Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Can't Let Go....the ugly side of grief

During a very cathartic, blood vessel-popping workout, I listened to this song...several times. I'm dripping in sweat and tears & high on endorphins and am writing this down because I've had this in my head for 10 months now and never said it. There is so much of this song that says it for me. I know what this song was written for but when I listen to the words, so many of them are mine. Because I'm not ready. I can't let go of the issues I have with him for letting my delivery happen the way it did.

I’m through with doubt
There’s nothing left for me to figure out
I’ve paid a price
And I’ll keep paying

I'm so mad and I can't let this go. Be it in a court of law or in the back alley, I need the closure that I don't know if I will ever get. I need to ask him why he did what he did and didn't do what he didn't do. I need to know what he was thinking and why he told me not to tell anyone what he did. I can't let this go. I see his wife and though I have conversations played out in my head with her, I can't let that go, either. She didn't do this, no, but maybe she shares his secret. Maybe he has been honest with her. Maybe he has told her something that I need to know.(Edited to add:) But no one understands this....why I can't treat her like nothing happened...why seeing her makes me feel the way it does...why I am so hurt by the sight, mention, or someone's interaction with her...why I have a problem with her at all. And to tell you the truth, I don't know why, either...but have him be the cause of your son's death and then tell me how you feel about it. Then try to justify your feelings to everyone else.

I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round and round

I would trade Tim's last breath for one more day, hour, minute or second with my son and wouldn't think twice. But that's only because this didn't have to happen. There are accidents that happen and there are accidents that don't need to happen. I tell my kids this all the time.

He could have actually considered that something might have need to be checked out....all that blood for 13+ hours. He could have actually considered that he might have made a mistake and caused this bleed. He could have actually considered the fact that I had concerns....more than just a worried pregnant mom. But he didn't. He didn't take any precautions. He assumed he was right. And he assumed everything was fine. And he didn't check into any of the things I so desperately needed him to and asked him to. He ignored my I had come accustomed to by this time. His conceit is known by all, but only we suffer because of it.

It’s a sad sad story when a mother will teach her
Daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger

My emotions towards this man have transcended to my daughters. Without directly telling them, they know clearly how we feel about Dr. Harkins, despite our very close friendship once upon a time. He did not come to Chase's funeral, nor did his wife. As I lay on his operating table, he told me to tell him what I felt. And I screamed from the moment his knife touched me until I slipped into la-la land; his nurse laying her body on my chest to hold me down. The fear that raced through my veins...the fear that I was going to die....that I would leave my 3 lovely angels forever seared in my memory. He came into my hospital room sobbing after I came out of recovery. He mumbled, "I'm so sorry" and that's it. I don't know what he was sorry about. I don't know what he was thinking or what he felt. I was in shock. I was still scared about my own life. I had no idea what was in store for my newborn son. And I never got the chance that I so badly want, to ask him about these things. To question him. To close this chapter and move on. And I doubt I ever will. It's not right. Not right in anyone's eyes....

Forgive, sounds good
Forget, I’m not sure I could
They say time heals everything
But I’m still waiting

Edited: Gray area above.

My Struggles

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Vtine for Chase

From my dear sweet sis. Little Gracie's valentine for her littlest cousin.....Thanks. You have no idea what this means to me~~~I love it!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Still here

I miss him so badly. I look at his pictures and I feel him like I am still losing him--in a different way. I look at the pictures and I have them memorized. But as time passes, I have to try harder to see those moments in action....moving, not just still shots in my mind, but his life with us. Those moments. The tragedy. In moving, real life action. Because if I don't try to recall those things, it feels like these are just pictures. Pictures of something that happened...but no memory. I have several different snapshots of him that don't even look like the same baby. I have my favorite photo...the perfect gerber baby face, plus a few tubes and medical leads. But I also have photos of him that aren't so hot. And as my jaded memory slips further away, and I realize what really happened....I see it in these pictures. The magnitude of what happened, how he was born and how lifeless he must have looked in the isolette while the doctor and nurses were working and him. And all that can change my view of what all happened. Maybe we were unrealistically hopeful, despite those words from the doctor that echoed in my brain, "babies are remarkably resilient and often times surprise us...." And he most certainly was as healthy as an ox. That's the one thing I do know.
Almost as accurate as my internal clock is this one particular wave of grief that happens about every 30 days. Hormones, maybe, psychological, maybe. But it's that huge cloud of darkness that just looms over me and I can almost feel the weight of it, physically. So that's where I'm at. Hurting. Like it was yesterday. And no, I don't think it gets easier. I think you learn how to deal with it, yes. But the pain doesn't lessen. That's why there are graves at the cemetery with fresh flowers every week for a baby that died 50 years ago. The focus of the pain shifts from different aspects of the situations that occurred. I may be consumed with a particular moment of his life, before he was born or after, what is still to come, but it all hurts the same. None of it is ever going to change. The pain is never going to go away. I am never going to be ignorant of this feeling or free from it. And that is why learning to live this way, learning to fight the battles I must fight this way, learning to go after my goals and dreams with this in my heart is making me a much stronger person. It's like fighting a battle with one arm and winning and that's what I'm going to continue to do. That's the mom Chase would be proud of.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Emotions...and places I won't go

I have rarely known emotions to have such a physical feeling until I lost Chase. Winning games, falling in love, getting married, I guess. But this is different. I can feel the dark cloud coming over me in my heart and when my head realizes this, it almost feels like a weight being laid on my back. Sometimes I try to meet it head on and work my way through it. Sometimes it overtakes me and I don't do anything about it but cry. Like every night I go to sleep. I thank Chase often, for showing me things about myself and Patric and the kids that I never knew before. Like how strong we all are or exactly how much love we have for each other. And also for teaching me about people and relationships and what a true friend really is. I can only imagine what he could have taught people along the way if he were here with on this earth.
So when I laid in bed last night, on my left side, I remembered Chase being there. Now I know him as Chase, but then, it was "baby". I thought it was so cool that I got to be with him all the time. It was so cool that he was attached to me....a part of me. A part of his daddy that I got to love, talk to, and hold whenever I wanted (not that I had a choice!). I think of that everytime I lay on my left side. And I feel him there. I wished I would have hugged him more, though maybe I did. He was so active and I had my hands on my belly most of the time. But now I want more. I was so lucky to carry him for those 9 months. I knew that then but I really know that now. I miss you so much I feel you, buddy. You are always a part of me, always, always with me....
I found my ultrasound pictures yesterday. They were from my 20 week appointment and there were several. In one of the profiles, his little arm is bent in front of his face at 90 degrees and it is so perfect and so big! You can actually see his muscles--he has little biceps and deltoids and it is so cute. After I found them, I kept looking. I looked in all sorts of hiding places (places I don't ever clean for some reason) for something. I don't know what I was looking for but I kept looking. I went through his dresser and his onesies are all there, most of them yellow but a few blue sports ones because my mom and my sisters knew he was a boy. I stared at his crib and all the cards, pictures, letters, books and momentos from his birth. Sometimes I read through them, sometimes I can't. I don't know what I was hoping to find. Something new, I guess. I don't want it to get old. I don't want to get used to the fact that I have a dead son. I want to keep something fresh. Something new. But I can't.
There are moments of his birth and his life and thereafter that I don't talk about to anyone, including myself. I don't write about it anywhere. And I don't really even let myself think about. I have read other babyloss mamas' words and have commented a few times about these moments or thoughts I have had, but I don't go there too deep. I have not felt ready and I am not sure when I will be. But reading their words makes me think that I will need to do that, too. Sometime. There are a lot of tears in those moments that I don't let myself recall. There is a lot of pain there. I don't want to go there yet I'm starting to feel that this is all I have left. There will be nothing more after that for me to "find" or learn about Chase. And I don't know what I will find talking, writing, or thinking about those moments. But one day, I'll be ready.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dark Times

Oh my....I'm back to my blog for therapy, once again. Journalling in this space has been sometimes the only thing that relieves my mind, gives me comfort. Once I purge onto this screen, I can rest my thoughts or shift to something else. I can release the burdens of what is going on in my head--and in my heart. My last post was a huge vent for me. And I received some of the most supportive, helpful comments and emails from this community. The words I read after I posted affected me in ways that I wonder if you have any idea what you did for me. But then I know that I have read your blogs and left comments, trying to help you along...because that's what we do. And I know you do know that you have touched me. Because you know. You know this awful road I am on. And you know all the obstacles, the diversions, the temptations, the hills and the valleys. So thank you. Thank you for being there and helping me through that moment and getting me past it. I took your advice and I held back. FB has not even been a temptation anymore. So, whew! It feels good to have it behind me.
I have really been in a dark place. Last week was really, really hard. Thankfully this week has been better. What is my "dark place?" Deep, deep sadness. Regrets. Wondering what ifs. Wishing... Missing.... Longing.... Hurting.... And withdrawing. I have really pulled myself in since that last post. I have not reached out to anyone. I have not had any contact with anyone, really, but my family. I know everyone else has moved on. I realized that my problems are not their problems. I wanted them to be and I wanted that kind of it was their problem. But it's not. And I can't expect...or ask that of anyone. Life does go on--for them. Unless you have suffered this loss, there is no way of knowing. I would not want to know...I really wouldn't. I wish I didn't.
But life goes on for them, while mine is spiralling. Still, after nearly 10 months, I think about what happened every day. Several times a day. Every night, still, I go to sleep thinking about the day I had Chase. I think about the doctor. A lot. I wish I could have gotten inside his head. And what's worse, I wish I still could. It bothers me. I wish I could move past it, but I can't. It surrounds me. Daily I am faced with him, or some small degree of separation from him. In a small town I can't remove myself from his presence. And I can't face him. I feel like I need to meet him head on and talk to him. But I can't. He won't. It will never happen. No closure, no answers, no story. And for that I am labeled. By whom, I guess, is irrelevent. Because as I have said, I've withdrawn. That's the only way to protect my physical, emotional and mental well-being. I get the peace I seek from my family. I did have lunch with a friend this week and I really enjoyed it. She came to me, of course, and I am thankful for that. But what she doesn't know is how badly and why I needed that contact. I'm human. I am woman, for pete's sake. So as much as I would like to shut everyone out, I can't. I don't need much, but I do need a little. But the vast majority I am surrounded by can't provide that. She did, though, and I needed it.
But I don't look, act, or even feel, like the recluse I have described. I can tell that I have withdrawn, but I don't feel like a standout. I have the facade that we all know so well going on. I smile and converse and move on. But the tears are right there under the surface. A lot of phone calls this week about stuff we still need to take care of...and I talk, even laugh because it's the only way I know to get this thing done when you know the funeral home director personally, but wonder if they know that underneath that normal-sounding, jovial voice is an ocean of tears. Just waiting to hang up the phone so I can let them go.
So there is still a lot of pain. We talk of Chase daily with the kids. He even has a Mii so Reese can blay baseball with him on the Wii, morbid maybe to some but we love it. But there is not a moment that goes by that I don't think of him either being here with us, his things I still have in the house, the formula in the cupboard, the hospital I drive by all the time and the tragic events that took place there. And it has sent me in this very dark direction on my path. My heart litterally feels heavy sometimes with the sadness that I bear. I miss him so badly. He is growing up fast and he's not even here. I can't believe he'd be almost 10 months already. He was such a sweet, sweet boy and we would have been such a happy family. I remember being so unsure if we wanted to have another baby or not and then we got pregnant with Chase and were so excited to add on and complete us. Now I know that having a baby would be truly a blessing but I will never, never feel we are complete. I feel like my hands are tied. I can't fix it this time. And that is what hurts. It always will. I'm not sure what our family will be...but I know what it won't have. Because we will always miss him. He will always be a part of us, but never here.
Onward I push. With my family. We are strong, we are together, and we will live our lives with pride, joy and love. We pull each other along when one of us needs a little help. I am so thankful for that. They are who bring me out of the darkness that I seem to fall into. Chase, too. I cry for him, but I also smile about him. I love you, little man. While you are with us and we include you in everything we do, I still miss you every moment of my day.