I don’t care how scary your birth story was…I don’t care if your daughters shoulder got stuck while coming out…that her heart rate dropped once…I don’t fucking care. Because right now…I see your beautiful six year old girl doing a cartwheel. You know what I have? I have an urn in a bookcase. Don’t try to get more emotion out of me by adding drama to your story, people birth 9lb baby’s all the time. I’m not cold-hearted. I just have nothing more to give. I have to protect myself. Because I’m scared. I’m scared for you. Because I know what its like to have a real scary birth story. I know what its like to hold your dead baby. I know what true tragedy is…and I don’t want you to know. I don’t want you in my club. I’m selfish that way. I don’t want to scare you with my birth story while you just found out your pregnant again. I know you’ve been trying, so take my congrats and smile for what its worth, and change the subject. I can’t listen to your birth and pregnancy stories 2X a week for the next 9 months while I’m sitting here watching my living child do handstands. Our friendship may end, at least for the next few months. Because my heart matters. I know I’m being harsh, but my sons death is harsh. I need to be able to move forward, and your conversations are keeping me in memories that I don’t want to be in. So congratulations, and have a happy and uneventful pregnancy and birth. I’ll be sitting over there when your done.
9 years. 9 years I have said and held fast to the belief that my son would be better off in my arms. For 9 years for those who gave me pity, and patted my shoulder and said..its for the best…I would always respond..NO, NO ITS NOT. Davids best would be in my arms, we would have given him quality of life, we would have given him everything and he would have known no difference. For 9 years I clung to that with all I had. For 9 years.
I got out of class on a friday…went home and sobbed. Went home looked at my husband and couldn’t breathe. I have never verbalized it…and as I start to type it my hands are shaking and my eyes are filling with tears. But I said something that I never thought I would. I said what no parent should ever have to say. I said…that davids dying was for the best. and I collapsed and sobbed. That weekend I could barely move. I couldn’t function. Reality hit me in the face. It beat me down and it had won. After 9 years of denying what was so obvious to others…something I could never admit. I finally came to terms with…my son is at peace. His little body was no longer hurting. He didn’t have to live a life of pain and hurt. David’s health issues would have given him no quality of life. No matter what we would have done. No amount of love would have given my son peace in body and soul. It would have been selfish of us to keep him going…it would have been cruel to continue life support.
Do I still love him, yes. Do I still want him, yes. Do I still mourn for him each and every day even after 9 years, yes. He can be a half day of memories, or he can be a fleeting 3 second thought. But he is with me each and every day.
I have no magic wand. I can’t change the past. I can’t bring him back…but what I can do is defend him. What I can do is keep his memory alive. And I can fight for others who also had to say good-bye. To those of us who were not selfish…who didn’t grasp at miracles when none existed. Not saying we didn’t want one because Lord knows I prayed and prayed for one…but bad things happen, and David died. But he is at peace, with no pain. And I pray that other moms, like me…who also had to make that decision. Who had to end life support, who had to think of their child first, and put their grief to the side…that they too can come to terms. That they know they did what was best for their child.
One day we will hold them again, one day I will stroke his cheek and tell him that my love never stopped, and then I will be at peace too.
holidays suck when you are grieving.
My first year without David, I tried so hard to be strong. I went to Christmas dinner, hid in the bathroom a few times to cry, wiped my tears and walked on out. My immune system was low…and I held a sick kid, and guess what…I threw up every 30 minutes on a 3 hour car ride back home. It sucked.
I tell you this because I don’t want you sick. Drink fluids. Take a vitamin. Try to sleep. This will not be easy for you…and thats ok.
Its a new year, but for those who are grieving the loss of their child for the first time, its not a happy new year. Just know you are not alone. That you are loved, and people care for you, they want you to be happy - even though you know thats not going to happen anytime soon. Be easy on yourself. Drink fluids (getting drunk will not help…but a glass of wine won’t hurt either ;) ) No need to stay up if you don’t want too…don’t make this day more than it should be…its just another day in your life. Wake up tomorrow and be proud you got through the year. Small milestones for those that are grieving…and big hugs to you all.
A mothers heart cannot unknow what it knows. It cannot come clean to a place where only healthy children live. Where tragedy does not strike and life takes the imagined road.
We all dream one. An imagined road. From the second we’re pregnant, the baby is born. We envision all sorts of…
I love the last paragraph…knowledge does weigh heavy on my heart, and when I know someone new to this heartache, I can’t help but want to take the pain away, but I can’t, no one can. Its a path you must go down…kicking and screaming…and eventually, you get tired, and don’t kick so hard, and you stop and you look around and you start to see and feel other things…and yes, you do feel again, its a process…a slow one…just remember one moment at a time
God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.
I hate that quote more than words can say. The first time I read it, I thought it should bring me strength…I didn’t understand why it didn’t. When people would say to me “your so strong, I would just die if I lost a child” sounded petty to me..not helpful. Finally I understood why that quote made me feel worse than better…Its saying since I have some special inner strength God decided to kill my kid. Really?! God’s letting you keep yours because well, your weak. But me, I’m strong, so my kid got the terminal health issues. It doesn’t work that way, I don’t believe God works that way.
God needed more angels…ummmm no. God doesn’t need to have my baby die so that he can have more cherubs floating around him. Again, God doesn’t work that way.
I did something bad/wrong in my life to deserve this… Why would God take another persons life to torment me? What good would it do to take my newborns life, just so God could get even with me? Again, God doesn’t work that way.
Do you know what cliche works for me…Bad things happen to good people. I’m a good person. I was a good pregnant person. Something went horribly wrong when cells were dividing and my little guy didn’t develop what he needed too, to survive in this world. Its biology. Sounds cold, but it is the simple truth. This knowledge brings me some peace. I don’t blame God now. I did, I hated him, I became indifferent to him, I didn’t believe in him…it happens. I was hostile and hurt, and I grieved, I grieved with every cell in my body. Living hurt. Now, I’m comfortable in my grief, I’m comfortable with my God.
I have no special inner strength that caused my son to die, he is not floating on a cloud with a harp in hand, and most of all I didn’t do anything wrong to deserve my son to die.
I can only say all of this because of time. Its the one thing that has helped me…it hasn’t healed me. I don’t need to be healed, I needed to be able to move forward and that is what I’ve done. It hasn’t been easy. Its been a long, twisty road. Sometimes I go the speed limit, sometimes under…but I am always moving forward with every breath that I take. And sometimes thats all you need to do. Just breathe, and take it one moment at a time.
this website helped me survive my first year of grief…its been over 9 yrs…hoping its still around and can help others
I have a silver ornament tree that I bought the first year without david. Every year I take it out, set it up, add ornaments and feel some peace, but also still so very sad. I have a stocking with David’s name on it too. This year, my kids decided to help me unpack the christmas stuff…and they found Davids stocking…my son asks “who’s David?” punch in the gut…not expecting that. I tell him, “that was mommy’s first baby who died, sweety” “oh, ok” and we moved on. This isn’t the first time David has been mentioned…I talk about him, not routinely, but on occasion. I have his urn, and some pictures - so the name David is familiar to them. But still not a connection. Its sad, that my 2 kiddos will never get to meet their older brother, but it is what it is.
I haven’t put up Davids tree yet…my husband asked me about it - and I couldn’t give him an answer. This past semester in school I have had some realizations about my sons life/death…and I don’t know if my heart can handle setting up the tree this year, so it sits in the box. Maybe on Friday I can do it…but as of today…its just not in me.
I got to watch a birth yesterday…it was amazing. I was so excited, and nervous…I looked at the parents with awe…and yes, I’ve given birth myself 3 times - and yet I stood their in disbelief in what I was watching. It was beautiful. As I watched the baby come out - he was blue…my eyes turned into saucers and I held my breath..waiting for his cries, they didn’t come quick enough for me - I turned to my instructor with my eyes filling with tears and said “he’s blue” then I heard his cries…beautiful wonderful life affirming cries…it was sweet. Later my teacher squeezed my shoulders knowing how very scared I was for that moment. and said, “its going to be allright” without me saying a word, she knew how very scared I was. I needed to see this, I needed to see a happy, loving couple give birth to a healthy beautiful boy. I needed this. I was on a high all night, even today all morning until I looked at my clinical topics…neonatal loss.
thought to myself…should I bring Davids baby book? HAHAAHA…even though I laugh…still going to cry.