Permanently Damaged

August 8, 2008

I am scared that I’m never going to recover from losing my boys. 

I worry that I am permanently damaged from this whole experience.  I know that I am not the same person I was March 10th.  I rationalized the loss of Baby A.  He was sick and we were going to lose both Baby A and B if we didn’t have the surgery.  So we did.  I was connected to him but he was gone before I really “knew” him.  I don’t know if that makes any sense.  I found out he was a boy the same week he was gone.  I never really even called him by his name.  I think it was a defense mechanism because I knew he was going to die.  Still, it doesn’t make the loss any easier.

On top of that, I just can’t wrap my head around the loss of Baby B.  He was perfect and healthy and growing and developing.  And then he was gone.  I called him by his name for 5 weeks.  I talked to him, sang to him, told him about Baby A, the crib and all the toys that his Grandma and I bought him and the outfit that his Daddy got him as an Easter present and how he was going to wear it home from the hospital.

They were both mine.  My little boys.  I had them both and now I don’t. 

I’m definitely not the same person I was before that Friday night when I knew Baby B was gone.  I know that can’t go back to being the person I was before.  I’m just so terrified that I’ve lost so much that I’m just never going to be able to be happy again.  Even when I have another baby, am I going to be able to enjoy being pregnant?  Am I going to be able to love my new baby wholly and completely or am I going to hold back, fearful that something will happen and I will lose this baby too even though I know the liklihood of that happening is no greater than for someone who has never had a loss?  Am I going to run to the doctor at my lunch break just to hear the heartbeat?  (I think we all know the answer to that last question is “oh hell yes”).

I want to be hopeful and have faith but I am so very tired from all of this loss.  I keep telling myself that I know what the worst feels like so I can deal with anything now.  But I think I am lying to myself.  I can’t even look to the future and think that I will ever not ache the way that I do right this minute.  I can’t remember what my life was like before my heart hurt all the time – the way it does now.  I have never felt pain like this and I just don’t know what to do.  I have never in my life feel this bad.

I guess my question is, how do I move on from this?  I am trying to swim through this sea of despair and everyday I think I am getting a little better.  And then I have days like Tuesday.  I couldn’t stop crying long enough to get ready for work.  I cried for so long and so hard that my eyelashes started to fall out again* and I JUST got them back damn it! I finally called in “crazy.”  Luckily the people I work with understand.  I have worked so hard to try and be strong and I am just not there yet….

I don’t know what to do besides to keep moving forward….

* What? You didn’t know that if you cry a lot for long periods of time, your eyelashes can’t take all the rubbing and saline and they just fall out?  Yeah, it’s true.  I looked like I had two little puffy pink hairless lizards over my eyes…yet another wonderful byproduct of grief…..

Labor and Delivery

August 4, 2008

I haven’t been censoring anything I write because this blog is only going to work if I am totally honest with myself and therefore, you all get to read the raw and honest thoughts of someone still very much greiving.  I warn you though, hold on, these next couple of entries are going to be doozys….

I suspect there are some of you who want to know that first weekend in April was like for me and my husband but you have been too scared or too polite to ask.  I’m going to tell you. 

On that Saturday morning, we were given two options, one involved going home and coming back in three days for a “procedure.”  The other was to check into UNC hospital right then and there, be induced and deliver the boys.  The “advantage” to the first option was, I would be asleep and it would be over quickly.  The “advantage” to the second option was that we would be able to hold them if we chose to.  Initially, hubby and I both expressed adamently that we did not want to hold the boys but we also did not want to leave the hospital and wait at home for three days with our dead babies.  We opted to be induced that day.

The nurse checked me in and hubby went home to get a change of clothes for me and turn the dogs over to our neighbors.  The charge nurse, Denise, put me in a back corner room that was secluded from the other mommies.  There was also a paper cut out of white dogwood flowers placed on my door so one but the doctors and nurse on duty would enter my room.  A large cart with coffee, sodas and snacks was brought up from the cafeteria.  I knew then that we were in for a long haul.  I would, in fact, labor for 36 hours.

As I sat in my room waiting for hubby to return, I thought, “Wow, I don’t feel pregnant anymore.”  I looked down at the cute coral colored zip-up hoodie and stretchy black yoga pants that hubby bought for me in Pennslyvania (I was ordered to be on 5 weeks of bed rest and hubby thought it would be nice if I had something other than jammies to wear),  I noticed my belly was not as taunt, my little bump that was sitting up under my ribs was now further down, level with my belly button.  This was really it, he really did die.

Just then, the intern who was with Dr. Hickman in the ultrasound room came in, shut the door and sat down in the chair.  She bagan talking to me about mundane little things – where was I from?  what did I do?  how did I meet my husband?  She made me feel like I was more than a patient to her – she was trying to make me feel safe and secure and that I could trust her.  I will never forget that.  I was never left alone until hubby came back.  Denise came in and said, “I will be with you as long as you are here and I am on duty.  This happened to me, I have been through this with lots of women and I will take care of you and your babies, okay?”  You have no idea what that felt like….I was so scared – this was my first pregnancy and I kept thinking, “I never got to take the birthing classes, I don’t know what to do!!”  But I didn’t want hubby to know I was scared because he LOOKED very scared.

At 5pm that night, Dr. Hickman came in and placed a tablet in my uterus to start the contractions.  A new tablet would be placed every 4 hours until I was dilated enough to have the boys.  I didn’t need to be dilated to 10 cms because Baby B was only 22 weeks.  I was also hooked up to an IV of morphine.  Apparently me and morphine don’t get along because about 5 minutes later, I was getting ready to hurl….Dr. Hickman gave me an IV drip of something to help with the nausea which had the added side effect of making me really sleepy.  I was so out of it that I barely remember the rest of that night.  I do know that the contractions started coming about 6pm and were mild but steady for the rest of the night.

Now let me say this – we made the decision not to tell anyone where we were.  We wanted this to just be me and hubby.  I often wonder if that was a mistake because hubby was left alone to deal with all the doctors and watch me sleep.  I know it was hard on him to be alone but he made the doctors drug me up so I would be out of it.  I remember waking to hear him say to a nurse, “her morphine is out, can you come here and replace it please, she can’t be in pain, I don’t want her to be in pain…” 

Day 2 of the long road to delivery tomorrow…………