Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sometimes it just happens.

Lately SIDS has been a hot topic of conversation. Especially since there have been many new articles out talking about it. They are finally making it known that SIDS is not suffocation deaths but now they have the nerve to say, "The majority of SIDS deaths are because of unsafe sleeping environments".


That is such a huge slap in the face to those of us who have lost children. Day cares have pretty high standards and rules. Are we supposed to be putting all the blame on them?  Thats ridiculous. What about all the mommys I know that followed the SIDS rules, baby on back, fans in rooms, baby in their own sleep environment. People that are worried about SIDS do not fill the crib  up with junk. Most of us have been scared to death of SIDS all of our children's lives. It just disgusts me because so many people I know did all the right things and yet their kids still died and now these articles are making out like it is somehow our faults.  Thats how it reads. 
Lastly the moms that co slept. Yes there have been cases of a child being rolled on and suffocated but now they are creating this huge stigma that all co sleeping will cause deaths. Bed sharing.  I don't believe that for a second.   Yes you have to take precautions but I don't believe for one moment that the mothers or fathers I know rolled on top of their children and suffocated them.  This would be suffocation.  This is something that they can find out during autopsy, this is a cause of death. SIDS and SUDC are the band aid answers when they cannot find the cause of death.  I know of one person in my huge baby loss community that this happened to, a bed sharing accident.  Yes there is safe sleeping and bed sharing is not for everyone.  It does not however mean that your child will die if you do it.   Ive stated many times before that I often felt that my own bed sharing with Megan  kept her alive longer.  I had this huge fear of her sleeping alone at night away from me because every time I moved, I moved her as well.  She was constantly waking up out of that deep sleep and readjusting.  Who knew that it would be a nap that would take her away.

The majority of the parents I have met who've lost kids. Lost them in day cares, in cribs alone at night or nap times, in swings, and only a few were actual bed sharing when it happened. The majority of them were alone. Alone. My child was alone and it is something I and I'm sure many others regret every single moment of our lives. 

I understand that with a older child dying it jades my opinion a tad. I can't just think "oh it couldn't roll, got stuck etc". My healthy active vibrant 18 month old who could walk and talk and jump died. You cannot tell me there were unsafe sleeping circumstances involved. Her face on my bed created no alarm. Nothing was amiss when I walked in that room. Nothing was near her face but the mattress. Nothing screamed out at me this is wrong. What was unsafe about that? Yes she was on her stomach.  She was 18 months old, after what 5 months you no longer have the control to keep them on their back.  She had no blankets on her, she was not near pillows. She was peaceful. If a healthy active 18 month old can die this way then why in the hell are people making other moms feel bad about their younger ones dying? Well you co slept, well you had that bear in the crib, well you didn't have a fan, you let them sleep on their stomach. You had bumpers!

We are all already suffering and I hate that these new articles that I'm reading are so condescending. Someone reading this who has not gone through what we have is thinking to themselves, "they should have known better. Its their fault." 

Like we don't put enough blame on ourselves as it is. Like we don't battle the "What ifs." Daily, we mothers battle the what ifs. Lets just keep kicking us while were down. Give us one more reason to feel like others think its our fault.  We did something wrong.

Sometimes the unimaginable happens and there is no way to prevent it. Nobody wants to hear the truth of that so lets just keep saying other things. Kids don't just die.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Grief doesn't end

It does change, but it will never end.

I have often wondered why I don't see many people write about the depth of pain they still feel even over a year or years.  Time passes by but the hurt never goes away.  I think I'm starting to see the reason.  We don't want to share anymore.  Its not that we don't hurt, that our pain isn't still overwhelming, but we are tired.   Every single time I share some of my grief, give someone a glimpse of my pain that I still feel and will feel forever.  I get the, "I hope you are seeing a grief counselor." Effectively shutting me down and letting me know you don't want to hear about it anymore.  You are over it.   You know you can't fix this so lets just back to the new normal where we only talk about other stuff.

Thats why grief changes.  I find myself holding in my sadness much more than I used to.  I want to share, I want to write but I'm tired.   Why is a grief counselor every ones cure all?  I don't want to talk to someone who does not know me.  I am a functioning, thriving person.  I enjoy life again, my daughter is not suffering because I cry now and then.  She is well taken care of, as will the new baby be.   My sadness however is still valid.  My 18 month old daughter died.  She died. 

My children are my world. I had no idea before this happened that I would be able to go on, to carry on and function and be happy.  I held her in my arms and I loved her with all I am.   It hurts me when people go out of their way to not mention her . She was here.   I had such a short lifetime with her, that it isn't fair to not mention her.   Maybe it was so others around us wouldn't ask questions but I'm far enough in my grief now that I can tell people a short synopsis of her story without crying. 

This baby isn't a fix it all.  I will not be miraculously cured of my grief and sadness when its born.   Will it help? I'm sure it will but it will not cure me.   It doesn't replace her.  I know I will love this baby like I have loved my girls, but now the fears  that are valid are so strong.  I'm no longer that carefree mom.  I have suffered every parents worst fear.   I'm about to do it all over.  When your child hits a year we all just let out this huge sigh of relief.  I don't get to do that.  I should have an almost 3 year old but instead I'm starting all the way over and I'm scared.

People don't know what to say.  I wrote about the sadness I was feeling the other day in one of my online groups and a friend said this.  "I always think that when you grieve, not only do you have your own anguish, but you also have to help other people who don't know what to say or how to act. It's like you have to deal with what you are struggling through, and still be a help to everyone else who doesn't know what to say."  It is such a true statement.  I just want to be able to talk about her.   I want people to know that when I say "I'm sad."  Its because of her, because I miss her and that is the simplest way for me to say it.  I feel like shutting down sharing because this is how I cope.  I want people, like me, to read and understand that what you are feeling is normal.  I want people to know that it doesn't end even when the depth of pain is no longer wrote about.  Grief changes, it gets easier to handle as the days go by.  Yet its also harder to acknowledge it with the time passing by because people figure you should be over it.  You were normal yesterday, happy and laughing.

Its the little things that set you on a remembrance journey.  For me it was someone I respect not wanting to mention her and that pregnancy.  I also can't stop looking at the picture of Megan I took when I brought her in to the ER.  8 days before she died.  Why did no one see it, why were there no clues.  She was there, they should have caught it, this damn whatever that took her away from me.   (Picture is below)

I hurt because I love her. 
I miss her.  If I was struggling to live life, then thats when you mention grief counselors.  If I make it clear I didn't want to talk about her then thats when you  stop mentioning her.  Now? I'm ok.  I want her mentioned.  Even if its just a fly by.  

This new baby deserves to be ahhhhed and oooghhed over but It is so hard for me to completely accept that.  It feels like I'm accepting the fact that no one will mention her anymore.  No one comes out and says this baby is her replacement but I can't help but feeling that when you don't say her name.   I can only count on a few people to say her name.  Emily being one.  She is also the only one I want to share because some of those that never mention her are people that should before anyone else.  

My grief is no longer suffocating, but it is still there.  I don't need people to fix it, I just need you to listen and to care.  I don't share as much as I used to.  It makes people uncomfortable after what already feels like a long time.  This is my new normal.  It is ok for the most part, but sometimes..... I need to cry, I need to hurt.   I need to sob and scream about the unfairness of it all.  I need to know that her memory lives on, that people won't forget her.   I have 2 girls.  I promise I won't break when mention her, remember her.  

I am always wowed when friends write her name in the sand for me.  It is something that I never really expected to take off but so many people do it for me.  My 2 good friends made shirts recently to run a race to remember Megan.  Crowns and tutus.  My cousin Erin runs marathons with her picture on her back.  I do know people think of her and remember her, but why does it feel like the people closest to me don't?  Every single thing people do to remember her humbles me.  Taking pictures of her name in the sand, in blocks, in grass, wherever you find her name... etc its perfect.  I appreciate it so much.  I miss my girl.  I miss what was.  I know that people remember her but sometimes its hard and sometimes the pain overwhelms and I don't see everything that people do to remember.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I'm alive

Figured I'd post a quick update since its been awhile.  
I have taken a small break from writing and being on the computer, trying to limit my time right now and just being busy. 
I miss Megan.  I am 29 weeks pregnant and things seem to be going fine.  I failed my 1 hour glucose test by 5 points and then took the 3 hour and passed with flying colors.  There is nothing quite like the fear of being told "OMG i can no longer eat ice cream and chocolate" to shake things up in the pregnancy world.  Thankfully all was good. 

I wonder how things will be when this baby comes.  I wonder if I will be able to relax and just enjoy it or if all the fears I feel now will be so overpowering that I end up getting locked up in the looney bin.   I'm still having my thoughts of wanting to do things differently.   I've decided no matter what I'll still breastfeed even though I was on the fence for awhile, but I love it so much, I can't give up that bond.   Sleeping with baby is really on the fence, I just don't know.  I've never been able to sleep without them close and now that Megan died sleeping ALONE I simply don't know what to do.   In one way I want to almost not connect as closely to this baby as I did with the girls, so that maybe, if and when it dies it won't hurt so much.   I know how silly it sounds but you can't really stop the thoughts from coming.    I've also still been looking for a job but I'm obviously quite unattractive in the job market since I haven't worked since 2003 and I have no skills.  I think If I could find one, I would likely keep it after baby as well and put baby in daycare which I've never ever contemplated doing with any of the other kids.  Yet, I do not want to be the one who finds a dead child again, I do not want to be the one who has to hold a lifeless child and call 911 and give CPR. 

Since, I don't seem to have any job prospects and etc I don't see anything changing anytime soon.