Sam is an angel that was brought into my life. Here is our journey back home...

Sam is an angel that was brought into my life. Here is our journey back home...

Thursday, June 30, 2011

ACCEPTANCE?!?!


            Someone at a grief support group said something to me that I just can’t shake. It is just one word that sends chills down my spine and fills me with burning anger.         
                                                   ACCEPTANCE
            This word was mentioned in the mist of me explaining where my feelings are currently. Even though I miss Sam more than anything and wish nothing more than to hold him again, I wouldn’t change him and who he is. What I mean by that is, I feel if Sam were to be alive today and came home with me on May 9th, he would be a different baby. I know that seems impossible to believe because I never knew Sam, but I feel that I do know him and can’t wait to learn more about him when we are joined again. I am proud of my son and proud to be his mommy.
            So, is acceptance the right word to explain where I’m at? No, I don’t believe so. I think it is bullshit that my son had to die and other babies get to live. I don’t accept that my son was born an angel, I just have to learn to live with the fact that my son is not here with me. Acceptance, to me, means that I’m okay with the outcome. I am far from okay with my empty arms and broken heart. It is not okay that thousands of babies are born silently every year. Acceptance means that I should move on. No, I can’t just “move on”, nobody “moves on” after loosing a child. The secret society learns to survive every day without a complete heart. When I heard those words, “I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat”, my heart shattered into a million pieces. It is impossible to put the pieces back together again. There is an enormous part of my heart that has left me and lives on in a perfect world waiting for me to join him again. I don’t accept my son’s passing; I just know there isn’t anything in the world to change it because if there were I would have given my life to change it.

Do I accept Sam not being here with me? No, I never will! I live each day in complete confusion. Anxiously, I try to navigate the way I am supposed to live a life with out my baby boy. I don’t know if I will ever have that figured out, but in the mean time- I breathe.

Word of advice: Acceptance, not a good word to use EVER, with a grieving mother. The word may start a downward spiral effect that may leave her with feelings that haunt her.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Finding comfort...

            I did something today that I never thought I would have to do and want to do so badly. I filled out the paper work and paid for the lettering on Lucas’ crypt and mine. I have been going to Sam’s wall everyday for the past month and every time I go it kills me to see my sons name among a bunch of strangers. I see his name alone with a blank space on either side of him and it breaks my heart. From the beginning I said I did not want to see my name on my grave before I died; however, after burying my son and seeing his name lonesome, things have changed. I thought about it for a few days and my mind has not changed. I mentioned it to Lucas and he didn’t hesitate. It’s mind blowing how much you change as a person after you loss a child. I can’t really explain why I am so determined to have my name on my grave next to my son. I think it will give me comfort. The way I look at it is I am leaving a bit of myself next to Sam to watch over him when I am not there.
            So, soon I will arrive at Sam’s gravesite and see my name next to him. Will it bring me the comfort I so desperately want or will I be totally uncomfortable? I don’t know the answer, but what I do know is, I cannot leave my son alone. I know that I may have to explain some things to Michalina, but I am prepared to do that. I wasn’t prepared to explain to her that her baby brother wasn’t coming home with us and we are making it through. At least with this I can think about how I want to approach it. That little girl has experienced more than most kids her age will in their own lifetime. No sibling should have to hold their little brothers lifeless body.
           
            Lately, I don’t know exactly what I am feeling. I can still say that numb is the number one emotion or feeling that encompasses my life. Even though May 9th plays over and over in my head like a horror film on repeat, I still think this is a bad dream. However, in the same breath I feel honored that I have Sam as my son. I was thinking today, if my life was any different, Sam wouldn't be Sam. Do I really want a different life? If that means Sam would be any different as a person then, no. I wouldn’t change anything about him and who he was and what his life stands for. I am not saying I would choose his death over his life, I just don’t regret his life. I like to picture my son as a brave baby boy that served or is serving an extremely important job here on earth and in heaven. His life was not in vain but with great purpose.
            I continue to count the days until I see Sam again. I move through my days in effort to get them done and over as quickly as possible. When day is done, I have a sense of relief; one more day closer. If I crack a smile now days, it’s not a smile or a laugh because someone said something funny or something funny happened. I smile because I am proud to be Sam’s mommy and I am one more second closer to being with him again.
I often wonder if I will ever be able to be truly happy again or will happiness be a completely different definition? Can I really call it happiness when I am desperate to be with my entire family? There will forever be a missing piece to my family. At family functions, will his name not be mentioned and his existence be forgotten? I cringe at this possible reality. 

What is happiness in a grieving mothers eyes? Can I ever be happy again? What will my “happiness” look like? Is happiness without guilt possible?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

To write their names in the sand

There is a blog out there that writes children's names in the sand that have passed. This is done as a part of the grieving process. So on a beach some where in Australia, Sam's name was written in the sand by a grieving mother who also had a stillborn son. Please check out the link to see his name, it is absolutely beautiful.
 Sam's name in the sand.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Spiral effect


           I am having a hard time figuring out how I am feeling lately. I would have to say that I am numb. I am not sure what to feel and how to express it. Michalina gives me the strength to get out of bed everyday. As I have mentioned before, if it wasn’t for her I am not sure that I would be here. It still bothers me that I get to do things with Michalina and for Sam all I can do is sit at a wall and stare and talk to it. This is not how my life is supposed to be, or is it?
While at Sam’s park today I began to understand the feelings I have had for the past couple of days. I had to sit there are contemplate them because they were confusing to me. Since I met with a grief group at church on Monday, I have felt empty, overwhelmed, and numb. I feel that I am on drugs and in another world, living some else’s life. It’s like I’m not really me I’m just watching a movie in front of me. I don’t expect that to make sense to anyone because I am not sure I understand it myself. I go through the motions of being a mother and a member of society. I feel like I have nothing left to give to life but just take up space and count the days. I am just here.

Lucas went to the mausoleum the other day while he was at work. Lucas doesn’t visit very often, not because he doesn’t love Sam, I just think he sees it, as he is not really there; he’s everywhere and anywhere. So anyway, Lucas was on his way to a job and drove passed the cemetery. Of course, he couldn’t drive past he had to stop, even if it was just for a minute. He told me when he walked up to the mausoleum he stopped at the entrance and thought about which way to walk in; either through the entrance in front of him (the area we had the boulder side service) or turn left and enter in through the entrance that is closer to Sam. He chose to walk into the entrance where we had Sam’s service, which is odd because we always walk through the entrance closer to him. As he was walking toward Sam’s wall he sees an Oriole in the water fountain. The Oriole noticed him and flew away.
            This Oriole is significant to us because it is the bird that we saw days before we buried Sam and just after we buried Sam. The last time we saw it Lucas and I were alone at Sam’s wall just after we sealed his crypt. When Lucas and I turned to walk away, we saw the Oriole in the fountain. On that day, it put its head up, looked at us and flew away. When we saw it last, it brought smiles to our faces and gave us a calm feeling. So, when Lucas told me he saw it again, I had to question him. I asked him over and over again, “Are you sure it was the Oriole?” I ask this because of course I did a bit of research after we saw it last. The Oriole is only around us for a short time before it flies south, appearing in IL in late April and early May. So, was this Oriole our baby giving his Daddy a sign to tell him he’s okay and loves him? I believe so.

             
            The new life I am experiencing is something I never thought would be mine. I am still trying to figure out where this new life is going to take me. I don’t agree with this new life but there is no negotiating. I have entered into this community with force. I had no choice and was given no manual. I have to blindly explore the ups and downs of a life with out my son. I periodically reach out for a lifesaver and manage to find someone who has gone or is going through the same thing. There is no leader in this community because there is no one person that could ever be a role model. Everyone is an equal; we are all hurting for the rest of our lives in a continuous spiral of grief. We never heal from our losses only figure out ways to function in a society that has silenced stillbirths. I explore the Internet and see how this community of grieving parents is screaming for society to hear us and no one bothers to turn their head. Instead we live in a society that taps their toe and folds their arms impatiently waiting for us to “get over” our losses; leaving most of us with no explanation for our child entering and leaving this world silently.

            I talk to my doctor today. He had the final results for Sam’s autopsy…nothing! Confirmed, Sam was perfect. There was no linking the inflammation in the placenta to any infection in his body. The placenta was tested for all types of infection and all came back negative, so, the inflammation cannot be connected to Sam being born still. I don’t know how these results make me feel. I feel content because I see it as confirmation that my son was perfect and I see it as frustrating because it gives me no explanation.

My Perfect baby
            

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day


         Yesterday was the dreaded, Father’s Day. I dreaded this day because of the guilt that I still feel and will probably always feel. My husband deserves to spend his father’s day with his son included in the family. I want nothing more than to give him that feeling back. His face when he walked into that doctor’s office when he saw that I was in labor haunts me. Lucas is supposed to be share father son things instead he is filled with feelings of never holding his son again, never seeing his son smile, walk, or talk.
            I don’t share this feeling of guilt with many people because I get the typical reaction, “it’s not your fault” or “it was nothing you did”. I can hear those two phrases for the rest of my life and still not fully believe them. Call it a mother’s instinct or something else, I still feel responsible for not being able to bring my son into this world alive. I was his growing center and something that my body did prevented him from surviving. I took my husband’s first-born son away from him. I feel responsible for shattering those dreams.
            The “what-if’s” haunted me more yesterday than they did any other day. What if I demanded an ultrasound on my last appointment? What if it was something I did, I ate, or something I didn’t do? These are questions that I will never have answered. I will have to figure out how to live my new life with the new me and the “what-ifs” trailing behind.
           
            Michalina sometimes comes up with questions about Sam out of the blue. I can’t help but wonder what is going through her little mind moments before she says these things. I have two from yesterday. First, she yelled out to GJ, “I have a brother!” She gets so excited about this and wants to share it with the world. The only difference for her, her brother is in heaven while other big sisters get to play with their brother everyday. Of course, GJ didn’t have a chance to say anything before I returned her excitement with, “what is your brothers name?” She replies with a huge smile, “Sam!” God this breaks my heart. Why does my daughter have to go through this? She is just as excited about him even though he is not even here. The second thing that she said, “Where is Sam’s body?” This was a random question on our way home from Judy’s last night. Lucas took the liberty of answering this question, as I have done before. He gave her the truth. We don’t want to sugar coat anything just to have to go back and explain it later in a truthful manner. I often have to tell her that Sam’s body doesn’t work anymore and he is an angel is heaven and how you don’t need your body anymore when you go to heaven and become an angel. I explain this to a 3 YEAR OLD! Who the hell does that! Not many people have to do that! These are the second hardest moments in my life! UGH, THAT Infuriates ME!

My husband is an excellent father; he deserves to have Sam here with him to do all those father son things! But, that too was taken from him for no reason! Why?

I want to be a mother to Sam...


June 18, 2011

            On Thursday, I missed going to Sam’s park for the first time in weeks! It made me sick to think I was “leaving” my son alone. I don’t know why but it makes me feel a bit more like a mother to Sam when I visit him everyday. I catch myself thinking, “What kind of mother would not go visit her son or want to see her son everyday?” I know most people think that is crazy talk, but when you loose your son you feel like you have lost all obligations and responsibility to mother that child. I guess this feeling is hard to explain, only something that will make sense in my head.
            Well I think believe I have come to a conclusion that I never thought I would want. I would like to see my name on my “wall” next to Sam. For me, it is sad to see his name there all by himself. When really, his mommy and daddy will be on either side of him. I guess this is my way of showing and proving to him that I am and always will be there for him, next to him. I shared this with Lucas and he actually agreed. So I will try to make an appointment with the cemetery to discuss this option.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bravery and Courage says my husband...

Well, I have sort of good news; I won the photo contest for a photography class I signed up for. The class was posted on the Faces of Loss website. It was asking grieving mothers to sign up for a photography class that would help guide our grieving through photography. I read it and thought, “I’m in.” I love photography and I believe myself to be somewhat artistic. After agreeing to pay the $150 for the class, I saw an opportunity to enter a “vision of motherhood” photo contest to win a free spot in the class. I thought what do I have to loose, so I entered and won! I got the email from the instructor today telling me she loved the picture I submitted and would reimburse the $150 for the course. I couldn’t believe I actually got excited about something. Shit, I surprise myself.
            Speaking of surprising myself…I woke up this morning and thought I would take Michalina to a children’s museum today. I got up and got her dressed and headed towards Glenview. I didn’t want to invite anyone along with me because I think I do better with the triggers when I am alone. I don’t know why this is, but I found out today that it is true. Maybe it is because I know that I have to stay strong and not cry in front of Michalina otherwise she would freak out.
            Today I was surrounded by pregnant women and of course they all had toddlers in tow (they wouldn’t be there otherwise). Yes, it was extremely hard and exhausting. I did have moments of tears, but I some how kept them from streaming down my face. Everywhere I turned there was a pregnant belly in my face or an infant in my view. I have to say, I am not necessarily jealous of their pregnancies, I am jealous of their utter stupidity. I look at them with their smiles on their faces and attitudes of carefreeness and want to scream! I desperately want to take them by their shoulders, shake them, and say,
“You have no idea the risk you are still in. Just because you are weeks from delivery doesn’t mean that your perfect little baby is going to come home with you. I gave birth to a perfect baby 1 month and 5 days ago and I had to leave him at the hospital for an autopsy before I buried him. You are more at risk of delivering a stillborn baby than you are to loose your baby to SIDS. Did your doctor tell you that? And if you are lucky enough to bring that baby home, you better believe you are the luckiest mother. Not only because you do not have to endure the walk of shame by leaving the hospital with empty arms but because you don’t have to bury your baby and live with the question of ‘why’. And if you are one of the lucky mothers, please know that there are millions of mothers out there who, just like you, had normal pregnancy and lost their babies for no reason at all.”
            Now we know I couldn’t do that. That would be crazy! But that is how I feel I want my innocence back! I had that na├»ve mentality and actually enjoyed two pregnancies. But instead of that blissful attitude I was forced to live with the bitter reality of stillbirths. I am still trying to figure out if there was a reason that I was “chosen” to be the mother of an angel for a reason or if it was a mere “accident”. Or maybe my son’s existence was for someone else and I was just the nurturer. I will never know, but I want my son to have a purpose and if I am the one to carry that out, then so be it.

Why does their baby get to survive and mine doesn’t?

I try to remember only a few lucky people are given the gift of giving birth to an angel and to hold one. I am one of those people. Why?
Michalina leaves rocks for Sam everyday. The next day when we visit, they are gone.  Sam is going to have a big pile of rocks for her when she gets there.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Where to go from here.


Things I never thought I could do…

…give birth to my first born son, knowing that he was never going to breathe, open his eyes, cry, smile, or come home.

…explain to my three-year-old that her brother has gone to Heaven.

…watch my three-year-old hold and kiss he brother’s lifeless body.

…hold my son and give him back to a nurse only to never see him again.

…love a person more than life itself yet never met them face to face.

…sign permission for an autopsy on my son’s tiny, little body.

…walk out of the hospital I gave birth at with empty arms.

…walk an unknown cemetery with a purpose.

…choose my son’s final resting place and make sure there is room on either side of him for mommy and daddy to join him.

…fill out cemetery papers for my first born son.

…pick out clothes and objects to bury my son with.

…write instructions for a mortician to prepare my son’s coffin.

…meet with a pastor to discuss my son’s funeral plans.

…decide on biblical readings to be read at my son’s funeral service.

…wait at the cemetery for my son’s arrival in a tiny white coffin.

… sit beside my son’s coffin.

…sit through my son’s funeral service.

…help my husband carry our son’s tiny white coffin to his final resting place.

…watch my husband place his tiny white coffin in his crypt.

…watch my husband place a blanket over his first born son’s coffin to ensure his warmth.

…place family pictures, a bedtime book, and a doll from his sister in my son’s crypt to ensure his comfort.

…back away from my son’s open crypt knowing that this is my last contact with him ever.

…watch cemetery workers close my son’s crypt.

…see my family’s name on the mausoleum wall with my son’s name and birthday beneath it.

…leave the cemetery and my son behind.

…explain to my daughter why we visit “Sam’s Park”.

…explain over and over again what has happened to her brother.

…raise my daughter at a mausoleum.

…wake every morning.

…go on living without my son.

…hold on to what little faith is left in the God that allowed my son’s creation and death.