September is always a hard month for me. I hit Nelle’s birthday on September 4th, and then spend the rest of the month being reminded of how hard that first month in that first year was. How I spent days on end crying on the bathroom floor, with my back against the tub and my head pressed against my knees. It was a dense fog of survival, followed by stumbling through Theo’s birthday a few weeks later. A true testament to parenting: putting aside my own feelings, however anguished, to celebrate another one of my children. Continue reading
Photo by Sebastian Unrau on Unsplash
I am counting the days, one by one, until September 4th. Nelle’s birthday. It will have been four years since she was stillborn.
That year, it was Labor Day weekend. So not only do I have the actual day, but everything surrounding Labor Day reminds me of that weekend. Continue reading
I began seeing a therapist, Alexia, five days after Nelle was stillborn. I remember making the phone call to a counseling services group that had been recommended to me and when asked for the reason for wanting the appointment I had to say the words out loud “Because… because my baby died.” The person on the other end of the phone gave the immediate, automatic “Oh, I’m so sorry….” Ger and I went to the first appointment together but then I began to see Alexia alone. Continue reading
Every time I close my eyes, I am transported back to the nightmare of being in the doctor’s office and hearing his words telling me that my baby was gone. The most recent nightmare, not the first one. Or if I do manage to fall asleep, I wake frequently in a terrified, cold sweat. I can only hope that the nightmares will diminish over time as I get further away from my most current hell.
Then on top of things, Quentin was sent home with a fever on Wednesday. Yesterday, he was better, but cranky. Ger is working from home so we are alternating watching him. Being sent home means he will be home today as well, per day care policy.
I am trying to fill the spaces in my day, because it is in quiet moments that I feel the worst. So yesterday I attacked the master bathroom, clearing clutter and expired medications. It served as an adequate distraction, but then at the end of the day I was sore. Guess I need to heed the doctor’s advice to take it easy.
I joined a private Facebook support group for parents who have had pregnancy or infant loss, hosted by the hospital. Scrolling through the posts, I’m not sure if it will do a lot for me but I will give it a try.
Today marks one week since my world was shattered for a second time.
Over the past few days, I have uttered the phrase “Well, last time this happened…” I hate it. I hate that I have a point of reference, a comparison, to what I am going through. In talking to friends, in talking in therapy, it comes up over and over. “Last time this happened.” There is no escape.
I hate other comparisons as well. I hate that because of the medical line drawn in the stage of my pregnancy that they are treated differently. That Nelle had more paperwork from the funeral home. That Nelle has more “stuff” – gifts I had received and other things. My entire pregnancy with Iris, I was so terrified that something would happen that I did not buy anything. Nothing to pack away. Except for one teddy bear that I had purchased for her. I have been sleeping with it for the past few nights.
They each have a box of items now. Mementos from the hospital. Cards. Funeral home paperwork. Ultrasound photos. For Nelle, I have the t-shirt that I wore bearing the announcement “It’s a girl!” For Iris, I have the two t-shirts for the boys saying “1 of 3” and “2 of 3”.
I went to therapy again today and will head to my third session of the week on Friday. For this week, I need that. I feel so isolated and alone in my grief and it is a way for me to sort through the magnitude of emotions that I am feeling. This time, I feel that grief is making me physically ill.
There I go again… “this time” in comparison to “last time”…