Today makes it a week since I've given birth to my daughter and had to say goodbye to her within hours. As usual I woke up with tears in my eyes...another morning of trying to find out if I'd been dreaming this whole time. I stared at her picture for a minute as I do frequently through the day, reassuring myself that my mind did not make her up and she was here.
We'd been invited to the wedding of my husbands supervisor weeks ago, and although I thought of cancelling since Jojo's passing, we thought it would be a nice distraction.
I was doing pretty good this morning until I saw the Pampers commercial - the one where they show the ultrasound and lots of newborn babies. I randomly burst into tears. Just last week I saw my healthy baby girl sucking her thumb on her ultrasound and now she's gone. My husband helped me to pull it together and we made our way out to the Long Island Sound for the vow renewal. It was so beautiful out there, I was excited to be out the house and on the beach to watch a couple re-commit their vows after 20 years of marriage...
...then I got a phone call from the medical examiners office asking if I'd begun to make funeral arrangements for the baby. When a baby is born and passes within 24 hours, an autopsy is required. When I called for an update back on Tuesday, they told me that it would take weeks to get the results of her autopsy because babies require microscopic examinations. However, he was now informing me that her body could be released before the results come back since they've already taken their samples. Then it started to hit me that the world "funeral" and my "baby" were being used in the same sentence. I knew I'd have to make arrangements but I thought I had a couple more weeks before having to face it. My eyes filled with water as I hung up the phone and I buried my face in my husbands chest, trying to hide my tears from the other guests. I told him what the phone call was about and he did his best as usual to concole me and told me that we'd deal with it during the week.
The wedding was beautiful and I was ok once I started talking to my husbands co-workers and getting to know them. However after dinner it started getting harder and harder for me to breathe. I kept thinking about the medical examiners office - making arrangements for my daughters body - I just wanted to scream. I told my husband I wasn't feeling well, from the look on my face he knew what that meant. We were out of there within 3 minutes after a quick good bye. I didn't even make it to the car before I started crying. I felt like I couldn't breathe, my head felt funny - I thought I was loosing my mind and really scared my poor husband.
I'm home now and contemplating going to a bbq that we were invited to later this evening. I know it's good to get out and gain back some sense of normalcy, but I'm nervous that someone is going to offer their condolences or ask me what happened. Sometimes I'm ok sharing my story (which I will share here when I'm ready) and sometimes I just cry as the whole thing replays through my mind - my mood is very unpredictable when it comes to talking about my little one in Heaven.
It's been a strange week. Yesterday and Thursday were my best days...I felt like I was progressing and today I feel like I'm going backwards.
There are times when I've felt as peace with Jolie's passing:
- God doesn't make mistakes, and although I don't understand why this happened - one day I will
- If she survived she would have more than likely had a difficult life. Being born at 23 weeks, she would be at high risk for brain damage, cerebral palsey and numerous other health issues
- I got to see her, hold her, touch her and talk to her
- She is now in the care of God - what's better than that?
- I am alive...the fact is that I could have died. I wasn't able to give birth in a hospital. I was not under the supervision of doctors and nurses.I wasn't hooked up to an IV, a heart monitor - things could have been worse...but that's a story for another day
But there are some moments where my thoughts get negative:
- Why my child?
- Why have me get so attached to her and then take her away?
- This is my fault for not getting a second opinion
- Envy and anger towards people who were having children that they didn't want and/or don't take care of
- I was angry at the doctors who kept telling me that everything was fine when I kept telling them that I was in an incredible amount of pain
Up and down - back and forth my feelings go.
I've also been obsessed with researching the cause of me going into labor at 23 weeks.
So many people I know have lost their first child and I didn't know that until this happened and they've now shared their experiences with me. My dads neighbor shared with me that she had a miscarriage when she was 6 months pregnant with her first child, and that her 2nd baby went full term but was stillborn...she went on to have 3 children. One of the nurses in th hospital shared with me that she has 2 children but has had 5 miscarriages along the way - the stories kept pouring in.
In all, this week has been tough - but I have an amazing husband, family and friends - I feel for women who have to go through loosing a child alone. I've also gotten some resources for some support groups which I'll more than likely attend.
I'm mentally preparing myself to make arrangements for my daughters body next week, as well as a follow up at the doctors - but I'm not going to put it on my head too much.
I'm finally learning the meaning of "taking it one day at a time".
Thank you for your prayers, support and encouraging comments - I appreciate you.