Saturday, August 15, 2009

Grief Chronicles, Volume 3

1. Having to tell people sucks.

I never really realized what a huge network of people I am connected to. All of the main people in my life know what happened. There is a whole other group of people that aren’t as close to me, but I still see regularly enough that I have had to explain over and over again what happened. It tears me up each time I have to do it. To have to say it - ”he died” – is agony. At first, I made my mother do it. Then, Chris did it for me until I felt so guilty that I started doing it myself. Chris hurts from this just as bad as I do, so it isn’t fair for me to make him do it over and over again. Here’s how it goes - once I say it to someone I then deal with the shocked silence, and listen as they fumble for a recovery and try to find words of support, that honestly really don’t help that much. Then I fumble for words to let them know that it’s ok, when really, it isn’t. I feel bad. I know they are just trying to be nice, and it has to be done, telling them so they don’t keep asking me about how the baby is. The whole thing is terrible, and there is no good way around it. I try to head them off by if I know that I am going to see someone that I know doesn’t know, I call ahead of time so they have time to recover and not be weird around me. It always brings a fresh round of pain though, to have to say it.

2. Making the house look different, yet the same helps.

We stayed at my parent’s house for the first week, maybe longer after Noah died. I can’t really say how long it was because I didn’t really have a very clear concept of time during those first days. Eventually, the time felt right to come home. It was hard for us to come back and see the place that we spent the precious last couple of days with Noah. Chris’s parents had done an awesome job of cleaning up the house for us, and putting away things that might upset us. My friend Mary came by and picked up all of the big baby items we had out and brought them up to my parent’s house and tucked them into the garage. I never saw any of it. Still, we spent two days with Noah, hauled up in our bedroom getting to know one another better. I think our bedroom was just as hard to be in as it was to be in his room. It hurt to feel the emptiness of him. It felt great to have him here, and now he is gone. I have since been working on the house trying to do some decorating. We bought the house in November, and Chris had spent 3 months fixing it up so we could move in in February. I couldn’t help with the renovations because I was pregnant and couldn’t be around the chemicals associated with home improvement projects (and those of you who know me and my love of power tools knows that that is quite a sacrifice!). I picked out what has gone into the house, but haven’t really made my own personal mark here, not like I would want to anyways. So, I have been working on adding and changing a few things so that it looks different, but yet still our house. Especially in our bedroom so we won’t be as haunted by those few days. I got a new TV, and am adding curtains and a rug. I also added a rug in the living room, and am adding small decorative things here and there.

3. Am I a bad parent?

New parents are incredibly neurotic. Suddenly, you are handed a newborn and are entirely responsible for it’s health and well being, whether you have experience with newborns or not. When your baby dies, you are left to wonder, how did this happen? Was I that bad at being a parent? So bad that my child died? Sometimes I look at Noah’s ashes and wonder that to myself. Logically, I know that he was sick, and there was nothing we could have done. No way we could have known. The symptoms of his illness were the same traits any newborn would show. He slept a lot and wasn’t so interested in breastfeeding. All babies are like that. It is one of those illogical thoughts that creeps up now and again.

We are fortunate and it seems the minority in our child’s death. We know what happened. He was sick. It has been confirmed over a few different blood tests. For most parents, their babies are written off as SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) which is really a blanket diagnosis for “your baby died and we have no idea why. Some illness or something we haven’t discovered yet.” Those parents are left to go over and over again in their minds what happened the night their baby died and second guess everything they did. I know this because we spent a night like that before our pediatrician called and told us about MCAD. It was agony. It is a reminder that our situation could be a whole lot worse.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm thinking of how many times we must tell the story until it is true and... we believe it.. or.. until its come out us of so many times that it doesn't need to be told anymore. What a good storyteller you are, Sarah. I am happy to hear Noah's story many, many times. Many more. Until it's enough. love, love, Alyce

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah, I am so proud of you. You and Chris have been, and continue to go through, so much. I admire your relentless pursuit of how you honor Noah and remember him while dealing with your constant grief. Even though I'm sure you know this deep down, you are NOT a bad parent! In fact, I'm pretty sure you are one of the best mommies EVER! I don't know any pregnant mother that has taken that great of care of her body before and during her pregnancy -- you are amazing! It broke my heart that this happened to you -- especially with how much you cared for your body while you were pregnant with Noah. You and Chris are in my thoughts and prayers.
Love, Heather

1:29 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home