Thursday, October 13, 2016

Dear World

Capture Your Grief - Day 13 - Dear World

Dear World,

If there was one thing about this journey that I could make you understand it is the fact that it literally changes everything about your life.  I believe it's because it so fundamentally shakes you at your core, and drastically affects your thoughts and decision making.  What's particularly sad is that there are times that you know you are being irrational, paranoid, or ridiculously anxious, but are powerless to do anything about it.  There are times that your body kicks into gear, and even though you are telling yourself to stop shaking or to breathe normally, your body refuses to obey.  There are times that you are telling yourself that this is not going to happen, but you mind makes all the contingencies anyway.

We lost Abigail due to medical negligence.  Plain and simple.  I'm still trying to get my mind around it.  To go to the doctor requires a multi-step process now, when before it was something I didn't even think about.  I have to mentally prep myself to make a phone call, and that's after I've researched the doctor to the moon and back.  I then have to get my emotions under control enough to explain to a random receptionist that we need an appointment because I've had a previous still birth.  I then spend days between scheduling and appointment alternately stressing about: if something is wrong, if they don't find anything to give us answers, if they don't take us seriously, if they treat us like a jerk instead of like people who have buried a child, if the current baby is really ok, if they will test without me begging pleading or throwing a fit, etc.  The day of the appointment comes and I find myself perched on the edge of a chair, knee bouncing, hands shaking and clenching each other.  Then they finally call us back.  I have to get through the entire story of what happened with not only the doctor but first the nurse.  Then I have to wait, often alone, for the doctor to show up.  For fun, I run through the entire list of concerns in my head.  There is the fighting of a panic attach when ultrasounds are hooked up in the office.  Generally the doctor manages to set me at ease, until I walk out the door, then I second guess all my impressions and their decisions or actions.

This overly mental process occurs all over my daily life now.  I have mentally designed tombstones for all of our children, including the one that I am pregnant with now.  Seriously.  This morning I found myself looking at taggies, so that if we lost this child, I would at least have bought something for him or her, unlike with Abigail.  Then I found myself contemplating what scripture reference to put on the stone.  It was this evening before I realized that might not have been the most normal thing to consider.  It doesn't really feel like an "if," though I often say if we get to keep this one.  It feels inevitable that we will lose another.  I have mentally thought through who to get out of a car in what order if we ended up crashed in a river.

I have to overly plan out and organize myself to spend an entire day out of the house, because it's too mentally exhausting.  Do I go to a baby shower?  Is it supportive to go or is it the dark cloud to rain on everyone's parade because I'm the horror story of what could happen?  Am I even up to it, and all the assumptions that of course the baby will be born healthy.  When women are sharing birth stories, do I join in or no.  Do I tell the story of our first three and skip Abigail's labor and birth?  When I hear about doctors just hanging out and watching complications or potential problems instead of being active, can I just keep my mouth shut without freaking out.  When a random stranger in town tells Britt, it must be hard being the only boy, and he says I have three sisters, but one of them died.  Then which of the seventeen possible responses do I pull out?  Only to then spend the rest of the day thinking how I could have handled that better to not freak them out, and honor my daughter.  The one than consumes alot of thought though is how can I include her in our life and be honest about her, without running off everyone I know and freaking everyone else out.  Then I wonder why it is that I have to care about what other people think because I'm the one that buried a child, who cares how they feel about it?

It changes the way I live my daily life, the way that I parent, the way that I express myself as a wife.  It changes everything.  My life is literally before and after.  It's hard to explain, because most of this is an internal thing, a mental thing, but the truth is that you are never the same after the loss of a child.  So many don't understand or recognize it, and it's nearly impossible to explain, but it affects relationships.  Mostly because even though it's not something that is easy to understand and recognize others can feel the shift and it make them uncomfortable, it either drives them away because they can't deal with it, or you push away from them because they failed to be there for you in a way that you though your closest friends would.

Like I said yesterday, I'm still trying to find something good from all this, but the truth is that it changes things in every way.  And I'm not sure that any of it is for the better.

~a Momma who will always be missing her daughter~


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