.  Of grief and loss.  Of regret.

I never pulled back the blanket to look at Abbey's little feet.  I'll never know what they looked liked.  That's all I could think of while sitting in my bosses' office negotiating my return to work.  How messed up is that?  My baby was gone and I had to negotiate returning to work.

I live a different life now because I can't live with regrets like that ever again.

22 comments:

Emily said...

Sarah,
I am fortunate enough to have never lost a child, so I can't say I know how you feel, but I think it's awful that people can pass judgement on such a nightmare when they have never been there themselves. I also believe that, short of harming yourself or others, there is no wrong way to handle grief. Mourn Abby however you need to mourn her.
I realize you don't need my permission for this, but my heart aches for what your family lost.

Krystal said...

Sarah - I have been reading your blog for quite some time now. I knew how you lost Abbey...and because of that I get to hold my baby. I was 39 weeks pregant and had not felt Reid move for almost a whole day. I was scared, but because of you I called the doctor, went to the hospital and ended up with an emergency c-section and my baby boy that night. I do not know what it feels like to have lost a child and I can thank you for that. Mourn your loss. Share your story. Help others. But most of all enjoy your family.

Souza Sisters said...

(((HUGS))) to you Sarah.

Anonymous said...

I just think you are amazing, Sarah. That's all. ;)

Debbie Hein said...

Sarah...
It has been over 30 years, and 3 months to be exact, since our little boy was "born still". And I do know how it is to see the calendar seem to "scream" at you, "look, here I am, that date is approaching, and there is nothing you can do about it..."
For us, it is the double whammy of he was due between Christmas and New Years, December 29, and born on January 12. So like you with Memorial Day, we get to think about it every holiday season. Being a Christmas "nut", I have alwasy found this cruel, and unusual punishment.
I used to try to convince myself that those extra 2 weeks I was pregnant gave me a little bit longer with him. But let's face it. It just sucks to think that we were pregnant longer, and didn't get to keep the prize at the end.
We had a 6 year old daughter at the time. Comforting for us, while at the same time harder. She went through her own kind of loss, and it was rough to watch.
Back when our son was born, you were not allowed to leave the delivery room with the baby. Like you would "steal" them or something. We had maybe 15 minutes. I wish we had been able to hold him longer. We got to choose his clothes, the blanket I had crocheted for him, but not allowed to dress him. It took me more than a year to get a certificate with his footprints. I became a grief counselor for parents who also lost their little ones fighting for them to get more "time", pictures if they wanted it, and a lock of hair if they chose to.
Although I got my reward 1 year, 1 week, 1 day later when our daughter, Michelle, was born I always thought it was unfair to think that somehow I had to loose him to gain her. I can not imagaine my life without her, but is it so unfair that I had to live my life without him...
I know that the pain is always there, it has faded, but the scar will always be there. So will yours.
I now have two little grands that I watch while my daughter teaches and so I enjoy your tales of your Mom watching the girls.
I am also a Disney "nut", planning this summer for trip #39...or is it 40... The Beach Club is one of my favorites. I can't wait to see pics of your trip, am still working on improving my pics with my nikon d40. I appreciate your tips. When we were in Disney with the Grands last summer, I took over 1575 pics...
I will be thinking of you as your day approaches. Hang in there.
Pixie Dust is on its way.
Debbie

Dad to Triplets said...

I want to thank everyone who expresses their support through comments and emails to Sarah. It may not seem like much, but it does help to get messages of "we hear you".

Rich
(Sarah's husband)

Stacey said...

No one knows a situation, any situation, until they are able to say they have been through a similar situation. And even then, they were not YOU in that situation. No one will know how you felt, and continue to feel, because they just are not you. Your allowed every single feeling that you feel, and no one can tell you otherwise. Its the big ones that change people lives and cause a new perspective on life. Some people are stupid and oblivious, and they will always be that way. Try not to let those people bother you, because you are the strong one, not them. You made it through it and are thriving, not them. You were there, not them. :)

Tara said...

Sarah, we don't know each other but I think you are amazing. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain that comes with losing a child. Your blog, and writing, is beautiful and honest.

Tracey's Life said...

Sarah, none of can "know" your pain, because we did not live "your" experience. But because you share your pain, you let us get to know you just a little bit. I don't feel your pain, but I can imagine it. Because you share your pain and because I can imagine it, my heart feels for you and Rich and I can say a truly heartfelt "I am sorry" that you live with this pain. While I am glad that you have the triplets in your lives, I am smart enough to know that does not make up for the loss of Abbey.

I will say this, your writing is beautiful and true and your feelings come through and paint me a picture of all that is you.

Julia said...

I usually don't even comment on your posts about Abbey because it is so distant from me, I have never lost anyone really close, and I am afraid of being callous like the person you wrote about. Of course I have wondered what it could be like to lose one of my girls, and it is unfathomable. But I had also wondered what it would be like to have them before I actually did, and my imagination didn't come even close. So I just feel you are entitled to all expressions of your grief you think you need (and I have learned a lot by reading you, if you ever consider not writing because it might bother the readers, I like all of your posts.)

Heather said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes. I can't relate but my heart goes out to you.

Wendy said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your daughter. I'm sorry that you have so many regrets about not being able to hold her enough or not having looked at her feet. That must be so hard and painful.

I have been reading your blog for quite a while now. Not even sure how I originally came across it. But you really inspire me - as a blogger and as a mom. We experienced a lot of loss on our way to become parents; I was never able to get pregnant, but we lost 7embryos when our multiple IVFs failed. It was heartbreaking and we dealt with so much grief. I am now a mom through adoption, and I am so grateful to get to be my daughter's parent.

YOU inspire me. I read your blog and see what you've been through and I see what you do for your daughters. I love seeing how creative you are (I'm an art teacher so I love everything creative!!) and you inspire me to do more.

The way you live your life - spending time with your girls, making memories for them, etc - encourages me (and I'm sure so many others) to be better.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Sarah and Rich,
{{{HUGS}}}
Love, Grammy
(Sarah's Mom)

Chantel said...

I understand.... as someone who walked a similar path. I never saw Curtis' feet either, I only saw his head, and his little hand when they pulled it out for me to look at. I have pictures of his feet the nurses took, but I was too scared and didn't know I could look at all of them. I never even verified for myself he was a boy.... I was too afraid to unwrap the blanket. Didn't now I could. We had him with us for 4 hours and I didn't find out the next day that he was just laying in the morgue...alone. I dont know what I thought, I thought he was at the funeral home, which seemed more comforting to me. So many regrets surround it all. I don't think we will get over that.

Tami said...

I am so sorry for your loss of precious Abbey, Sarah. Praying for you as you grieve all over again.

I want you to know that your blog has truly blessed me. I follow a lot of Caringbridge kids. After reading their updates each day and praying for them, I need something fun to read. You have provided that outlet for me and I thank you! I love to see pictures of your girls. I can even tell them apart once in a while when you don't mention who is who!

Sarah said...

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you all for your comments and sharing your babies with me.

Krystal - your story made me cry but in a good way.

Debbie - thank you for sharing your son and your story with me.

And Chantel - God, Chantel. I don't even know what to say except that I know your pain. I was thinking of Curtis when I wrote this post.

Hope's Mama said...

Unlike a reader above, sometimes I feel bad that I mostly only comment on the Abbey related posts. I guess when you post about Abbey though is when I truly relate to you.
This post really spoke to me, Sarah. I have many regrets also. But I try and live my life to the fullest now, because of what I went through to get here.
xo

Amy said...

My husband says that his one regret is that he did not spend more time with Caitlin, but in the end, he realizes that no amount of time would have ever been enough. I hope this May passes quickly for you.

Sarah Hudson said...

You don't know me, but I've read your blog for a while, and I just want you to know that I weep for your loss. I can only try to imagine what you feel.

Love and prayers your way.

elderbug said...

Sarah,

I've been a bit of a blog stalker for a few months. I found your blog because of your loss of Abbey. My husband and I lost our 19-month-old daughter just about one year ago. I'm dreading that one year mark. It's frustrating to hear people talk about how we must feel or how they would feel in our shoes when we know they really have no idea. Ever since we lost Ryann I've continually searched for others who have lost children. Somehow it's a bit of balm to hear about the similar struggles that others have been through. -Damie

Dairy Queen said...

July will be 2 years that I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl at only 5 months.
There will always be regrets...
I was in such a fog at the time.
I don't think I spent enough time with her either and went back to work after 2 weeks.
I didn't break down till months later.
You do what you have to do...for yourself and you family.
You never think it will happen to you....until it does.
Big Hugs to you and your gorgeous famliy! xoxo

Kate Giovinco Photography said...

I can't even imagine what it is like to lose a child. My heart aches for you and your family. I think about your sweet girl. Even though she isn't here on earth she has touched so many people. Big Hugs to you!