Friday, April 23, 2010

I can't cry anymore

Weird. I can't cry. I found a new level of grief. Yesterday I went for a walk with a friend who I haven't spent much time with since Audrey died. I told her my good news and she started crying. She said she is so happy for me and that I deserve to be a mother. She said she was so sorry she never offered her condolences but she wanted me to know how deeply she cares and how hurt she is that we lost her. This wasn't just a few tears welling up in her eyes. She was bawling, like- hard to breathe and talk- bawling. I stood there just stunned that she was so broken up about it. She seemed embarrassed to say anything a long time ago for fear that she would cry like this. I found much healing in her tears. It was as if I were standing outside of myself unable to feel anything, yet healing while watching someone else experience sorrow over my baby girl. A few months ago I would have been bawling with her. Now I just feel an ache, a deep ache that tears can't seem to touch.

I realized something that I have forgotten. When friends of mine have lost someone I felt like I had to be strong and not cry(except maybe at the funeral) in their presence. Maybe that's why people have disappointed me, maybe there are more people out there who are embarrassed by their emotions toward our loss so they avoid the topic. Maybe dead babies are too much for them to "keep it together" to be here for us. Maybe they think it's as unfair as we do. I know my friend does anyway. I am blown away at her compassion toward me and I feel I can let go of some my disappointment toward others in my life who have never uttered a word. Even if it did take her 7 months to say something, it was worth the wait to see her sorrow.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Please Pray Update

Thank you so much for your prayers! I'll call her Sue. Sue went in for her ultrasound and baby has more fluid, yeay!! They found in her blood work that she had a silent UTI which could be some of the reason for the low fluid. Baby still looks a little small but they think her due date could have been calculated wrong. She has other children and her last pregnancy docs were way off on her due date. So, praise the Lord everything will probably be okay!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Want to see some cute handbags?

Franchesca at Small Bird Studio is hosting a giveaway by a great artist who makes fabulous handbags! Sign up to win one and check out Maranda's cute Etsy shop!

Oh, and grab my new site button while you're here! Franchesca made it for me and I am so happy with it!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Please Pray

There is someone very close to me who is 15 weeks pregnant. She went in today for a routine ultrasound and didn't receive great news. Her baby is small and does not have what the docs think is enough fluid. She was sent home with a prescription and told to come back in a week to re-check. If baby hasn't improved they told her they would "take" the baby. This is just awful! My heart just feels so heavy for her right now. If you feel led please pray that this little one improves and that she won't have to make a decision to abort or continue with the pregnancy. She is a believer and understands that she doesn't have allow them to "take" the baby- it's just irritating that they automatically jump to that! Sorry, that's just my little rant. She has a lot of other difficult circumstances that I wish I could ask you ladies to pray about but I don't have the liberty to disclose who she is. Your prayers would be appreciated!

Letter to the not-so-grieved

After experiencing some hurts along this long, winding, very bumpy, pot-holed, under-construction road of sorrow, I decided to write this letter. I wrote it on OUR behalves as I have gathered such insight from other baby loss moms as well. Feel free to use it in any way you see fit- if it fits for you and certainly take liberty to omit or add to. I just needed to get this off my proverbial chest. =)

Dear family and friends of the bereaved mom,

This letter was written to help you respond in a healing way to the bereaved mom in your life.

First, to inform you that you cannot possibly give advice to the grieving mother unless you too have lost a child. Even then- what worked for you may not work for her, so tread lightly. Please do not say anything more than the following statements which have been approved by bereaved mothers: I am so sorry. I am thinking of you. I am praying for you. My heart breaks for you. I wish there were something I could say or do to bring your baby back. This really sucks. This is so unfair. I am here for you. If you want to talk I will listen.
Please only say the last two if you mean them.

Please call and ask how she is dealing with the loss 3,6,9 and 12 months later and simply say you are thinking of her. It is important to remember the birth/death day, send a note or card if you are not comfortable with a call. She is still grieving, she has not gotten over it and she will never "get over it."If you have left a message and she has not responded please do not mention to her that she isn't getting back to you. She needs to know you are willing to listen and comfort, but also not feel pressured to return messages. She will reach out when/if she needs you. She will appreciate the gesture.

Do not be afraid of her tears, they are cleansing to her, and you will not make her mad for asking about the child she continually thinks about and misses.

Please do not expect anything or need anything from her for at least 6 months to a year (everyone grieves in a unique way this is just a guideline). And by expecting/needing anything this includes attending any family or special gatherings, especially holidays and baby showers or any place there may be a baby. Simply extend the invite and leave it at that. This also includes your need to be there for her, your feelings may be hurt if she doesn't come to you. Find a way to get past it without her knowing.

Let her off the hook if she says she will be somewhere and she changes her mind and cancels. You cannot take her decisions personally!

Do not go into great detail about someone else's new baby, if she wants to know she will ask.

If she and her significant other plan to "try again" you will know IF she tells you, this is not an appropriate question.

Don't ever assume she has other people supporting her. Don't think you have nothing to offer. She may be all alone in her grief with no one to talk to, the only way you can know this is by contacting her.

When speaking of her child use his/her name, it is important to recognize him/her as a person.

If you are close to her and someone who is not continues to ask about how she is doing, encourage the individual/s to reach out to her. If the individual does not, keep your statements vague in order to protect her privacy. And do not tell her all about how this individual keeps asking specific questions about her (she doesn't need to know that so-and-so keeps asking if you are still crying all the time and won't call to offer her condolences). This is called gossip, no one likes being talked about and not to.

It is a wise idea to do some research regarding the loss of a child. There are many books, websites, blogs, ministries and gifts available that will help you learn how to respond to a grieving parent. And better yet ask the bereaved mother in your life how she would prefer to be comforted, she may not know, especially if it is a very recent loss. She will appreciate you asking and there is nothing wrong with admitting you don't know how to act. There was a time when she didn't know what it was like to be in the shoes of a mother without her baby to hold.

And finally, avoidance is NOT the best policy. Despite what you may think she knows you are avoiding her and chances are that hurts her more than you saying the wrong thing. Again use the aforementioned statements or resources. Not saying anything can be interpreted as an attitude of indifference. It can also make you look like a coward.

I cannot apologize if this letter seems too harsh or uncomfortable for you. The emotions a mother feels are harsh and uncomfortable and for months at a time. The last thing she needs is someone she loves making her feel worse by your words or actions. I do hope that the manner in which I wrote this letter does not tempt you to dismiss the content. Thank you for reading and being a support to us.

Audrey's bereaved mom

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pregnancy Mention

I'll get to the point here. We are cautiously,optimistically, expecting our little rainbow. It's still very early (6 weeks) but I couldn't bear to be quiet any longer. After some careful thought and consideration I've decided that I will continue to keep this blog in memory of Audrey and limit my posts to life as it relates to her. Not that this pregnancy won't, but I feel more comfortable writing about the specifics of this baby in another format. There was a time (just before I found out about rainbow) that it was hard to read about those who've gone on to have another baby. I just wasn't ready. Most of you can probably relate. With that said please feel free to keep stopping by as I will keep on the topic I came here for, loving my Audrey and coping with life in relation to losing her. For any of you who wish to follow our rainbow, look for a button in the coming weeks ( I first have to figure out how to make one).
Thank you all so much for reading and commenting, I started this blog as more of a journal for myself to get my thoughts out there, but of course hoped a few people could relate to me. Now I know how good it feels to not be alone with my thoughts.

Hope everyone had a peaceful Easter!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Reminders of you

I finally did it this morning, ventured down the stairs and to a tote filled with reminders. Yesterday I was jolted out of denial that spring is here when I went to lunch with a few friends. I got out of my car to go into the restaurant and much to my surprise I was overdressed- as in too heavy of clothing. One friend had short sleeves, bare legs and flip flops on and the other sandals and a sleeveless top. It didn't even occur to me how hot it was outside when I got in my car. There's that ugly grief again. I said to the girls. "Wow, I didn't know how hot it was going to be today," in my jeans,black hoodie and closed shoes. The truth is I heard it on the news but chose to ignore it, as if that would make the world remain still so I wouldn't have to face the joy and pain last spring brought us. You see, on March 31st last year my aunt died and I was still grieving our miscarriage too. Also, the sun shining and new life budding just irritates me. Never in my life have I been unhappy to see spring. I am not entirely unhappy, it just irritates me that people complain all winter about the snow and being cooped up. Then before we know it summer hits and people complain it's hot. No matter the weather I have a dead baby people!! Don't complain about the weather to me!
Anyway, I made it to the basement to get my summer clothes out of the tote I stored them in after fall. As I packed those clothes away I was in the darkest days of sorrow after losing Audrey. I didn't want to look at them, after all those were the clothes I wore while I was pregnant with her. I'm a pretty practical girl, I like to make the most out of the clothes I buy so I bought mostly non -maternity items stretchy enough to be worn during pregnancy, yet again next summer. So this morning there I was opening the tote with the pieces of cloth that contained my pregnancy. The cotton that touched my pregnant belly. It was surreal and I did it without crying. All day I am reminded that I wore this skirt and these flip flops to meet the midwife who was going to be there when I gave birth to Audrey at home. I'm also the kind of girl who gets rid of an outfit if something bad happened to me in it. I'd like to get rid of all last years clothes, but the trouble is I cannot afford that!

Part of me thinks I am happy to see spring and to wear these reminders of you. Maybe it's a good thing I can't afford to buy a new summer wardrobe if it means I can remember the good times we had- you and me Audrey.