Tuesday, January 3, 2012


I had a friend recently tell me that I am selfish.  Selfish because I disturb Amanda's sleep all the time at night.  I disturb her sleep to make myself feel better.
We have both lost children.  She understands that its scary.  I need to be the bigger person and let her sleep on her own, without poking and prodding her all night.  Bedsharing isn't safe anyways, right.... She would never ever compromise the safety of her child.  *Our children were born within 3 weeks of each other*  Everything she says, sounds so condescending to me.  I'm completely fine with the fact that you are against bedsharing, but please don't tell me I'm a bad mom because I do, and because I do check on my child many times during the night doesn't mean I'm disturbing her necessarily.  She is actually a fabulous sleeper, only wakes maybe 1x a night to nurse.

I'm trying to be the bigger person and not tell her to "Shut her piehole."
It is taking everything in me not to bring up the differences in our child loss.  My child died in their sleep.  My child, a thriving toddler, went to sleep one day and never woke back up.  Her child was born still.  Did  we both lose children? Of course.  Is it heartbreaking no matter what? Yes of course.
Its still different.  Why would she have this insane fear that I and other sids/sudc moms have?  It is different, but I feel bad saying that.  Like somehow I'm dishonoring her child, belittling her loss.  It feels like she is belittling my fears.  I am trying to show her compassion and not shake her.
Loss is loss.
It is different though. 
Her child had a infection.  Her child has a cause of death.  Mine does not.
That right there makes me jealous, whereas I know she is jealous that my child lived for 18 months.  I know this because we have talked about it.  It is human nature.

Am I selfish? I have always believed in bedsharing and breastfeeding and attachment parenting.  I imagine that I always woke up to check on Emily and Megan, the only difference is .... I didn't wake up with the fear, with the choking god awful fear that I'm going to have to hold another child... another dead child in my arms. 

Immunizations, she can't understand whatsoever why I might have a fear of giving Amanda vaccinations.  I'm just following blindly into the propaganda and scare tactics of people who are uneducated and etc.  Hello?! My child died the day after receiving her 4th dpat shot.  I do not have a reason for her death.  I will never know why she died, but you damn well cannot blame me if I choose to delay vaccinations.  Amanda will still receive some vaccinations, not the dpat.  Not for awhile anyways.  They will be done one a time.  I'm not in a big hurry.  I'm not freaking out over them, but I am keeping my options/opinions open. 
I imagine if anyone tried to give one of my children the antibiotic that Megan took shortly before her death, I will have issues with that as well.  My kid died.  Unexpectedly, with no rhyme no reason for it.  Yeah, I'm hesitant and scared.  I'm not stupid.  I do know that some of my fears are just ridiculous.
Emily was baptized, Megan was not....... I feel like i desperately and quickly need to have Amanda baptized.  Ridiculous fear, I know this.

Amanda is 16 weeks old now.  She just started giggling and loves to give up big cheesy smiles.  They just aren't that easy to catch on camera.  This was the tail end of one.
  Emily received her very own Ergo! Love Ergos in this family :)

 Yep, my 7 year is still full harnessed in a car seat :) isn't she just the prettiest?!

Last night Daddy gave Amanda a bath. She is not a big fan.  She is the first child of ours to wholly dislike water.

 This is what happened after ^ the bath.   I was doing dishes and found them <3


Jordan said...

No you are not selfish. I am also jealous of those other bereaved parents who know how or why their child died. I was cosleeping with Tess as I have already told you and swore that I would never let Saylor in my bed. Guess where he is now? In my bed. I feel like a lunatic most days. I am very offended by your friends comments judging your constant checking of your little one. My parents and siblings have kind of teased me about it over the last several months, but they have no idea what it is like to walk in to find a perfectly healthy baby dead. My parents lost an infant. My sister died at 11 months old from heart disease, but they even have acknowledged how different our losses are. They were somewhat relieved (not any less devastated I am sure) because my sister was in so much pain. My baby on the other hand was perfectly healthy. I know exactly how you feel Jennifer and I am so very sorry. I lost a two and a half month old and when I think about you losing your toddler to the same thing.......it baffles me. I think your loss is worse. I can't even imagine. Thinking of you!! You do what you need to do to make it through the day. The ones that understand love us and the others can kiss my big fat you know what.

Susan said...

Oh tell her to sod off - silly moo. Hard to imagine what she would say if you were drinking vodka and going to wild parties to have "me time" ;-)

Your fears are totally understandable. I check M's breathing a lot - and C didn't die inexplicably and I have a cause of death - and it honestly doesn't help. The thing is, I know that children die suddenly, without warning, and I just need that reassurance that M is ok. Losing an older child is a very particular experience. They were healthy - the chance of them dying was tiny - barely worth considering - and our children died. It is just unfathomable.

And people don't get how scary it is for us.. I get told stuff like, well it would never happen again etc etc. and I think - and why not? It happened before.

I think the important thing to focus on here though is how you are coping. I find the checking calming and helpful. I also think the need to do it is lessening over time. I'm much calmer down than in the pregnancy where it wasn't possible to check M when I needed to. I also find I am calmer being away from M now than I was. I have left her with my DH a few times when I've gone out with friends for the evening.

I think if you're feeling horribly anxious - and it's getting worse, or you're having panic attacks, it might be more of a concern.

But you are definitely, definetly not selfish.. x

Geves said...

I think this mother is giving barely half as much thought to your feelings as you are to hers. I know we respect each other in our community of loss, but really she is being grossly insensitive to the particular circumstances in which you lost your little Megan. you know you're not selfish. How can she even say that when protecting your little girl is at the root of what you do? Co-sleeping is great in my experience. Reassuring for Amanda, and for you too.

As for 'irrational' fears, no one else I know, except maybe Susan, will understand the panic I often feel when one of my children is ill. I try and still that voice, but the weight of my experience will always be louder than reason. That's just the way it is, and I'm not going to apologise or attempt to justify it to people who don't have a clue.

Ava's mummy said...

I am sorry that your friend has said these things and upset you so much. I am amazed she can't see how hurtful her comments are.

I too have a cause of death for my child but I still check on her twin and my rainbow lots I promise. I cosleep with my rainbow too and found my way to attachment parenting. I do worry about SIDS/SUDC a lot but cosleeping is the only way for me. I accept that others parent differently and may disagree but it seems so hurtful to critise you.

I agree that our losses are different (Ava lived only 14 hours) but we have all lost. That is the common factor, we miss our children. Surely that should give us a greater understanding of the fears and anxieties that other bereaved parents have. I would hope we would have greater tolerance, not less. Sending you much love and gentleness. xxx

marisa said...

I don't think that you are selfish at all. I think that you are a reat mother who is doing verything she can to protect her children. You are a good friend for not telling her where to go. I am sure that it takes tons of restaint. Don't let her doubt your parenting abilities. Keep doing what you are doing. You children's smile show how happy and secure they are.

michelle said...

Everyone's situation with child loss is different, but loss is loss. Jack had a diagnoses and a very very slow,painful death, noone can posssibly imagine what that was like but niether could I even imagine what happened to you. We all have something that haunts us. I especially now would still be paraniod about SIDS as I am so well aware of "death" now. You are not being selfish and no parent should tell you how to raise your child. ps love the pics, they are beautiful girls.xo

Denise said...

Our son was 10 weeks old when he died in his sleep. I don't like to compare losing a child because all of it is so painful and so different. And people react so differently to death. But, you had a child that was living and breathing one moment, doing her normal routine, napping like she normally does, only one time she didn't wake up. That is so incredibly different than a child born still. It gives you different fears, just as she is going to have fears so unique to yours. I know I'm partially to blame for our now 13 month olds terrible sleep habits, I check on her through the night and through naps far too often, even pulling the car over on far too many occasions because I was sure she had stopped breathing. She has no right to judge you or your fears. After loosing my son, I started checking on my oldest so many times through the night I thought I would go crazy. She's 7 now and I still check on her through the night. You're doing good. Don't let anyone tell you different.

Ashley said...

Don't let people get to you...someone who has never been in our situation does NOT understand.

That last picture is ADORABLE!!!!

Brandy said...

All of your girls are beautiful!!! And you are definitely not selfish! You just love your babies. And have every right to do what you do. How could you not after what you have been through? And nobody should judge you unless they have walked in your shoes. There is no comparing peoples pain and loss. Because all we know is our own. I am praying that God will bring you peace and comfort!

R. Smith said...

You are not selfish one single bit. How dare she have the nerve to say that; she doesn't understand your grief, she doesn't know the hell you went through. No one does, just as no can describe the grief she went through with her loss.
You do what you have to do to make yourself feel better, if that's checking your child 100X a night, so be it. Amanda is obviously not suffering from lack of sleep otherwise you would know it.
As for vaccinations, you already know my feelings on those. If you want to delay or skip all together, that's your business not anyone elses.
In my own observations, the people who give select/delay/non vaxing parents the most grief are those who aren't confident in their own vaccination choices.
You (and your hubby) are the ones who know best for your family in your individual situation, not anyone else.

Tiffany said...

You are a better person than I am. I've been annoyed about this since you emailed me. I would have let her have it. Regardless if you do disturb her sleep or annoy her by checking on her well-being too often, you are doing it because you love your daughter and you are concerned. I find nothing wrong with that. How dare she make you feel bad because you are a concerned mom. Yes no one who has not been in our shoes can understand the lasting impact of losing a child when there is absolutely no cause associated with it. Everything comes into question. I'm sorry you were made to feel bad about the way you are parenting after losing Megan. You are a wonderful mom and it shows.