Saturday, January 30, 2010

Long overdue

I've wanted to blog all week. A hard and long week filled with a lot of negative emotions and losing battles against them. I wanted to vent to you, my support group, but there is a pathetic fear with me now because I know that not all the people in my life are supporters. Some are critisizers. Some are quite confident, having never lost a baby, that I am doing this all quite wrong! And they may not comment on this blog, but you bet they look at it and at my life and disect and comment to their shallow heart's content.
Well, it's a sad day when you cower to your critisizers. They certainly don't help you move forward, so why act - or not act - based on them? My husband keeps gently telling me that now is a hard time; now is a time to surround myself with people who support me and who know that what I feel is totally normal, and that how I act is too.
I'm grateful for him. I know he's right. But it's all cute on paper to say, "surround yourself with support" when often in reality the people foremost in our lives aren't the ones who really get us. What then? Maybe it's time to openly make some enemies! What kind of Christian am I if I go in that direction though? I'm confused.

I feel angry sometimes at this life. I want to be so many things, and while in the past it was hard to realize who I wanted to be, it was nothing compared to now! How many of you are like me, who want to be loving supportive friends? But now that you're living in post-dead-baby-land you can hardly look friends in the eye? Sometimes for no apparant reason... like today, my son's 8th birthday party. I saw some friends and almost burst into tears --- still not sure why. I just thought, "I'm not strong enough to do this today" and when I saw them I wanted to collapse into their arms.
One of my sweet friends just had her 4th baby. She wanted a fourth, she got a fourth. She had her about 3 weeks early, just because her body does that naturally - and of course her baby was fine. I am happy for her. I was happy after her baby was home safe and sound because I knew that she will never have to be me - to live in my terrible world. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. But then I saw her out in public less than a week after her baby was born. She had the teeny thing with her. I wasn't ready to see the baby. But what could I do? I squirmed and swallowed tears. I practiced fake smiles. And my heart broke all over again for my dead little girl. I said to God in my mind, "Were you aware when you sent me this trial that not only would my personal life be hard, not only would my husband and mother and my children be broken apart, but that my friendshipping skills would be deraled too?" I thought about this friend and I a year ago... I was pregnant with my son. She talked about getting pregnant with her last. She supported me. I supported her. We "lunched" as young mothers do! If he had been born like normal, I'd be giving her baby equipment right now. I'd have thrown her a little shower, because that's what my instincts are to do. I would have given her clothes and toys and lots of supportive phone calls. Claire would have never been born. As it is, now I barely give her baby a smile and a brush of my hand, because God knows I can't hold that child. Now I run away and I cry when no one is around. I want to be a better friend. But it is what it is. Our kids will never know each other, never even get the chance to be friends or not. Now we will never be as close as what could have been.

I had a mother tell me recently, literally tell me how nice she is to me and "what have I done for her lately? Nothing." Ha! She had a healthy little girl the same weekend I was scheduled to have my daughter, by the way.  How could I tell this woman, with NO clue what it's like to live in my life, just what I have done for her? She will never know. She will tell herself how nice she is because she engages in small social niceties. She will confidently know that she is such a great person and I am so small, so selfish.
What do I do for her? Some of you who've lost babies wonder that I even have seen her at all, you can't imagine. Well, I went to her babies' special blessing day and didn't once mention my daughter. I didn't once cry. I was shaking before we went. I was crying. But it's not her or her baby's fault that this is my life. So I showed up and did as I should have, keeping it about them. I went to all functions relating to her and her baby and myself. I certanly didn't hold her baby (probably to her anger) but I didn't make any emotional scenes either. No one would have wanted that. Isn't that how it is, ladies? We're supposed to just play nice and don't make scenes? Keep the mess to ourselves. She, in her blissful ignorance, will never know what that takes. Only other mothers like you know. Only fathers with dead children know. Only you know how one day publically around babies so soon after your's are buried brings about two weeks of depression suffered at home.

I'm so grateful you have told me your stories. You don't know how you have saved my life! I'm thankful to you, Cortney for sharing with me how you didn't go to a baby shower for about 2 years while you suffered through your multiple miscarriages. I'm so relieved, Angie, to read about all your bad days on your blog and how you struggle to be a good mother to your living children when it's so hard to get out of bed because you miss your dead ones. I'm so inspired and even a little jealous, Denise, that you had no problem telling an old girlfriend who didn't seem to care much about your twins when they died that you just didn't have room for her in your life anymore. You women are so honest with what you are dealing with and you aren't apologetic for it. I hope to get to that place. I know this is a hard road to recovery, and I have a hunch that such protective stances make the journey down it a little less bumpy.

Two days ago I got myself in a pickle. A sweet couple from church had complications during delivery and almost lost their baby. That was about 3 weeks ago. They have been in the hospital fighting for her life ever since. I wanted to go see them so badly and give them an understanding ear, but why the HELL would they want to see me? I am like the grim reaper, announcing death when I walk in the door! I thought I better stay away so as not to remind them that some babies don't make it. Their's was able to come home two days ago! Of course someone asked me to take them dinner because I had been so vocally concerned about them during the whole process. I wanted to do whatever I could. Until the day actually came! I cried all day. All I could think was, 'why did they get the chance to fight for their baby and my baby only got a mere 3 hours before doctors told us to give up?' Why didn't we get to fight for her? I wrestled all day. I got a few things out of the wrestle - one, a feeling that God loved my baby. No understanding as to whys, but I felt like he said, "I loved Claire so much. I was with your doctors." And I was aware that she's in a better state now, not hurting at all like I am. Also, my friend Dawn called and invited my family over for dinner. She didn't know anything about my day, but she was thinking of me and I felt loved by her. I felt like my family would be looked after.  Also, I called Denise, who's lost 3 babies, and she exclaimed, "I've been thinking about you all day!" I just got a sense that I wasn't alone in this motherhood trial and my life is going to be okay because I have not been left alone.
I thought I'd fall back on my husband and have him take dinner over. But he had to work late so it was all me. What a sweet couple and a tender little girl. Of course, I did NOT try to hold the baby or get too close because I didn't want to burst into tears and ruin their moment. They might have percieved me as insensative because I was in and out pretty quickly. But if so, that's okay. I am getting used to people not understanding me! On a side note, they named their little girl Bailey, the name I have always wanted to name one of my kids, the name one of you mothers named your lost girl (can't remember which blog, sorry), the name that's always been special and stand out to me. I left the house with the "Welcome Bailey" sign and smiled, "Welcome Bailey. You may not have been able to come to me, but you came to them, and they will take good care of you. It is as it's meant to be."
I'm grateful the day is over. I'm glad to have been able to do something small for them and I am glad it's over too! I feel like someone who ran a marathon that they didn't feel in shape enough for, but they finished nonetheless. I feel like that a lot, in a lot of little moments that are just plain unglorious to EVERYONE else around! Talk about being humbled.

Listen, grievers. I know what it's like to lose someone you love. I fell to the floor in anguish when I got the call that my dad shot himself in the head two years ago. The day I followed my husband into the room where it happened and cleaned up his blood is in a special place in the front of my mind. I will never forget that experience. But I would clean up the site of a thousand suicides rather than lose another baby. I don't know why. I'm not saying that to lesson the suicide, because it's terrible and unforgettable. It changes familys forever. But there is something so much deeper in letting go of your own flesh, innocent flesh that had no choice. In letting go of hopes that will only ever live in your heart, in quiet moments of dreaming. I'm grateful for my perspective, because having been in mourning on multiple occasions, I don't feel so WEAK that this process is outstandingly crippling. With every death of a loved one, part of me changed. But with the deaths of my son and daughter, all of me crumpled and cracked and fell to dust. It's a thorough rebuilding now, I guess. I don't know why it's like this, but I know it is like this.

If you have made it all the way to the end of this, thanks for reading! I am comforted in the rant. I hope to connect to you who know how I feel. Some friends, like Heather and Andrea and Bri and Barbara really seem to get me even though they haven't had to face this. I am sure there are others as well, so please forgive me for not mentioning you. Please don't feel isolated when I talk to "other mothers and fathers". You have an amazing gift of empathy that few in this life are given. I'm inspired by your love for others. And I am SO grateful you are in my life. What would I do if left alone? My poor husband might have to commit me!

18 comments:

S. and A. Millar said...

Kelly, I'm sorry you have to deal with people with such ignorance, and not an ounce of compasion!!! Blue is right when he says to stay away from people like that, there not true friends who even desirve the right to be in your presence!!! If any one knows you, they would know that when you can you would give them the shirt off your back. Every one has a time where they need to take and not give. Now is you time to take, because you've given plenty in your day! So don't you feel a bit guilty for taking!!! I hope this makes sence! Please take from me when ever you need, I hope you know that! I love you!

Lunt Family said...

Kelly,
I don't know if you remember me. I sang at the Christmas relief society party in your ward and sat at your table. I am so grateful to have read this tonight. My sister-in-law just lost her little girl only after having her 25 days earlier. It has been extremely difficult for all of us but I can't even truly imagine the pain of that kind of loss. When my family walked into the room at the viewing she was extremely cold and I couldn't understand why and after reading what you wrote I get a better picture and I know that I need to be more supportive and not so selfish during her hard times. I am grateful that you are willing to write down your real feeling for all to read. You really have given me a great insight that I know will help me as I come upon others who unfortunately may have lost a child. You may not want to hear this but you are a great example. You have helped me tonight, I only wish i could help you in some way.

Stock Family said...

I have so much to say, but I really don't know where to begin. My thoughts are swirling in my mind and I can't grasp the right one to express. Even though I have experienced my husbands death, the death of one of my children is unimaginable. Thank you for posting this.

audra said...

People can be so judgmental sometimes and I've found that I'm a lot more comfortable when I steer clear of someone that way, whether they are judging me or someone else. Kelly you never need to "move on" from the deaths of your angels, you only need to progress. Nobody can judge how that needs to happen but you, and by the looks of your blog I'd say you are doing it. I think you have valid reasons to feel every emotion you've had and people should just mind their own business.

My sister in law delivered her baby boy 10 weeks early two weeks ago. He is still fighting for his life and is being transferred from Chandler to St. Joe's in Phx. He has an infection now and we still don't if he'll pull through. I have to tell you that your blog has been a blessing to me and indirectly to my sister in law because my understanding has grown so much from your story. I feel like I can be so much more helpful to her because I have some sense of how devastating it will be for her if her little boy doesn't make. Thanks for making yourself vulnerable by sharing so much of your heart on your blog. Who cares what people say, this blog and your truthful emotions are a blessing to us readers. You have helped me understand so much and now I get to help others in similar circumstances.

Eldredge Family said...

Kelly,

This post has been whirling around in my head all night and all day long. After Sage died my ward called me like once a week to bring meals into new mothers.....I finally had to but my foot down and say thanks but no thanks.
I loved the part about the baby blessing! If people only knew how hard those days really are on us they would give merit badges for courage or something. Going home too suffer for 2 weeks was the perfect thing to say because it is so true. My favorite is when "friends" call and "say well little so and so made it to 8 months 2 days old....this has been so rough on me"! WOW really rough on you! I am so sorry the past 8 months of your life have been rough! I am rambling.....so sorry. I just liked your post! I have had such a hard time learning to deal with dumb comments. Choosing to not be a persons friend how liberating! Never crossed my mind! Thank you! I am so sorry you are hurting so bad. I would not wish this kind of heartache on anyone.

The Durans said...

Kelly... today I decided to go back and read your blog. I had heard about your loss before but didn't want to mention it when I saw you at school because in my hear I knew it would make you uncomfortable. So sorry you have to deal with people like that. Although I have never experienced what you have, your loss really touched me even though we don't know each other that well. I am so sorry for your pain, and if this helps...stay strong and keep blogging....even though I don't blog anymore, I'm reading... My prayers are with you and your family.

Cortney said...

I am so thankful for the previous comments. There are people who love you, who empathize and support you, no matter what trial you have faced or may face in your life. I have told you and will probably tell you over and over that you need to just surround yourself with positive, supportive people. You and us (is that proper english) will never forget your 4 beautiful babies...ever. I do promise you that there will, however be a day where the burden is a bit lighter and the smiles are a bit easier.

Rest your worries and cares on the Lord. I realized tonight that I forgot to tell you some parts of being pregnant with Addelynn that I can't believe I forgot, because it helped me be more at peace.

This year is going to look up for you...be wonderful in fact. Believe that and know I am praying daily for you. 2010 is the start of something wonderful and deep down I know you know that. Rest assured my love, you are an amazing woman and those who treat you differently are not meant to walk by your side at this point in your life, family or not! Remember how much you are loved and supported...and always will be no matter what! Love you and call me tomorrow. xoxo

Erin said...

Kelly, I am amazed at your strength. You have had your share of heartache, more than most. Your experiences have helped others in many ways. It probably doesn't help to hear that but it is true. I have told you before but the way you share your feelings is something I look up to. I think about you alot and pray that things will get easier! Lots of love - Erin

Liz said...

Hi Kelly, this is Crystal Eldredges mother, and Sage's grandmother. I cried as I read your words. You have described how Crystal feels perfectly and how I have felt myself...I know Sage wasn't my child but he was my grandchild and I miss him so much and it is SO very hard to see my daughter, son in law and their children in so much pain. Yet there are those people out there in the world who are still getting to live in their little "glass bubble"...the same bubble we once lived in...that just don't get it and never will...unless of course they bury a child. This trial has got to be the hardest for a parent to live through. I quit going to Relief Society because that is where his body lay for a viewing. I don't care what RS room it was they all look the same and I would remember. It didn't matter what they were teaching that day it would make me cry and cry. I just had to quit going so I learned how to leave right after Sacrament meeting so I could avoid it all together. It also allowed me to avoid seeing the babies that were in the same car seat my grandson used to sit in..or a familiar out fit, toy or blanket. I would see little boys born the same time as Sage and want to throw up and the worst was resisting the urge to tell them that their baby could die PLEASE don't get them near a blanket while they sleep! Crazy thoughts that were better at home, alone where it's safe and I can cry in private. I can't imagine losing more than one child and that makes me just heart broken for you and your family. In fact I get more than a little mad at Heavenly Father and I know that's wrong but really not one but FOUR babies! Why? Sorry I just totally understand and agree with EVERY thing you wrote. I really wouldn't wish this on anyone TRULY I wouldn't, but then there are some people that sure could stand an eye opener don't you think? You are a hero to me...you are still alive and fighting to survive your nightmare. Stay strong and know that there are people who "get it".

Katie said...

Hi Kel - your post makes me feel frozen in time and makes me realize how far away I am from you. I wish I could be a 30 minute drive away to give you a hug. I honestly think about you guys all the time...I will take more time to show my love for you, rather than just think it.

Kayci said...

Kelly, I just wanted to tell you how hard it was to sit by you in RS and not put my arms around you and squeeze you hard. I knew I'd lose it and cause a scene. You are always in my thoughts! I am not good at all at getting my feelings out when I open my mouth, but I want you to know I care so much about you and your family and I am so grateful that you are honest about what you're going through.

Bri said...

Dearest Kelly, I have only love for you. I don't know that I have anything new to say...I think that you are heroic and brave, and oh so articulate. I know that other moms feel understood after reading your blogs, and what a reassurance that you're doing the right thing.
I love this comment made by S&A Millar. It is ridiculous to accuse you of selfishness. It is a lie...people are LYING to you in order to help themselves feel less uncomfortable and less accountable for their behavior. They are missing an opportunity to have a true treasure (YOU) in their lives. Now is the time to take. So true! And I have talked with Donnie...the weekly date is so ON.

Marie said...

I discovered your blog a few weeks ago and have been back every day ever since. What a powerful and moving post you have written. I've never lost a child...but I am continually shocked at the insensitivity people show towards parents who have lost children. My god...that someone would actually say you haven't done anything for her lately...shocking.

Even though I am certainly not in the same situation, I relate to what you said here. I am going through a rough situation at the moment (nothing compared to yours) and I'm sick of people who try to jolly me along and tell me to get over it. I don't want to hear platitudes and how everything will work out fine. I am avoiding the friends who come out with that stuff and sticking with the ones who know how to empathize. Maybe you need to do the same. If they refuse to be supportive, they need to be out of your life. I wish you all the best.

Rennie said...

Kelly,
I haven't been very good about checking on blogs lately but I did this morning.

I'm so sorry that you have to deal with ignorant people. It really does stink. Don't feel badly for telling people no and for creating boundaries. I think it's important in your grieving process. It is, after all, a process not an event.

No one else feels the pain and anguish the way you do and although they "think" they know.. they don't. Some day when they are brought to a full awareness they will ask for your forgiveness. I don't think they mean to be harsh or insensitive...I think it's pure ignorance of the situation.

You hang in there. Prayers are being uttered in your behalf.
Hugs.

Anonymous said...

Dear Kelly - Ross and I aren't good at blogs, but we want you to know we are here. And how much we love you. Reading your words helps us, too, as we go through our own times of grieving and trying to "act normal." We miss you and Blue and Caidgen and Ami. And Jackson and Claire. We want to hold you close.

Kelly said...

I love all your comments, and I'm greateful for your imputs, thoughts.
I just wanted to add that I totally agree with Renee's comment, that people don't usually say/do things from a mean place, they don't mean to be harsh or insensitive. Even though it still hurts, I know people don't mean to cause the pain. They just don't know what they don't know. I don't mean to spread anger around. I know we all are stuck - for the rest of our lives, letting things go! I'm just so glad I am not the only one who's been misunderstood --- sorry for your pains, wish you didn't have them, but at least we're here together!!

Los Torrientes said...

Wow. What great insight into the world of those who've suffered unthinkable loss. I'm so glad you're writing all of this down and teaching us who are honored to know you. I am constantly amazed at your insight and honesty and generosity to others who "dont' get it". That would be the hardest part, I can only imagine... to try to assimilate back into society that doesn't get it on top of everything else. You're helping us get it, little by little. What angels you and your babies and family are for helping the rest of us understand. Sorry we just couldn't get it without knowing someone like you, but SO grateful that we do! We still pray for you and families like yours every day and it fills my heart with more humility and gratitude that I know how to write (that, my friend, is YOUR gift!) to be blessed with a family, a husband and faith. Thank you as always for opening your heart.

Kelly said...

Um, Heather, you are, always, so open and kind and so sweet. But wow,I am NOT good at assimilating back into society - that's why people don't like me! So while i wish my family and I were teachers like you say, we are not. Or maybe, we're teaching by the dirty example, of just doing what you are able to do and being at peace with your short comings at the end of each day. I am so grateful for you in this time. i really am.