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.


Calm down.

Give him time.

Take baby steps.


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.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Feeling compelled.....

...Day in and day out, to have another baby.

It's a constant nagging desire.

A whisper in my ear.

A pull in my heart.

An ache in my stomach.

Day in and day out.

What do I do with that? How do I make that desire come through loud and clear to my husband who's not really on board? How do I convey the gravity of the issue, the out of this world pull it has on me?

How to I explain that it doesn't feel optional to me at all, that it's not something I can "wait and see" about, it's an issue, a NEED that I have to address, and ideally, I'd get to address it soon.

Does it make any sense at all that I feel like I NEED to have another baby? Like it's a desire God placed on my heart, that it's something we're supposed to do, or a gift we're supposed to accept? Does it make me sound terrible if I admit that I think it will further help me heal from my losing Everett and from my miscarriage? Do I sound totally selfish and awful if I say that I think having another pregnancy and baby, and getting to me a mommy once more will feel good, in so many ways, and help smooth over all the things that have felt so bad in my life? Am I horrible?

I don't know how to answer when people say, usually in discouraging tones, "why do you want another", I don't know what an "acceptable" answer would be.

I just do.

I want to be a mommy of a baby again.

I want another child in my home.

I want Avery to share in my excitement, now that she's old enough to get in on the fun, and she wants another baby.

I want Landon to be a big brother.

I want to be pregnant again, and feel a new life grow inside me.

I want to hold a new born in my arms, and nurse them and sleep with them on my chest.

I want a baby in our lives again.

My family is not complete, and never will be, but I feel it calls for another baby, day in and day out.

Why does anyone ever want a baby? Because we want to love them. Because our hearts compel us so. Because we think they're cute. Because we can express our love and hopes for the future in our love for them. Because family is amazing. Because children are amazing.

Because I need to.

I would know if I was done. I would feel it.

And I know that I am not done.

So what now? What does this aching mama do with her growing desire to mama one more? Where do I put it? How do I handle it? I am on fire with want for another pregnancy and baby, what now?

All that can be done is prayer. Prayer for God's will do be done.

Prayer for God t hear my heart call, prayer for his guidance and intervention.

Prayer, that fear would subside and hope override, and that God's will is that our family receives a new addition, and soon!



Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I want something........

I want to fill the hole in my heart

I want to patch the cracks in my sanity

I want to ease the throbbing ache of grief

I want to suppress the sorrow

I want to hold back the tears

I want to build up walls of protection from the world

I want to rip the blinders off those who can't see my grief

I want to climb a mountain and shout Everett's name from it's peak

I want to make a difference and do it in the name of my son, who has already changed so many lives

I want to announce his existence to everyone who asks how many kids I have

I want to build a time machine

I want to fix his broken heart, then bring him home and love him

I want to comfort those who mourn

I want to be comforted

I want to do something with the grief and turmoil inside of me

I want to change my life

I want Everett

I want to see my twin boys side by side again

I want to throw away all my mementos and have the real thing instead

I want for him to never have died

I want to know God's rational some day

I want to understand his plan

I want to feel whole, and know I never will

I want Everett, always


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Once bereft, always bereft....

It's my experience, in the two years, four months and one day that I've been grieving, that you don't graduate from grief. You don't get discharged from it. You don't get promoted out of it. It's a life sentence, or if you will, a brand, seared into you for the remainder of your days. And like a brand, it may start out raging, raw and painful, and with time heal over, settle down, hurt less, but even scar tissue is painful when handled wrong.

Yes, once grieved, always grieved.

This is reasonable since I can't "un-lose" my baby, therefor I should not expect to "un-hurt", or "un-long", or "un-mourn" him.

Even on my very best days, when my life is filled with gratitude and hope and beauty and joy, the scar is there, red and raised and reminding me that nothing is quite right, because he is not here. Not to say that Everett is a scar, or that he is painful to me, because that is not the case. The scar is the grief, the scar is the sadness, the scar is the shattered expectations, the damaged trust, the disbelief.

Two years, four months and one day after the fact, and I am still standing mouth agape, in disbelief in that hospital room in Toronto in my mind. I'm still dumbfounded. The shock is still resonating through me, like the aftershocks following an earthquake, I'm not done experiencing his loss yet, and I fear I have not yet begun to "heal" over yet. My scar is still new. It still hurts. And every time I hear the word "twins", or "NICU", or "heart defect", or "ECMO", it's like someone poking a finger into the wound. It's agony.

I must look healed to those standing on the outside looking in. Because people certainly feel free to talk about their friend who's having twins, or their neighbors baby who just had open heart surgery, or the baby they saw on TV who had to be on life support because of a heart defect. And as bad as it sounds, I want to shove my fingers in my ears and yell "LALALALALALA" as loud as I can. Or even worse I want to tell them to shut up, give a dirty look and storm out of the room. Grief's irrational like that. But please! I am not okay with talking about these things, it's painful, VERY, painful. And the hardest part is that those who don't know, don't know, and it's not their fault. I can't expect them to understand it. I can't expect someone who's never grieved their baby to know what the triggers of grief are. And honestly, they're different from griever to griever.

Yes, once bereft always bereft.

And you know what else this bereft Mama always feels called to do? Fund raise in Everett's name. I feel an overwhelming drive to do big and beautiful things in his name, to give purpose and meaning to his brief life, tangible, comprehendable meaning that is, to make sense of the mere 20 days I had to know him outside the womb. God had a purpose, this I know to the core of me, God had a plan and he executed it flawlessly. God and Everett are right and squared, they understand each other and what went down perfectly. But I got left out. I don't get it. I'm not informed and I don't understand it. So, I'm driven to make sense of it in my own way.

I lost Everett, that caused me grief, my grief made me sensitive, so I sympathize with other bereft parents and want to make them hurt less, so I want to fund raise for them, to make the process easier, in some little way for them. Everett made it possible for other families to hurt less. That=Good. And good, we can all agree, is good.

Grief makes you crazy you know, you can never be quite certain if your new quirky take on life will be interpreted as an insightful and genuine take on life after loss, or just plan strangeness, I'm not even certain myself. Grief also makes you care less, so I won't lose any sleep over whether or not I'm strange or not.

See this boy?

He holds up a mirror for me, and shows me each day what Everett would look like, and it stings like rubbing alchol on a too fresh wound, but it hurts good, like the pain that diminishes an itch, the itch was far worse then the pain itself.

He reminds me of so many truths I needed to know....

Life goes on

God is good

Somethings are not to be understood here on earth

Flowers grow from dirt, and good grows from bad

Everett was, he existed, he's still here in a sense, in our hearts, in our memories, in our dreams, and in Landon's precious face.

And Landon speaks now. He talks up a storm.

He speaks, and he says his brothers name. Almost perfectly. And again, it hurts in the most welcoming way.

Once bereft always bereft.

But thank the Lord that He teaches us to live with it, love through it, and grow by it.