Two nights before our son passed away, I had what I guess you would describe as an epic melt down. I was border line hysteric. Well not really but I was completely overcome with fear. I had been discharged from my hospital room and was staying in a Parent room attached to the NICU. It has a single bed, and a night stand. Just enough room to walk around. My husband, who had not left us since driving me to the hospital in preterm labour, had to sleep on a pull out couch in the waiting room for the NICU. I knew what was coming. I knew what we were facing. I had been keeping my composure for my husband. I knew that if I lost it that he would lose it. That night I lost it.
When we came home from the hospital the evening our son passed away I was exhausted. It was the first time in 19 days that I was not going to be pumping or going to the NICU to check on him. I had slept a total of maybe 8 hours in 4 days. Yes, I would say that guess is about spot on. I no longer had a reason to be up in the night. I was still facing how I was going to get my milk to stop as well. I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do with myself. I should be still pregnant.
At this point exhaustion took over. The thoughts of meeting with a funeral director, our pastor, the florist, and picking out our cemetery plot was ever-present but yet I slept. As time went on, I slept here and there. It was as if my body was still programmed in Mommy mode and knew it should be getting up numerous times throughout the night. I would be up until 2 sometimes 4 am every day. Sleep until 7 or 8 at the latest any day. I was off work for my “maternity” leave. After returning to work I would often be up until all hours of the morning. But yet I was not really exhausted. I just needed to keep my mind busy.
My Doctor asked me about meds the last time I saw him before returning to work. He had wanted me to go on meds when C passed away. (I saw him 5 days later) I said no. That if it got to the point that I could not handle it I would be back. Please do not mistake this for me not agreeing with meds. That is absolutely not it. Make no mistake. If ever you need help, medication, or to talk to someone by all means seek out the help. You will not regret it. It was just at the time that I was still functioning. I am blubbering. Back to topic. During this conversation with my Doctor he said are you crying every day. I said yes. Well is that normal he said. NORMAL! What the hell kind of question is that. I looked at him and said `My son died. I would say that crying is pretty normal.“ I am sleeping (some) getting up every morning having a shower, putting on clothes and looking after our daily life.
I have found other things that have helped me. I have read no less than 300 books in the past 20 months. Nothing earth shattering. Drama, smut, the works. Something that I did not have to think much about but kept my brain occupied and entertained. Bahahaha I can hear a therapist now asking…now what do you think you are using this time reading to do…… Read…..
As I have said before in one of my posts, I saw a counsellor for a time after our son passed. It allowed me the freedom to agree with my inner voice (the same one that told the Doctor that I was quite normal because I cry) that I was well within the boundaries of what society considers normal.. Hahaha.. I think that Doctor would be scared to know that guess what I still do cry almost every day. I am an emotional person. I still cannot understand why some would think that having these normal emotional responses would warrant a second look . I cry at random TV shows, hearing people talk about pregnancy at work, driving by his grave. You name it.
I guess is it because society puts a time limit on grief. So who gave them the right to limit how I feel and what length of time. Not I. You see. (And I do not mean this in a negative way as any loss of a child is devastating) I did not just pee on a stick one day and find out I was pregnant and lala 2 weeks later delivered or miscarried. End of story. We spent 2 and a half years between waiting for OBGYN appointments, blood work and TTC to get pregnant with him. 28 weeks later I gave birth to him. 19 days later he passed away. He very well may be our only child. The only child my husband and I will ever hold. It encompasses our entire life.
I read somewhere how when you lose a spouse you loss your past and present. By this they meant you lose the one that you made your memories with, your experiences. When you lose a child you lose your future. There will be no memories made. All you see ahead of you is the lack of things you will be doing and or experiencing as a family, as a parent.
As his birthday approaches my periods of rest are more sporadic. Tomorrow is mid week. I have to be up in about 5 hours to get ready for work. Guess it is time to dust off the Kobo and load up some new books!
I know in life we are told to count our blessings. Be grateful for what you have.
Is it terrible to want more? Is it selfish to feel you deserve that one thing that will change the picture of life for you?
Each day I get up and do my very best at my jobs. I have full-time employment. I am also a wife. I am a mother. Each of those things requires me to be different things for different people. I know that as life progresses and we reach different milestones in our life our picture changes.
At 17 and a recent graduate of high school I saw my future laid out for me. I was dating my high school sweetheart and truly thought that we would eventually marry and have a family. Two years later and in college I was recently single and my picture changed. I saw college graduation and looking for a job. I was enjoying time with my friends. My picture changed drastically several times in my twenties. I worked hard, most of the time I maintained two jobs, a full-time and a part-time. I had my own home. I have very close girlfriends and we had adventures and enjoyed all that life could offer us on our budget. Hahaha. Road trips planned on the spur of the moment, that new red hair dye, first tattoos and lazy weekends spent at university with my girlfriends.
Girls night out. At 26, deciding to forget trying to meet a man, embrace our singleness. Bahahaa.. I giggle. That very same night, November 24, 2001, I met my husband. He was shy…………..Ok he was very shy… And yes, I am as well around people I do not know. (Most people will dispute this but it is true) I will admit I had a few drinks, hence the loose tongue. He was standing near a friend of mine. That is the only reason we spoke. The next morning I woke up crying my eyes out. The first man I had met in years…..that was not vulgar, was polite, friendly, kind. And I scared the crap out of him. I told myself that very well could be the best thing that ever happened to you and he will never speak to you again as he was so shy. Hahaha. When I had left the club that night I had said to him. Why don’t you give me a call sometime. I would really like to get to know you better. His response………… Yes ladies you know what men are like…….”Why can’t a woman call a man for once?” A box of Kleenex and 48 hours later I got up the nerve to call.
It was on that night that I began “painting” my masterpiece. Our future. The love of my life, family, a home. I am so thankful that I have someone in my life that helps me with this picture. I guess in life our only wish is that all we do helps the person next to us to create their best “masterpiece”.
I am not yet finished with my masterpiece. I hope to have at least 40 more years to work on it. I just hope that I am able to add those true elements that make any old picture of a work of art.