Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I hate hindsight!

It just further drives home the point, that what's done is done.

We have comfort in faith, but no power, no magic.

We have no ability to travel back in time and correct the mistakes we made that are so GLARINGLY obvious today.

Yes, hindsight, I hate you!

It makes my stomach ache, my heart crumble into pieces so fine it's nearly dust. It fills me with anger and resentment and guilt, and sadness.

Hindsight seems to exist only to rub our stupidity and our rash decisions in our faces.

It thumbs its nose at me, taunting "You messed up and there's nothing you can do about it now!". It practically laughs in my face.

Hindsight is a total jerk.

Not sure why I chose tonight to swan dive into grief. Since I already have a pretty distressing and never ending headache, choosing to upset myself and opting to deal with the resulting tears seems pretty foolish, but nothing about grief is rational.

So tonight, though a tiny voice inside of me was pleading "Don't do it! Don't go there!", I went to the place in my computer where my Everett files are stored, and I started reading. I read every post I made on my mommy message board while Everett was fighting for life. And I cried.

Then I read every private message my friends sent me after he passed, and I sobbed.

Then I watched the only video I have of him on my computer. I saw his tiny body, I could practically feel how soft he was. I watched him breath, and squint, and cry and complain, and I marveled at his tiny little intact chest, pre-surgery, and noted how sick it was at all that I was marveling at the sight of an intact chest, but with Everett, we became quite used to a piece of gauze being all there was between our eyes and his heart. I watched him on the screen, alive, pink, precious, doing things babies do, maybe crying to be held, or fed, or complaining in the only way he could that he just didn't feel right, and then I went totally numb inside. The body, and the mind, they protect themselves from pain like this, otherwise I think I might actually have died from my grief years ago.

Next, I moved onto pictures of him. Pictures where he's sick, but not that sick. Sure he's in Toronto, awaiting open heart surgery, but he's breathing on his own with lungs that are healthy and functioning. Sure his heart is badly deformed, but for now, it's pumping, his skin is pink, he's sleeping, bundled on his side, hands bunched by his face, and he's adorable. He looks just like Landon, which both delights me and kills me all at once, because it drives home the fact that whether I feel like it or not, I actually had identical twins, for a while.

The sight of his hands, tucked by his chin, is more painful then I think it should be. It puzzles me, why that hurts so bad to see, but then it strikes me that it hurts because some moments in his brief little baby life, were normal. And that brings us to hindsight.

If hindsight were actually functional in some way, I could appreciate it. If it pointed out our mistakes and then allowed us to fix them, how amazing would that be!?

He had normal. He had a quasi healthy existence during that first week. And we charged in like heroes set on remodeling his heart and saving his life, but instead I think we trampled on his hope and his health, crushing them like flowers into the ground. WHY OH WHY did we steal his chance to be healthy with our impatience and our panic!?! We panicked and plowed ahead full force with a plan of action too radical and too forceful for him, for tiny little brand new him.

His surgery was practically a beating, we only made him sicker, weaker, and more unable to cope with the cross he had to bear.

This is why I hate hindsight.

If it served any purpose at all, I'd go back right now and tell myself what I know now.

Slow down.

Breath.

Calm down.

Give him time.

Take baby steps.

Wait.

Wait until he's bigger.

Wait until he's stronger.

Be patient, don't rush to fix him all at once.

Rebuild his heart, step by step.

Start small, and work up.

Give him TIME!

Maybe a smaller surgery at first would have bought him time.

Maybe we could have let him heal and grow before doing a total fix.

Maybe his lungs would not have given out.

Maybe he would have never needed ECMO.

Maybe he would have recovered, and been a poster child for CHD repair.

Maybe he'd be a success story rather then a statistic.

Maybe I'd have three kids in my home right now.

Damn hindsight.

But I don't need hindsight to tell me that things could have been different, if only. I only need a video like this, to show me my baby, how he was, normal precious baby, to let me know how grievously wrong our actions were, and how much our mistakes cost us.

Baby Everett Video

I know, I know, many will tell me that we had no way of knowing what the outcome would be, we didn't cause his death, we didn't make mistakes, I know, I know. But it doesn't change the violation my heart feels I committed. Knowing that logically I did everything I could doesn't negate the guilt and the shame and the pain, it only intensifies the regret.

Katie

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