October 10, 2008

The Talk....

Dear Friends,

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.

With Love,

Leah



31 comments:

Not the Norm said...

Leah,

I don't know you and I just happen to come across your post. I want to tell you that I am deeply sorry for your loss. It is hard when other tell you they know how you feel but I know they can't because everyone feels differently. I have no advice but for you to continue praying and talking about your feelings. You will always have a gap in your heart but you will be able to continue living. Live for your son and what his life could have been. Live knowing that for those short days you had a son and will now always be a mother. I will keep your family but more importantly you in my prayers.

Kori said...

You don't know me, but my heart just breaks for you. And Ryan, but mostly for you. You've been through more than anyone should have to go through, and the fact that you get up each morning shows great strength and courage. But you don't have to be so brave. You are entitled to your grief. I am just so, so sorry for ALL your losses.

Bobbie said...

Leah,

Big ((HUGS)), the only thing that helps me live each and every day is to know that my baby is whole and healed and resting with Jesus.

I remember JT's scent fading on everything. There is still some things of his that I haven't washed because well, I haven't.

Grief takes you so many places and on so many different levels. It is scary at times and at times welcome.

Don't hide who you are or what you are feeling. That only makes things worse. Believe me, I have been there trying to be strong for everyone. If you need to get stinkin rotten angry as I call it, then do it. If you need to be sad, then be it.

Sometimes you just have to let it consume you for a minute to get through it. It is ok to grieve and grieve your way for however long you want to. JT passed away May 17th, 2007 and I am still grieving. There is always going to be that piece of you that while it may soften around the edges it will still be there. At least that is how I feel. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of my little Bubba and miss him so much it hurts.

This may not be comforting to you and I am sorry, but, I wanted to give you my view. Just look to Jesus, he'll comfort you. Rejoice in the fact that Christian is healed and whole and he is able to dance, and sing praises to the Lord. It is hard I know but, God has this one for you. Just lay it ALL on Him and He will get you through each hour, minute, and second of each day.

Much love, hugs and prayers,

Bobbie

Tonia said...

Leah, my heart breaks for you. I pray that you will feel God's presence and you will be able to lay your head into his chest with his arms wrapped tightly around you and you will just cry out to him, let yourself sob into our Father's arms. He loves you SO much Leah. You are his beloved!! He is hurting with you but he loves you. He will never leave you alone. - "God I thank you so much for Christian, Lord thank you for the time that Leah was able to spend with him, both inside her womb and after he was born. Lord we thank you for her being able to hold him and kiss him and just love him!! But Lord Leah is hurting, Oh God her arms ache for Christian. Lord I ask that you just wrap your arms around her, Lord help her feel your presence and to know that she isn't alone. You are there Lord. Thank you Lord Jesus, Thank you for being so powerful and being bigger than anything we can imagine. Thank you Lord Jesus for loving us, Thank you." Amen

sea star said...

There are no answers to grief. Moving through the deep pain is a journey, not a destination. My love and prayers for you Leah, I am deeply sorry for your struggle.

Only those who avoid love can avoid grief. The point is to learn from grief and remain vulnerable to love. --John Brantner

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
-- Psalm 34:18

Mrs. Mother said...

Grief is a lonely thing, especially for mothers who are the only ones who really got to know their child. It is Ok for you to feel sorry for yourself. You don't have to be strong for anyone else. Take the time to grieve. Big hugs to you.

Tereasa said...

Dear Leah,

Oh how my heart cries for you!!! I wish there was something I could do to make things better for you!!! I did come along this from Compassionate Friends... I hope it helps!!! God Bless You!!

Anger & Grieving

Anger is but one of many emotional reactions to the painful reality of death. It is important to recognize anger as a natural, human response. If we can allow ourselves to be aggravated, irritated, even angered, by relatively minor life disappointments, we are certainly entitled to feel angry when faced with one of life's most devastating experiences — the death of a child. Anger is not chosen, however, whether to remain angry, to refuse to surrender it or to resolve it ....is a choice.

Even though it is a natural, emotional response and is not willed, anger does have some objectives. Initially, anger is PROTEST — an attempt to ward off a reality which is seen as too devastating to one's own sense of survival. It is an attempt to undo an event which is untimely and unwarranted. This phase of anger is the most acute, the most intense and therefore, perhaps, the most frightening. But anger must be expressed or ventilated in order for it to burn out. The reality of the death must be acknowledged; it cannot be fought or denied.

Anger is a means of RETRIEVAL. It craves a target. It may be directed at the doctor, at God, at oneself, or even at the deceased. Anger seeks to locate the author of the death with the hope that somehow our deceased child can be retrieved. This desire to retrieve or to have our dead child return to life continues for some time. Anger continues to feed the hope that somehow the death can be reversed. What eventually must be accepted is not only that the death has occurred but also that it is irreversible. As unfair and untimely as it is, the death cannot be undone.

Anger is a means of CONTROL. Anger erupts when we have lost control. It is an emotional response designed to regain control. It is a defense against accepting one's own sense of impotence. This helplessness may be the most painful dimension of a beloved child's death. Anger must be vented and burned out before we can, or in order for us to, get close to our helplessness. Our impotence to change the event needs to be accepted.

Once we can accept anger as a natural, human response, we can focus on its proper or improper expression. Instead of talking of good or bad ways of expressing anger, I prefer to speak of constructive or counter productive means of expressing anger. Constructive expression leads toward some form of resolution or dissolution of anger, while counter productive venting perpetuates, perhaps even magnifies, the effects of the death of a child.

Constructive venting of anger includes verbal and non verbal means. It is important for people to have permission to verbalize their most intense feelings of anger, regardless of where the anger is targeted. Anger at God is as permissible as at any other target. If we give thanks to God for good times, it seems only natural that God would bear the brunt of at least some of our anger. It is also permissible and common that our dead child receive some of our anger. Even if the words must be yelled or screamed, the expression is healthy and therapeutic. The only caution may be to be in the company of someone who is understanding and accepting of our needs to verbalize the full intensity of our anger.

Anger can also be ventilated non-verbally. Crying itself can be a release of anger, especially the more intense and uncontrollable crying. Crying is a natural means of releasing frustration, helplessness, pain. Allowing ourselves to do those things which force the tears are good things to do: listening to music, looking at pictures, doing things that remind us of our child. Often these are avoided so that we will not cry, but they are a natural means of reinforcing the reality. Other non verbal means of expressing anger include physical exercise (running, walking, golf, tennis). The more physically demanding the better, because it forces a deeper physical release of stored up anger. (Scrubbing floors, washing walls, chopping wood, pounding nails are also good).

But there are counterproductive ways of dealing with anger. Repressing it so that it cannot come out is a common means. Displacing it on people who are either ignorant of the death or who are unable to understand the origin of the anger is counterproductive because it drives people away, causing even greater emotional isolation. Displacement may include being critical, harsh or even cruel to family members or friends for no apparent reason. Other counterproductive means include excess alcohol and drug abuse. Smoking or eating may increase. All of these make oneself the target of the anger, decreasing one's self esteem and self worth. Some may idealize their child, making him or her perfect or more than human. This can be a cover up for anger at the dead child which is too painful to express. Vengeance or taking the law into one's own hands is counterproductive. However, seeking justice through proper channels is a legitimate and potentially constructive outlet.

It is important to understand that people vary greatly in their experience of anger. Some people are said to have short fuses and erupt with very little provocation. Others are said to have the patience of a saint and are slow to anger. People also vary in their expression of anger; some find it easy while others find it difficult. These differences need to be respected so that people are free to pursue the most fitting expression of anger for themselves.

Anger must be expressed along with other emotional responses in order for it finally to be put to rest. Anger must be resolved if we are ever to be at peace with the fact of our child's death. Unexpressed anger leads to unresolved anger, which in turn leads to bitterness and sometimes depression. Bitterness is when a person's entire view of life is tainted and distorted. A bitter person is one who refuses to see the beauty and goodness and joy which, in spite of the tragedy of a child's death, still constitutes much of life. Indeed, the occasion of those qualities being restored in our life is a living tribute to the importance and lasting value of our child's life.

The goal of grief is to say goodbye to our child on all levels, to embrace the contribution our child was able to make to life and to exercise gratitude for the life that was, albeit all too short. To identify and express anger as a natural, human response is one of the steps on the way to recovery.

Anonymous said...

Leah,

My heart is breaking in a million pieces for you. I can never begin to imagine what you are going through. I am so angry at god, I do not get it. I JUST DON'T. I have dealt with much death in my career as a paramedic. I still have such a hard time grasping how god could ever decide that it is best to take a child from his mother. And you are an amazing mother. The love in your eyes for your son touches my soul.

Your son is gorgeous. And I hope your memories provide you with comfort. And that you and Ryan can embrace each other through this difficult time. I wish I could take your pain away. To even take some of your burden away.

I will be praying for you and that god can take you and carry you through this difficult time.

Footprints

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed He was walking along the beach with the LORD. Across the sky flashed scenes from His life. For each scene He noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One belonging to Him and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of His life flashed before Him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of His life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of His life.

This really bothered Him and He questioned the LORD about it. LORD you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.

The LORD replied, my precious, precious child, I Love you and I would never leave you! During your times of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.


Love,
Patricia

Janelle said...

praying, praying, praying.

Lady-in-the-Making said...

Leah, I am so sorry, Hun.

You're right - being a mother is a more intimate and deep sort of bond. While I am in no way negating Ryan's grief whatsoever - it IS different for you. You carried Christian. He began his life inside of you. It is only natural that you, his mother, would be most grieved.

I would like to gently suggest something to you. Perhaps it would help for you to see a counselor. It might help you sort through the morass of depression, anger and bitterness you're feeling. I know of a wonderful counselor here in Naples so please email me if you'd like her name. (She takes our insurance at the fire dept.) My email is Ladyinthemaking@embarqmail.com.

I'm thinking of you and praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Leah,
I have read your blog faithfully, and quite honestly, I was concerned when you hadn't blogged in so long...not that you need to keep us informed, but it told me that you were struggling so hard to come to grips with life. I feel your pain at only the smallest level and yet, my heart breaks for you and Ryan. How can you get over the loss of a child??? I know I don't have answer and don't really know if ANYONE does. I have clothes hung in my grandchildren's playroom that belonged to my great baby niece. They know who they belonged to and that she was special to our family. Every birthday and Christmas, we place Barbies, stuffed animals and balloons on her grave. I don't want them to dwell here, but I do want them to know that another little just their age was once and forever will be a part of our family.
I still pray that there can be children for you...not that anyone will replace sweet Christian. But I do believe it may take just what you have lost to fill the giant hole in your heart, and you were meant to be a mom if anyone on earth is. I pray that you will reopen the idea of another baby soon.
Although we have not met, I feel as though I know your heart, and mine is so sad for you. I am sure every breath you take is still painful. It is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of the deepest love in the world. After all Christian was a part of you, and you loved him more than your own life. Remember, when cry, God cries with you. He is sad when you are sad. He loves you like you love Christian.
Prayers,
Gale

Denise said...

Leah,

Just lean on God and feel every bit of the grief you are experiencing. You don't have to cover up! You lost your son and you are not expected to just move on as if this was only significant for a short period of time. You can only move through grief by allowing yourself to experience it. People always say "God won't ever give you more than you can handle" but that isn't true! God will give us more than we can handle because it is at those times that we turn to him to "carry" us through. We can't do it by ourselves, we can only get through it with his help! Trust God to help you, tell him everything you are feeling, even if it's ugly, he can understand and he will carry you! Many people are praying for you and your husband. We will continue to pray!

Penny said...

Leah,
I was so glad to see your post, just to know that you are stillprocessing and making your way through the dark. I wish there was something that I could do or say to make all things better. But I know that there is nothing right now that can "make all things better". Your grief is yours and yours alone. There are others who may grieve "with" you but you alone bare the weight. As a fellow IF'er (infertility woman) we carry such a burden. Mine was just the way it was, nobody "did" anything to make me broken. That guilt and shame I wore for years. Yes we did overcome it but it never goes away.

I think right now you are right where you need to be. Trying to be someone else is all for the benefit of others. Not many people understand or even feel comfortable in the pressence of a grieving Mom. It is too bad, we all just want to be able to talk about and remember our babies. Having new life in your family is a wonderful thing but for a Mom that has empty arms it can only bring sorrow. I am so sorry that you are dealing with this another blow. Unintended but a blow, give yourself time and don't feel pressured to put on a happy family face. Be honest and tell them how you feel.

I noticed the new layout and black background...... that was how I felt for months after we lost Mackenzie..... just black. I lived in the dark for months. Even though I did have other children to hug I couldn't draw myself out of the pit I had fallen into. After failed attempts at IVF and a diagnosis that I should never attempt pregnancy again because of thyroid issues I tumbled even further. I prayed for God to give us the last piece of our family puzzle. That came in the form of a phone call from an aquaintance who would eventually give us the greatest gift of all our Rainbow baby.

I hope you can find some peace and at some point soon see God's grace in all this for your lives.

I am praying for you both everyday.........

Anonymous said...

Leah,
I am so sorry. I read your blog all the time. My son is one week to the day older than yours. it breaks my heart that he is not here with you. I so want you to be a mother of an earthly child as you sound like you are an amazing mother. I hope it is not rude of me to mention this but I hope you are not giving up and you will try again. I lost my daughter five years ago as she was born asleep for no apparent reason. I went through months of thinking it must have been my fault...the wine I drank when I did not know I was pregnant...the candy bar I ate or the lack of exercise. I drove myself into a deep depression and I too felt that it was impossible for anyone to understand how I felt. I had felt my daughter kick the day before she was born at 38 weeks. I too asked why me and still have not gotten an answer. It used to drive me crazy when people would tell me that they understood. No one understands what we have been through. Please do not give up, as hard as it is to pick yourself up off the floor please try again.

-Carlie

mother to:
Brooklyn-our heavenly daughter

Ellie-our joy (adopted from Kazakhstan)

and

Jackson- our miracle baby boy (I was 43 when he was born)

fire0513fly@aol.com said...

Just felt the need to stop by again and give you a big hug. I do not know you but, I can not seem to get you out of my head and heart. Many hours have been spent praying for you to find some sort of peace today, tomorrow...slow steps to find your way out of the despair you are feeling.
Love,

Patricia

Jennifer Burgett said...

Leah,
Your post breaks my heart and I wish I could scoop you up and take it all away. But unfortunately I can't. Reach out for God. He will show you the answers. . . some day. He has a plan that is much better than our plan.

Be still and know that He is God.

Praying for you,
Jennifer

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doaHIOXIhH0&feature=related ~ I hope this song can provide you with some comfort.

Anonymous said...

Leah
What does one to say to a Mother who lost her precious son? I don't know.
What I do know is that you have not been on this journey alone. The poem foot prints in the sand, comes to mind.
You carried you precious son under your heart. Now he lives in that very heart. Your strength, nothing compares to that.
Share your feeling and emotions with Ryan. I bet he to is holding in emotions.
Christian was created in love. Because he was so beautiful. That love has to be beautiful.
Guilt, well kick it to the curb. I don't think there is a right or wrong way to grieve. And when you are ready to see Ryan's sister baby. Well that will be the right time. You decide. I would bet no one will rush you, (except you ) You are an incredible person.
Don't give up on tomorrow. You have to much to offer to this world. Wish I knew something motivational to say. But you are an incredible person. (Perhaps if you have not already...grief counselling. If that will help. You decide. Just a thought)
No matter what you are not alone.

Hugs
Lisa

Becky said...

Leah - Three years ago my youngest daughter lost a child through miscarriage. She has really been struggling lately. We sat out on our porch the other night and talked and I commented to her that she was the one who knew that baby intimately, because it was within her. No one else carried that little life and Jordan felt every second of pain as that child was expelled from her. I wish I would have read your blog three years ago. Maybe it would have helped me understand her pain much better and maybe I would have been more sensitive to her grief. You expressed your sorrow profoundly. I am praying for you Leah.

Rebecca CA said...

I am so sorry for your pain. I wish we had magic to wipe these pains away.

Our sermon on Sunday was about David and living in the cave and how he had lost everything and was relying on God the line our pastor kept repeating is that God does some of his best work in a cave. He is there for you and knows everything you have gone thru and will go thru
Keep praying and tell him how you feel its ok to yell at him and tell him how hurt and lonely you are. He can take it and he will still be right there for you

Tashia said...

Leah,
I am so sorry for you to feel the pain that you are feeling. I am sad that you think you are not coping well. I look at the pictures of your beautiful son and I cry. I can only imagine the heaviness you feel with your empty arms. I have a six month old and just the thought of never being able to hold her just kills me. You are in it, you are grieving, you are the one experiencing it. Grief has no time table. Do not put yourself on one. You will grief in your own time and in your own way. You carried that precious child for 9 months. You grew to love him and to think you would be further along if the grieving process is a diservice to yourself. Cry, scream, stay in bed. Feel the sadness, work through it, put one foot in front of the other and take it day by day. That is all you can do.
I am an emergency services counselor and have seen people in crisis after a loved one died (including a child) or took their own life. I have seen family members expecting them to just get over it. That is just not the way it works. Everyone grieves in a different way.
I wish I knew why God has the plans that he does for us. I wish I understood. I feel angry for you for having to experience this. Of course you are going to be angry. you are going to bounce all over with the stages of grief, it is not a linear thing.
I pray that you will consider trying to have child, not to replace your precious son but because I think God would want you to keep trying and not give up. If you want a child you can hold and to tell about Christian beat down every door you can to get there. Do not be afraid to ask for help.
Tashia civys@yahoo.com

Tashia said...

Leah,
I am so sorry for you to feel the pain that you are feeling. I am sad that you think you are not coping well. I look at the pictures of your beautiful son and I cry. I can only imagine the heaviness you feel with your empty arms. I have a six month old and just the thought of never being able to hold her just kills me. You are in it, you are grieving, you are the one experiencing it. Grief has no time table. Do not put yourself on one. You will grief in your own time and in your own way. You carried that precious child for 9 months. You grew to love him and to think you would be further along if the grieving process is a diservice to yourself. Cry, scream, stay in bed. Feel the sadness, work through it, put one foot in front of the other and take it day by day. That is all you can do.
I am an emergency services counselor and have seen people in crisis after a loved one died (including a child) or took their own life. I have seen family members expecting them to just get over it. That is just not the way it works. Everyone grieves in a different way.
I wish I knew why God has the plans that he does for us. I wish I understood. I feel angry for you for having to experience this. Of course you are going to be angry. you are going to bounce all over with the stages of grief, it is not a linear thing.
I pray that you will consider trying to have child, not to replace your precious son but because I think God would want you to keep trying and not give up. If you want a child you can hold and to tell about Christian beat down every door you can to get there. Do not be afraid to ask for help.
Tashia civys@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

I found your blog from seeing your sons beautiful picture on the NILMDTS website. There is nothing wrong with the way you are feeling. I can only assure you that you will get better. Everyday you will find more stregnth. I lost my own darling little boy three years ago and I was so afraid that I would forget him, but not a day goes by that I don't think about him. One thing that helped me was talking about him. Really talking about him, about his personality, the things I knew about him from feeling him grow inside me. Those are some of the most intimate memories I have of him. I felt that I got to know his sweet spirit better than anyone will ever know and that is what I liked to share about him. Your son will always be a part of your family death cannot take that away. There will always be sorrow and your heart will always ache for him but know that he is ALWAYS your son. The roles are reversed for now...he watches over you until you will be able to watch over him. I wish that I could take away your pain, because no one should ever have to experience this kind of greif. It's ok to be sad, it's ok to be angry, it's ok to feel happy, because that will happen too though it's hard to believe. I wrote it down, the anger, the sorrow, the anguish, I let my pen and paper take all the things that were welling up inside of me. The paper couldn't tell me I was stupid for feeling a certain way, wouldn't tell me that I was being selfish because I wanted my son back. I read your words and felt as if you had taken pages out that book. I know I said it before but you are not alone. I won't lie the pain does not grow smaller, but you will grow stronger. I promise. There will still be tears but you will find the ways to put your pieces back together. Don't be afraid to lean. Don't be afraid to share your tears with someone. There is no one who would blame you.
I know there are days when I will ask "why", but most days I feel so blessed to have what little time I had and grateful that I can say Ian is my son. I really feel I could type forever on the subject and I know there is no real comfort that I can give you. Just take courage you are stronger than you know.


When God Grants Me My Dearest Wish

My Mother you are beautiful
Full of grace and fair
When you held and kissed me
I longed to linger there
Snuggled in your warm embrace
Looking up at your enchanting face
I could have stayed forever there
And never moved my gaze
As I left I ached
That we should have to part
And most of all I grieved
That it should break your heart
Oh my dearest Mother
When my mission here was done
I’d received the greatest gift of all
The chance to be your son
How much I mourn to leave you
How bitter was my task
To leave when I’d just found you
It seemed too much to ask
Oh my dearest Mother
When again we meet
I’ll hug you for each tear you shed
It hurts to see you weep
I’m saving all my kisses until that lovely day
When God grants me my dearest wish
To be with you and stay


This was a poem that my sister wrote for me. I just felt I should share it with you. My heart and prayers are with you.

Courtney said...

I'm so sorry. You are not alone. I walked a similar path and it DOES get better. Try to find a counselor who can help you work through it - that will help. And it's okay to stay away from people having babies or asking to change the subject when infertility issues come up. I had a friend who miscarried 3 weeks after my boy was stillborn (at 32 weeks - mimicked trisomy 18 but they never figured out what it was). I COULD NOT talk to her about her miscarriage and she expected me to. Don't. Take a break from the things that "sting." You will eventually be truly happy for people who have babies and won't want to puke when you see a 13-year-old pregnant when you could raise their baby in a loving, financially-stable environment. It's okay to cry by yourself but you need support, too. Sometimes friends and family can no longer help. Please hand in there and know that there are people thinking about you.

So Blessed said...

Dear Leah,
While it is true that I do not know you, my heart is hurting for yours as I type. You are not selfish, dear one...nothing could be further from the truth. You chose to carry your child and allow him to be born and live for whatever time was ordained for him, even though you knew of his diagnosis. None of us can ever understand why Christian's precious life was so short...and that's the hard part...living with something we don't understand. I pray that God will fill you with the peace that only He can give. Please be gentle with yourself...it has been such a short time (though I imagine it must seem like forever to you) since part of your heart was torn from your body on the day Christian went to heaven. I admire your honesty and courage...it takes both to get through the difficult time of grief work. I wish I had words to comfort you and ease your pain...but, please know that I am thinking of you and lifting you in prayer, along with your husband.

cojlisa16 said...

Leah, I read the words that other moms who have walked your path have written and I pray they are of some comfort to you. Most of us can only imagine what you are feeling, but the moms who have lost a child are the ones who understand. I hope and pray you are able to connect with someone who will help you through your grief. Someone who understands the depth of your loss and who you feel safe to share all your feeling with.

You are very brave, but you are also very sad. I think you are amazing for writing down your feelings because I know they will help someone else at some point.
Actually, I'm sure they already have.

Please know that you are being lifted in prayer and that Christian will always be remembered.

Joy said...

Leah: Be kind to yourself, you have had a horrible,horrible time. I can't even begin to imagine your pain and agony.

Cry when you need too, tears are healing, talk about your precious baby, talk about your feelings, rest/sleep when you can.

We have a group called Stephen Minister's at my church, your very own Christian friend to walk by your side. She will pray for you and with you if that is what you would like and you can tell her your deepest secrets, thoughts and worries and it remains between the two of you.

Maybe they have those in your area?

I don;t know you, you don;t know me, but be assured that I will be praying for you.

Joy
Atlanta, GA

Kristin said...

I want to first say that you might be the strongest person I know, ok I don't know you...I have been blog stlaking you:)...sorry!

Anyway, that fact that you realize that you are feeling this way is so important. I have no idea what you are going through and do not claim to, but I think that you are doing the very best you can. What more can you do??
You are a mom to a wonderful baby boy and I am so sorry that you did not get to spend "more" time with him. I can tell by reading your posts that you are a WONDERFUL mom who loves her son.
Life is hard and I do not have an explanation, but I want you to know that my thought and prayers are with you. I wish you peace! You have handled the past few weeks with such grace, that in itself is a great thing.
Take care of yourself and remember to love your husband. Don't blame yourself for things out of your control...if you can't change it...you need to let it go. I know that is way easier said than done...especially when you don't know me:)!

Tereasa said...

Dear Leah,

Someone sent this to me and I thought of you!!

Saint Theresa's Prayer

May today there be peace within.

May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.

May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.

May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.

May you be confident knowing you are a child of God.

Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.

It is there for each and every one of us.

John & Michelle said...

Leah,
I am so very sorry for your loss. I am unable to carry a child of my own so we are waiting for a baby girl from China. It's been 18 months and could be another 18 before we see her sweet face for the first time. I am sad to and often feel sorry for myself. I am bitter and do my best to avoid friends with young kiddos and baby showers are out of the question. My brothers have kids and I don't see them very often for my own protection. I take it one day at a time and pray for strength every morning. I will keep you in my prayers...
(((HUGS)))
from Illinois,
Michelle

Samantha said...

I am so sorry I can't even imagine the depth of your loss! Take it one day at a time and know that what you are feeling and where you are is where you are meant to be. I am so glad you did get several days with your son. One of my friends lost two of her children to hydrocephaly shortly after they were born. I am sure the pain never leaves you but it will some day be not as raw. Wishing you all the best!