Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A heartbeat

Such a curious thing.  Something we all take for granted. We all just assume that our family members will be alive when you and they wake up. These things don't happen to me.
 No matter how hard I try, I cannot go to sleep without checking on Emily.  I have to place my hand on Emily's chest and feel her heart beat.  Feel it pounding away under my hand.  It doesn't matter that I saw her move, or saw her take a breath, until I feel that pounding I cannot go to sleep. 
Sometimes I can feel this baby move around all over inside of me, kick and punch, whatever they do in there and I know its alive but I get this fear that it no longer has a heartbeat.   It doesn't go away, it doesn't matter that I can feel it, I can't rest, or relax until i pull out my doppler and hear it.  I have to hear that thump thump thump or I can't get away from the fear.
I can remember so many times feeling Megan's heart just beating against my own while she would lay on my chest and cuddle.  She had a beautiful beating heart that morning.  Then she had a nap and no more beating heart.  No more rise of her chest.  No more Megan.  Gone.  Her body was there but the blood was no longer pumping through her body. 

It doesn't matter how many times I feared something would happen, its nothing you ever expect.   Hearts aren't just supposed to stop. 
I look at myself in the mirror and sometimes I hate myself.  How did I let this happen? It has to be my fault.  I missed something.   Sometimes I can't even bear to look at myself.   Sometimes I stare  and try to come to terms with the knowing that I am and will forever be that person who is truly going thru every parents worse nightmare.  Sometimes I think about how I did everything I could, she was happy, she was healthy, she was loved and I did not fail her. 

Maybe having another baby wasn't the smartest idea I have had.  Some days I feel like it won't be so scary, so hard and others I don't know how I will manage.  I don't hold other peoples baby's anymore.  In some ways I feel like I'm bad luck.   I don't want to hold someone elses kid while I no longer hold mine.  The last baby I remember holding after Megan died, I could not relax.  I could not stop moving this child to make sure it was breathing, its heart beating.
I held my daughter in my arms, while her heart beat, and i also held her while it did not.  I held her in my arms and  I loved her with all that I am. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I don't get it

I still cannot post on blogger comments.  It is doing the same thing as yesterday.  I choose the google option to comment, log in, get my hated captcha, proceed and straight back to the google sign in.  Over and over and over.  Im getting so beyond frustrated.  Is anyone else having this issue?
It appears to only be people that have certain commenting ways for lack of a better word.  If i comment at the bottom of a page instead of a window popping up or going to a new page to comment I'm  unable.  Its driving me crazy as you can see.  Crazy I tell you.

* seems to be a issue with those of you that require catpchas the most. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blast from the past

The blog I wrote the night my husband deployed in July 09.

Heartbreaking. Who knew all those worrys i had........... would be just the opposite and now I'm trying to desperately make sure people don't forget her.

Things change so quickly

Here it is 4am and I'm wide awake with tears streaming down my face. Both of my girls are asleep, content with all in the world. No real idea what this year will have in store for us. Michael has left for deployment number 2.

I spent the entire night watching him breathe, knowing it was the last time for a long time that I'd get to cuddle with him. Running my fingers through his hair, just touching him as much as I could. Barely closing my eyes because I just couldn't miss a second, hoping just maybe that if I didn't close my eyes this perfect day would never end. It was a perfect day, full of hugs and laughter.
It is so unbelievably hard to comprehend that yet again he will miss everything. There will be no first tooth from Megan, no walking Emily to her first day of kindergarten, no watching Megan take her first steps. They grow so fast and its just heartbreaking to know that he has to miss it all. Sure I can take pictures, I can email but its not the same. It will never be the same, you can never get those moments back.

I am lucky that this time I'm close to family, means I won't be able to hermeitize myself to much. This is my best friend, my confidante, my hero, my love and I can't imagine how tough this year will be. Already the well intentioned " I don't know how you can do this" comments have started. You do it because you have to do it. What are my options? I don't have options, I do it because it must be done, because its the cards we have been dealt.

My best friend, we've been through so much together. 13 years. We got together so young and we've never looked back, who will i talk to now? Who is going to step in and take over when I need a break. Its going to be a lonely year, because even though we will be able to talk some, you can't talk about downers, you can't talk about things that have gone wrong because what they do over there? Nothing, it'll just make them feel worse so you keep it, you cry to your girlfriends and you shout and scream in to your pillow hoping your children don't hear you and ask whats wrong.

How do you make sure that a 10 month old isn't going to forget her father? This isn't going to be like it was last time, last time the kid was older and could look at pictures and understood but didn't understand at the same time of what was going on. This time, this time I have to hear the heartbreaking sobs from a 5 year old because she doesn't remember waking up and telling dad bye. This time I have to experience every single one of Megan's majors firsts all by myself. I have to think of ways to tell Michael about them that won't make him to upset. How do you make sure a 10 month old doesn't forget?

I don't want him to go...

She didn't want him to go either.
Watching Fireworks with daddy.

Just hanging out

Safe in daddy's arms

My family

My Hearts.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I couldn't go on without my child

Something every single one of us suffering loss has heard.
You couldn't do it?

We don't have the choice not to. 
We are no stronger than you.
We don't suffer any less.
I do not feel inspirational.  I do not feel like my writing should/would/could give anyone hope or understanding.  I do not feel strong, I feel weak.  I feel lost, I feel pain that no person should ever have to endure.   I feel guilty, I feel like I didn't do enough.   I didn't do a good job, she died.  On my watch.  I can look at any family and wish that it was your child and not mine.  Not because I'm a perfect mother, but because I am not strong, I am human..  I could wish this upon my worst enemy, I could wish this upon a friend, I could wish this upon anyone if it gave me my daughter back. 

I could be the one who  remembers your child every day, I could be the one who find ways to honor your child, I could be the one who holds you and grieves with you and cries with you.  Then at the end of the day,  I could go home. I could grab my children into my arms and hold them close and breathe them in and thank God that this nightmare is not mine. 
Maybe you would  be more inspirational, maybe you would be able to handle this better.   What kind of person says that? One who has been thrown into the depths of darkness, one who is so lost and weary. 
You say I'm strong and I say I'm weak.   The person that I was when she was alive would never wish something like this upon another person.   I've changed.  I'm not innocent in life anymore.  I don't feel safe because I know now that at any moment anyone of us can die.  I know now that I can never think to myself that It won't happen to me.  I'm not safe.  No one is safe.

You can never imagine your life without your child until it has happened.  We all wish we could die, cease breathing at some point in this grief journey.  Feeling like you can't go on is inevitable.  It is part of grief, it is part of the process. 

You can't walk away from life.  I'm not a quitter but it doesn't make it easier.  I'm not going to take a pill that will numb my grief.   I do not always allow myself to grieve like I am today.  I embrace these feelings, this pain.  I know I am not abnormal.  I know that everything I feel and say is something, someone, somewhere else has thought and gone through as well. I say the things out loud others are to scared to say sometimes.
We aren't supposed to have these thoughts, these envious moments because your child is alive is and mine is not.  Grief doesn't allow tidy clean emotions. 

You don't have a choice to not go on on without your child.  Time doesn't stand still.  People move on and you have to as well.  You have to find hope, love and happiness again.  It will find you no matter where you are.  No matter how many times you push it away, it always creep in.   Accepting it is the hard part.   It is like riding a roller coaster, highs and lows.   Its scary at times.   One moment I'm writing a "How blessed I feel" post, a "Please help me honor Megan by donating post" and then a few days later I'm so low, so lost and angry and hurt that I can't stop crying.  I can't stop missing her.  I can't stop staring at her beautiful face even though my face is full of snot from crying so much.  

I am a person who is dealing with grief.   I am a person who writes because It helps me breathe, helps to know others are reading what I write.   Not because I'm inspirational, but because I'm real.  I'm real, and I'm human.  I and every other person in these "shoes" did not choose this.  We were like you, oblivious.  These things happen to other people.  Then it happens to you and your world is shattered.  Hope is shattered.

There are days where I can feel nothing but hope, happiness and love in my life, now.  There are days where I can think of Megan and feel so blessed that she was part of my life as short as it was.  I made her smile so much, I made her laugh.   The days are  more good than bad now.

Today is not that day.  Today I just want to hold her in my arms again.  I want to hold her close again.

***I'm editing to add something that was brought to my attention. It is not my intention to make this sound like I would bargain with the Devil to get her back. I'm simply putting something up that is not politically correct. This is not how we are supposed to behave, think. It comforts me to know others have dark thoughts, and I imagine it comforts others to know they are not alone. Whats done is done. We can't go back. Nothing can be changed. I just don't want others to feel alone like I did. I felt guilty for so long just because of my thoughts.  Feeling guilt over my daughters death is enough pain. 
I am in a better place now, which is why I can write about these things.  I just don't want people to feel alone or ashamed.
Just like I want others to know that it gets easier. Not the pain of losing them, not the grief, but the learning to accept happiness and hope again. That gets easier and with that life becomes easier.

Today is one of "those" days

I feel like I can do nothing but cry.
I don't want to be breathing.  I don't want to be alive and feeling this pain, but not feeling this pain will never happen.
Today the pain is just overwhelming my senses.  I'm sure the added hormonal influences from pregnancy are not helping. 
I'm tired.
Today is just one of those "I give up days".  I plan on doing nothing but crying because what choice do i have?  Today I need the tears and anger and grief.  I need to let it all out.
I miss my daughter so much.   I miss everything about her.  If these things are going to happen to people why can't they give us warning? I'm running out of new pictures to look at, everything is the same pictures.  I don't get anything new with her in it and I hate it.  I never get to hear her voice again, I never get to hold her close, I never get to see her grow up because its all been taken from me. 

I'm so blessed right?
Today I'm just sad and its a heavy burden.  I want to lie on the floor and cry.  Today I want to scream and curse.  Today is a day to let the tears run freely.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I am blessed.

I am blessed.
I have a beautiful, sweet, vibrant daughter who is 6 1/2 years old.
I have a husband who has always stood by me, always been there for me.  My best friend in life.
I have family that is always there to pick me up when I fall.  I have family to wipe my tears when I cry.  
I have friends who listen, who know my pain.  I have people who love me and have never met me in real life.  People I can reach out to anytime of the day and say crazy things, hurtful things, how lost I am, how scared I am, how angry.   Dark moments are inevitable after losing a child.   Would I ever take my life?  No.  Have I thought about it? Who hasn't in some sort of way?  Who hasn't thought to themselves, "I don't have the strength to get up today?"  "Please God, I don't want to wake up anymore" There is always a  point in your grief where you don't know if you can get back up. 
Yet you do.  You will. 
I have always strived to be as honest as I possibly can in this blog. 
It doesn't mean I need drugs or doctors.   It is one person saying these feelings are normal.  They are part of grief.  They are part of this journey.  Some people immediately turn to God, some immediately turn away.  Some eventually find their way back.  The whole circle of life.  I cannot abide to think about my daughter, nothing but ashes, nothing but ashes underneath some dirt and without God, what else are you supposed to think?  I need the comfort, I need the hope.
How are you supposed to get over the anger?  I read blogs all the time that are so full of hope, forgiveness.  It just doesn't seem real because it isn't real to simply accept everything that happens. 
If i did not have moments of all this grief and anger and pain I would not be able to function.  I would not be able to move on, to rebuild.  

If I didn't feel, I would be dead inside.
I am not.  
I am blessed.  I spent 18 months with a special little girl who stole every ones heart.  I spent a lifetime with her.  Her lifetime.
I am blessed because to not be, would be to have never known her and that isn't something I can imagine. 
She filled my life with so much happiness, but there is other happiness out there and learning to accept it again, learning that its ok to be happy again is one of the hardest lessons anyone on this journey goes through. 
I am still me, I have always cried on a dime, I have always loved with all my heart.  

I realize that I may never feel complete again.  I realize that I  may never  feel  completely safe again.  A part of my heart is missing.  I am learning that it does get easier with time.  Not the missing Megan, not the pain or the hurt or the sadness.  But, learning that love and laughter is what makes  my life worth living and it  will never be in short supply.  Learning that the guilt that I will always carry will not always be in the front row of my  mind.  I have hope.  I have a little peace.  I know that I will be ok.  I know that my family will be ok.  It doesn't change the moments of anger and disbelief that yes, this actually really happened to me.
It really truly happened.   Its not a dream I will ever wake up from.

 Happy Mother's Day, to my friends and my family.  A special hug and prayer for those of us missing our mothers and our children.  I know my daughter and my mother are watching over me as I write this.  I know that this sadness I feel right now will not last all day.  I choose to accept this moment of pain so that I can laugh and play Guess Who with Emily later.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Megan Olivia Mcphee

Megan Olivia Mcphee  <<< this is the fundraising page I started for Megan.

For months I have agonized over wanting to do something to honor Megan's memory. Yesterday I found something that will just be perfect for us. Emily and I are walking for Team Megan! We are fundraising for "The Tears Foundation". A wonderful foundation that reaches out to those newly bereaved family's and aims to help with the financial aspect of their child's death.

The TEARS Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that seeks to compassionately lift a financial burden from families who have lost a baby by providing funds to assist with the cost of burial or cremation services.We believe that every baby's life deserves to be honored and memorialized in accordance with the grieving parents' wishes and are committed to helping bereaved parents with this experience.
We also believe that every grieving parent deserves access to ongoing bereavement support. Therefore, we also offer parents comprehensive bereavement care in the form of grief support groups and peer companions.

As soon as I read about this organization it became important to me to help. The TEARS Foundation's Rock & Walk sounded like such a perfect way to honor Megan. Close to home helps as well. I am still wading through the information on how I would start my own "Run for a reason" for the SUDC.org, but that will take lots of time and planning and simply I'm overwhelmed. I will need to reach out to friends that have done this before and get their help. For now, this walk has me so very excited. I've never been a good fundraiser kind of gal but should be a perfect place to start. This is important to me, losing a child is the worst pain imaginable. Being unable to pay for their funeral..... This organization helps, reaches out, takes people into their arms and gives such a small amount of peace to people hurting.

When I first started thinking about this, I let my insecurities take hold. "I don't want to do this unless someone else will do it with me." Took me about an hour to shake that and say "I am doing this, even if Emily and I do it alone." " We will walk, we will remember, and heck... we get tshirts with Megan's name on it. We will walk and we will remember.

So if you are able, any little bit helps. Thank you so much for your support. I'm so very excited :) and hopeful and proud.