I know it's been a few days since my last post... I've been processing a lot of frustration and despair...even anger on occasion. On most days, I feel better when I share my feelings through my writing because I have received so much love and support from all of you...but it seems I've just run out of words to write these past several days.
There is a very lonely side to grief that I am learning about these past few weeks. I feel there are days when no one can possibly understand what I'm feeling and I can find no comfort from anyone around me. Even sharing my feelings with Ryan has become difficult to do. I find myself having to check my words just in case I sound bitter or sorry for myself. I don't want to have stress in my marriage so I've kept these feelings to myself. This is not an emotional place I thought I would ever experience. Certainly, I thought it would get easier with time.
Time heals all things, I know... Perhaps, it will even heal my broken heart someday.
But I think time can be so cruel too...
It's been 7 weeks since my son passed away... a lot of time has gone by to help me process my sadness, but to me, this time has been a drop in the bucket. My feelings of loss are just as intense as the day Christian died. Only now, I find myself crying alone... trying to hide the fact that I'm not coping with Christian's death very well.
It's been 7 weeks since my son passed away...and I can't smell him on the clothing he wore at the hospital anymore... Each day I sit beside his bassinet and touch his things... I smell his caps, booties, onesies... everything. His scent has faded away. I am clinging to anything which will keep my son close to me... and time has not been my friend through this process. My son is gone and I feel so alone.
It's almost as if I've been two different people these past weeks. I've been trying to be upbeat and positive..."moving on with life" so to speak. But, truthfully, it's a cover. I think it's what people expect from me... or, at the very least, I think it makes people more comfortable to be around me. And so that's who I am...publicly. I've learned to be some semblance of the person I was before because I think it makes everyone feel better....everyone except for me, that is.
Inside, I feel as though I am withering away. I've been through a lot this past year... My struggles didn't start with Christian's birth and death... it has been a series of events over several months... and everything is weighing on my shoulders.
My feelings are like an open wound that has started to fester with the infection of bitterness... Unbelievable pain. And I can't stand the way I feel anymore.
Eventually, I had to sit down with Ryan and have "the talk" just as I am now having "the talk" with all of you... Finding the right words to begin with was not easy... I stumbled several times before the words would flow and before I could share the parts of my heart which I have been closing off to the world.
It's seems odd that I would have to remind my husband of what we'd been through all these months, but actually, I had to remind him of what I'D been through... he's been holding my hand from the very beginning...but even he couldn't understand the depth of my injury...not until I shared it with him...
I started reminding him of our journey through infertility...the unsuccessful treatments...the stressful days of overwhelming odds... I reminded him that we didn't have children because of ME... a botched medical diagnostic surgery 4 years ago left me with so much scar tissue that it was a physical impossibility for me to conceive naturally.
When we finally sought the help of another fertility specialist, his candor set the expectations of conceiving children through In Vitro with very low statistical odds... but we forged ahead...we wanted to have children. For me, the pressure of knowing we had an uphill battle was stress immeasurable. I was an emotional mess during that time. So much pressure!
Then, we got pregnant...and we did great... we had twins growing inside me. A reprieve from the emotional turmoil of the previous months and years...and then one of our twins died. Was it something that I did or didn't do... Sadness...disappointment...hurt... all these things I felt. I still feel them to this day. I wonder if my stressful nature helped to contribute to the loss of Christian's twin.
But we had Christian...and I put EVERYTHING I had into my baby boy... I did everything I knew to do to make sure our son would be healthy... but, in April, when we learned Christian was sick with Trisomy 18, life changed in the most dramatic way.
I guess we found our faith at that point... we relied on luck previously...but had no comfort when we became "unlucky". Faith helped us to make the difficult decision to carry our son to full term. I say it was a difficult decision because we didn't have a lot of support early on from our specialists. Carrying a terminally sick baby without much help from your team of doctors is a hard road to travel by yourself. So much uncertainty... Most of what we learned about Trisomy 18, we learned through the Internet and through other families who have experienced the same situation.
And, although our faith has helped to buffer our feelings of despair and surround us with people of amazing courage and strength, I was still hounded by the realization that my child would soon die from a terrible disease.
I carried my child just below my heart for nearly half of my pregnancy knowing that he was terminally sick and there was nothing Ryan and I could do to save him. He would die no matter what.
During those days of my pregnancy, I thought only of my son. I embraced every single day with joy because my son was growing inside me and I didn't want to let him down. Even though my heart was breaking... I wanted to be strong for Christian. I ate well, stayed active, read to him, sang to him, and rubbed my belly as if to reassure him that his mommy was happily awaiting his arrival into this world... even though it meant that saying hello to my son, meant that I would soon be saying goodbye.
I have been through a lot. My whole family has been through a lot. Not to minimize what pain they are feeling, but I have traveled most of this journey alone. Ryan has been beside me 100 percent, but physically I have traveled this journey alone. I am more aware of that now than ever before. Emotionally and physiologically there is much work to be done on my part.
I am trying to unravel all the months of hurt, disappointment, and despair that has gripped my heart. I've put on a "brave" face and have gone on with life, somewhat... I've read books on bereavement and grief. Ryan and I built a memorial garden for Christian. We put pictures of him throughout our home. We've watched videos of him...just so we can be reminded that our son was not a figment of our imagination...that those precious few days were real.
And I've prayed. Oh how I've prayed. I've cried out to God asking him, "Why my son?", "Why us?".... And I am still waiting on the answers...
I am alone. The feeling covers me like a blanket. I don't have other children I can embrace and be thankful for... I have the ashes of my son locked away inside a little brown teddy bear that I hold close to me...wishing it were my son happily gurgling away in my arms. That's it. I have the memories of 4 days and 3 hours with my beloved little Christian. And I am terrified that those too will fade just like his smell from his precious few belongings...
So you see...I've been quiet... trying to sort through these emotions. I am grateful for the support and love...but I am sad. I'm trying not to feel sorry for myself... but, perhaps I am sorry for my self. Should I feel this way? Am I being dramatic or selfish? I don't know anymore. Life is moving on and I am digging my heels in...unable to move forward "for me" yet.
I'm trying to be strong for everyone else...but it's not working for me... I only feel further isolated.
Ryan's sister had her baby on Sunday and I couldn't visit them in the hospital. I am happy for her and her family but bitterness chokes me because I miss my son so badly. I feel terrible.
Everyone is excited about the newest addition to our family and it's as it should be. It's a joyous and exciting time for new parents. I remember vividly how I felt just a short time ago. But my son died... I am not excited. I hate the way I feel.
Good friends of ours are struggling with infertility... disappointing results and another failed attempt. I feel their pain with such intensity because Ryan and I have walked in their shoes. I hate the way I feel.
All these additional emotions compound my feelings of despair.
My friends, I am struggling. Perhaps, the road to healing often has its periods where there are high and low moments and I am just at a low point. I don't know.
I just know that I needed to share with you my journey once more...perhaps you have better insight as to how I'm feeling, what I'm feeling...and hopefully how to get better. Obviously, I don't have the answers.