Monday, July 25, 2016

1 Year

It's depressing to think of the difference a year makes.  A long and lonely year.  A year ago this coming Saturday, for the first and last time Gary was able to feel Abigail move.  It's the last time that I am certain I felt her move.  We would find out that we lost her 24 days later.  She died sometime between then and the next 10 days.  It's just awful.  I've not had a real good go of it this past weekend.  I know that it's impossible but I'm angry with the doctors and I want her back.  It's so infuriating that so many people screwed up, and it didn't cost them anything, but it cost us our daughter.  I know it does no good to dwell on it, but the absolute injustice of it, is driving me mad.

Last Friday night, though as I drifted off to sleep I had a dream, that jolted me awake.  I laid there in tears not sure if I was glad I had the dream or not.  I saw a baby girl, not quite a year.  She had those really fat baby feet that they have, round with no arch, with squishy toes pressed into a dark wood floor.  She was just starting to walk, with those bouncing wavering steps.  Swaying around from the shoulders up with short, whispy, auburn red hair flying around, straight as a stick and not a bit of it laying down.  I don't know about other people but I don't dream in sound.  I just see very vivid pictures, and strong emotions.  There are times I know there is sound, but I don't actually hear anything.  This was one of those times.  I know she was babbling, and I "heard" mama in a string of other incoherent words.  She was walking to someone, kinda like she was crossing a room from one side of the room to the other, and I was sitting in the corner watching just after she had passed by me.

It was the most vivid dream I've had in a long, long time.  And only the second time, that I woke up feeling like I had dreamed of her.  I was just struck all over again of everything that as her mother I've been robbed of.  Her first birthday is coming up and I don't know what to do.  Gary has already asked off of work, at my insistence.  I'm on several baby loss groups, and I've seen lots of ideas.  They typically visit their grave, do a balloon release, and have cake.  Several light a candle in memory.  Others do something else in particular every year, year after year to celebrate their child's "still birthday" after all they still were here.  A woman in one group just the other day posted a picture at her daughter's stone, with a cupcake sitting on top, celebrating her 19th birthday.  The reality that this is only the first of a lifetime of non-birthdays, is immensely depressing.  Each year that passes will find me older, and her unchanged.  The joy of celebrating our other children's birthdays for them of course is the cake and gifts, but for me it is the amazement of stopping to look through their photos and realizing just how much they have changed in the little moments that at the time had seemed to pass without change.  Abigail will only have birthdays that are and aren't birthdays.

The memories we have will forever be limited to me yelling "I knew it!" while looking at a digital pregnancy test, while Gary was in the shower.  Taking a photo the day after my twin brothers' birthday, while the kids hold signs that I kept insisting they quit trying to sound out the words.  Sitting down at Red Lobster with mine and Gary's parents and watching them open a bag of candy and read the photos to the kids.  A favorite new, green maternity shirt that I wore as often as possible.  A single surprise ultrasound done alone, the first day of June.  A single appointment where we heard her heartbeat, with Britt and Ruth working the doppler while the midwife held Rebecca up on the table by me.  Buying a larger vehicle just for this new baby.  And a last set of naive photos the morning of a truly awful ultrasound.  A day long, strange form of labor that ended with having you to hold for less than 2 hours -  two hours that will have to last a lifetime.  A blur of a funeral.  Ten snapshot memories in place of what should have been a lifetime.  I'm not sure that I'll ever come to terms with it.

I hate child loss.

1 comment:

MrsJOFCIII said...

I hate it too.

Sometimes I think it's terribly selfish when I pray I don't ever have to hate it the way you hate it- that I don't ever have to hate it with experience instead of sympathy. But then again, I pray the same thing for you- to never have to go through this again.

I hate it for you, though. I don't know what to say. No words cover this, right.

It's just that when you say you want her back, my heart breaks for you and I want her back to you too.

The irony is that she is in the best hands and would probably be very sorry to have to be here. But though that is the greatest of all comforts, knowing she's in eternity with God doesn't lessen the loss of all her time. It can't take away the loss, but I hope it is comfort in that loss.

"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

The most comforting message.

Maybe dreaming about her is just the Lord's way of letting you have her again for a moment. I don't know. I don't know if I would be glad either for such a dream. I know that losing an elderly grandfather shouldn't be compared to losing a baby, so I don't mean to compare the losses like they're equivalent, but just to share the experience- for over a year after my granddad died I dreamed about him at least once a week, sometimes every night. Some of them were good, just like he was alive again, and some of them were stressful and upsetting, but waking up I was never happy. Anyway all that to say it might be just a normal part of grief, if there is a "normal" to grief.

Praying for you, and will try to intensify the prayer to match the intensity of this season of sad anniversaries