Month: October 2014
October is a month chock-full of promoting public awareness to causes, like breast cancer, and pregnancy/infant loss. For me, this month is all about the 31st. Halloween. My own personal dark day.
Some of you who have followed my blog from the get-go know that I suffered from the loss of my first child, and of course that has given me a different perspective on the two adorable little miracles that I do have. But on Halloween, there is only one thing that I think about. Elizabeth.
I worked at a gas station as an assistant manager for several years and my husband and I were excitedly awaiting the arrival of our first sweet baby seven years ago today. She had been growing in me for 34 weeks and golly was she an active baby. From the time I would wake up in the morning until I went to bed, she would be kicking me like she was in a marathon. That Halloween I was scheduled to work of course, assistant managers get the WORST hours. So at 3:45 am I clocked in an started my morning rounds. We made donuts at this station and I would always eat one in the morning to wake my sunshine up and get her going, but this morning she didn’t wake. It didn’t occur to me at that point that she wouldn’t ever wake again.
By 8:00 am that morning I was in a state of panic, I left the station and drove to the hospital. When I entered the doors, I still wasn’t thinking the worst, I really wasn’t thinking at all. The nurse who first searched for her heartbeat tried to be lighthearted, but after 15 minutes of searching and no result, she called in the ultrasound specialist. He did the very best he could to break the news to me gently. But there is no gentle way to say your child is gone. That you won’t get to see her smile. Laugh. Grow up. At that moment, a part of me died too.
In the decade that I have spent with my husband the only time I ever saw him cry was when he walked into that hospital room. He had to be called out of a meeting at work to come and just looking at my face was enough to tell him, and he was broken too. My mom was actually the first one to get to me, she was a rock through the whole experience and I will never forget that.
It is bad enough to learn that your child is gone from you, but the worst part came next. Yes, there is a worse part. I was 34 weeks along, so it wasn’t like I could miscarry like many in their first term which is bad enough. They were going to have to induce me. I had to experience true labor without the blessing that comes from the worst pain in a woman’s life. I spent the next two days in labor.
Just after midnight on November 2nd I gave birth to my little baby girl. My angel. And for two sweet hours I got to hold her. I got to say goodbye. There was literally nothing wrong with her. After everything was said and done, I never got an explanation as to why she was no longer with me. There was no one to blame. She just wasn’t here anymore.
It has been seven years and it still feels like yesterday. There is no end to my grief. I will always want my time with her back and I will always wish that I could have seen her grow up. I was lucky though, I got to experience life and pregnancy again and I have two wonderful children. Sometimes that makes it worse, because I KNOW every little thing that I am missing with her. And my sweet babies don’t get a chance to know their sibling until we meet again on the other side.
We celebrate Halloween just like most families do, costumes and candy and fun. But for me, I am just a shell for a day. One day a year I am in my dark place hiding in my sadness. No one would know it walking by me on the street, but I am not really there, I am swimming in the memories of a short time that I had with my first special child.
So I haven’t blogged in ages, life seems to have grabbed a hold and refuses to let me have a minute but I wanted to give an update on the craziness around my home right now. My daughter, bless her heart, started Kindergarten this year, and it has been absolutely awful. For me. She has been loving it, which comes as no surprise because I LOVED school and well she is a lot like me. 🙂 But for me, I cannot stand sending her to school every single day where she spends hours making memories that I don’t get to be an active participant in. It is heart wrenching. It has been over nine weeks now and I still cry when I drop her off everyday – NEVER in front of her, I want her to know just how proud I am of her and how excited I am for her to enjoy being out in the world. I just can’t shake this sadness though. For all of you mom’s who told me “It gets so much easier after that first day.” YOU LIED! Alas, I am a supporter of the idea that children should have some independence, and I am not going to raise a kid who has to have me for everything forever, so I will just keep pushing forward and being sad that there isn’t a stop button on the life timer.
Anyhow, I sent her off to school yesterday and right after lunchtime received the dreaded phone call that no parent wants. Ever. AND I missed it. Yep, I am a stay at home mom, whose only job is to be available to my children at all times, and the ONE time I am needed, I MISS the call. Can you tell I am feeling a bit guilty??? Haha. I was walking to my bathroom when my phone rang, by the time I walked back to it to answer, they had moved on down the emergency list and I had already received the obligatory CALL ME NOW! text from my family, trying to get in touch and find out why I was incognito. (This was literally in a 40 second span!) So I called the school back and they didn’t even need me to say who I was all I heard was “arm. think. broken” I have no clue how I got Nicolas and in the car, the next thing I know I was walking into the front entrance to the school, got waved back to the elusive nurses office and there she was.
The little girl that was knit so beautifully in my womb, my lifeline, my heart, sitting on that nurses bed with such a sad face, I started balling (INSIDE), never ever in front of her because I am the mom – a hero! HA. If I had cried in front of her she would have gone into an immediate state of panic, so I just internalized it like a PRO! They had her arm wrapped in a little brace and ace bandage so I didn’t have to see it right away at least. The principal and the nurse were wonderful, of course they were, they deal with accidents all the time – they are the REAL heroes. But I don’t remember anything that they said either – I was just doing what I could to keep it together.
Kids though, they are so darn resilient, Emileen was a trooper, she had fallen while trying to climb onto a big swing, said she cried right at first but I never saw a tear from her during our whole experience. I drove home, at which point my family (my team) who knows how I am and my threshold for driving, all converged and took over so I could comfort my girl without having to be the responsible one anymore. She threw up in the car, poor dear, and had to have her arm moved around a ton for x-rays, but aside from an occasional – “NO” when she didn’t want her arm touched or moved, she was cool, calm and collected. Not gonna lie, when they unwrapped her arm for the x-rays – I almost didn’t make it, the specialist said I could wait outside, but I recomposed and stayed put, nothing was going to keep me from being with Emileen.
Fortunately they didn’t have to reset her arm or anything, but it looks like a little w right now – there are very few things that I can think of that is more horrifying than seeing my child’s bones not being where they belong. Anyhow a sweet paramedic gave her a temporary cast with bright pink so that had her excited to go to school today to show all her friends.
It was a clean break, and we are going to the orthopedic for the permanent cast tomorrow – Halloween. Worst day of the year for me. That is another story though. Another day.
Ahh rant over.