Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Still in Utter Disbelief

You'd think that I'd absolutely assume the reality that my son died by now. But you want to know what? About half of my days, I still take a moment to live through the reality that my son really is dead. He's not still growing. He's not on a vacation from us (Yeah, like I'd ever let that happen anyway. He doesn't even get that now!).

He. is. not. coming. back. I will never know why and that IS our reality. It's absolutely horrible. Like the worst horrible ever. Until the day I die, I will forever be a mom on earth missing her son in a deep way.

I still cannot fathom, during some moments, that he really, really is gone.

Something silly (and shameful) that often pops into my brain is the ignorance I once held about mothers of stillborn children. I don't know if I really ever thought it through, but I'm sure if you would have asked me prior to Andrew's birth how stillbirths occur, I would have probably, embarrassingly, told you that they were often due to the mother's negligence. For thousands of years, babies have been born to parents who weren't taking extra precautions to take prenatal vitamins, stay away from secondhand smoke, etc. I guess because so many children are born to parents who are abusive while having a child in utero (i.e. drugs) and by God's grace (Why them?) are spared, I couldn't imagine babies being born dead with no known cause to women who were cautious and nurturing. Sure, there's a cause. We just don't know it and never will. Neither will my friends who are parents of children taken by SIDS, or miscarriages.

I would apologize for the outrageous amount of DB posts lately, but it's my reality for the rest of my life. How do you think I feel being that person who actually lives in these shoes and doesn't just read a sad post and carry on with my day? That was me before Andrew. I read them, too, and felt sorry. I cried at some. I thanked God I wasn't in their shoes. It's a whole different ballgame now.

Switching gears a bit...

I read this news article about a little boy who said that during a surgery, he slipped away to heaven. He sat on Jesus' lap, and met a sister in heaven he didn't know he had. It turns out that his mother had miscarried before he was born and that child was in heaven. He "came back" and told his family about his encounters and the sister he met that he never knew existed.

Listen. I don't necessarily believe that to be complete truth, nor am I in a place to reject it. But wouldn't that be lovely for us BLMs if it were true? This idea this boy revealed that our deceased babies are in heaven enjoying themselves, growing, and experiencing no hurt? Wouldn't that be just a wonderful release for us who are missing them so terribly? If Andrew were actually the age he is meant to be (15w2d) and not always 38w5d gestation? Wouldn't it be wonderful that although we must endure such incredible heartache and sadness for the rest of our lives, that our babies are living a peaceful life in heaven? I do believe Andrew lives in heaven with his creator, but I'm just not sure about the child visiting heaven, seeing things we aren't sure will be, and then coming back to share with us on earth.

Another gear change...

I wanted to really title this post "Still in Utter Disbelief & How Much I HATE the Teacher's Lounge", but I figured keeping it short would be best--though it appears I've written a novel thus far.

As a kid, the teacher's lounge is a mortal abyss where no student has ever gone before. To some teachers, it's the land of gossip and nagging about the principal and the latest textbook adoption. It's the place that has far too many caloric treats that just ask to be glued to your thighs. And to some of us, it's the wretched place we have to store our lunches.

I was sitting in the TL today as I often do with a book in hand (to avoid the lame chit-chat). One woman starts talking about OB/GYN malpractice and how of all cases against doctors, this field of medicine has the highest rate of claims. I knew that. I have a nurse friend (also a BLM) who deals with these cases as her daily job. It's just not something I liked hearing in the teacher's lounge with so much opinion attached.

One woman mentions that Rhode Island's OB/GYN system is unionized. First of all, don't even get me started on unions. Being a teacher and force-ably made to join a defunct union that just breeds carelessness, mediocrity, and laziness, I do not support them. Anyway, the teacher (being a union member herself) defended this as to say that, "If things go south in the delivery room, parents get all crazy and file claims"-- she even went on to say that her friend (the delivery nurse) has had to deal with 2 claims because of this. Had to? Oh. I. hate.

I hated this conversation for so many reasons. I think bullet points are necessary:
  • I don't feel sorry for a nurse having to review a claim because someone possibly lost their child. It's a human life for goodness sakes. Having to take some time to review malpractice when you have better things to do? Two claims in her whole career thus far? That's hardly worth complaining about.
  • I was in the room. Every teacher at this school knows I lost my baby quite recently (though IMO, it wouldn't matter if I lost him 50 years ago). While I'd prefer as much normalcy as possible, I don't enjoy hearing conversations about things going south in the delivery room like it's as casual as the weather. Going south is an understatement. Again with that whole human life thing. Perhaps it's easy to say for those who haven't lost a child, but a whole lot more happened in that delivery room than things just going south.
  • I don't like reliving the delivery room scene. Okay, I relive it just about daily-- but that's not the point. I didn't need a reminder of my sadness.
  • Doctors know that malpractice occurs. They are trained to ensure that they will honestly care for the public to the best of their ability. If they are not doing so, the public who pays heavily for this service (um, have you seen how much it costs to be administered a simple Tylenol in the hospital?!) is entitled to have their case reviewed. Negligent doctors need not be taking care of the public. Nor poor teachers instructing our youth... you get the picture.
  • While malpractice occurs and I don't feel that is a concern in our case (reason we did not file a malpractice claim), I don't like how close-to-home this whole topic was. We're educated in our rights, but we're not doctors. Could something have alerted doctors before Andrew passed away? Maybe, but we don't think so. Can we change the fact that Andrew died? Nope. 
... stepping down off the soap-box right now ...

Before finishing this post, I read a recent message from a friend.

But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They have no worries in a year of drought and never fail!!! Jeremiah 17:7-8

I don't know about no worries and never failing, God, but I trust. On my knees, crying uncontrollably, but I trust.


*Laura Angel said... [Reply to comment]

Its been almost a year and a half, and I still can't believe that this is my life, still cant believe I gave birth to a dead baby, and that she is buried etc...its a struggle everyday. It gets a tad better, this is still new to you, take your time! Hugs!

LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

Everyday I wish I woke up in my parallel life. The one with Jack in it.

I wish there were someone to blame, and part of me blames the night nurse when we were still in our regular hospital since she was a douche and didn't seem worried when Jack was wheezing... Makes me angry... It would be so much easier to blame someone...

Also, as part of a union... I completely agree with your thoughts on that, lol.

Newlywed Next Door said... [Reply to comment]

Great post. I so know what you mean about the disbelief.

I read that news article too! I want to believe it but it seems very far-fetched. Of course it made me think of my little guy (who I believe is in heaven) and wonder what that looks like for a soul who never walked this earth.

And a huge "UGH" to the Teacher's Lounge. People are so insensative and oblivious. You should bring an iPod to the lounge from now on.
I have a similar story... I basially quit my church Life Group because a girl who is newish to the group but still knew I lost my baby told an awful story during prayer time about her friend getting pregnant out of wedlock and that she prayed for a misscarriage and it came true. WTF?! It was so awkward and sad.

PS- Yup, I have a lot of blog! :)

Tiffany said... [Reply to comment]

i understand completely. i always thought SIDS happened to "other" people. i was so sure that i didn't have to worry about it. Juju was so healthy. he grew so rapidly. he had so much control of his head. he was just a perfect baby. never did i imagine that i would be living this terrible reality. and i know what you mean about others not watching what they say. i had a coworker call the computer helpdesk complaining about her computer "going to sleep and not waking up again". i about punched her. :(

i've heard about that book. i truly hope that it is true and that our babies are up there enjoying themselves. it is a comfort to think of it that way.

Jill said... [Reply to comment]

Its almost been 2 years that Naomi has been gone, and I sit and stare at her pictures on my memorial and I still think, is this REALLY my life? Is Naomi really done? Did I really give birth to a beautiful PERFECT yet tiny baby girl who lived for just 35 days in the NICU? It still seems un real and I stil lquestion it. Big hugs to you.

Becky said... [Reply to comment]

At Liam's funeral a cousin of my husbands told us that she heard a story about a 3 year old that had died and then got resuscitated and told his family that he went to heaven and met Grandpa. When his family showed him pictures of his grandparents at the age they were when they died the child said he didn't recognize any of them but when they showed him a picture of his grandpa when he younger in his 20's that child was really excited say "yeah that's grandpa". Seems hard to believe like in your story but it's a nice thought also.
I don't have a teachers lounge but have listened to my fair share of people at work complain about their kids and how they are done having them, no more, their kids are driving them nuts. I just want to yell them for saying that in front of me since all I want is the chance to be a parent to a living child.

Alli (and Tommy too!) said... [Reply to comment]

I woke up and that post somehow disappeared from my FB -- like the cruise photos. Really?
David talks about Bathsheba's baby being in heaven in the bible. I'm sure you know that story but, Andrew is in heaven! I know that with my whole heart :)

Molly said... [Reply to comment]

Yep, I am three and a half months ahead of you, and I do the same. By the earlier comments, I guess the disbelief is another "treat" we get to live with along with flashbacks and a gaping wound. Greeaaat!

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

Have you read When Bad Things Happen to Good People? It made me feel like I was capable of faith when I thought it had been completely wiped out with Eliza's death.

And O, the teacher's lounge. Makes me feel stabby just reading about it.