Monday, June 6, 2011

Where I'm at: 6 months, 1 day

Exhausted. Emotional leads to physical exhaustion and I'm spent. Never did I think life would be this difficult. Loss is a brutal, brutal enemy.

This month marked 1/2 of a year from Andrew's birth/death and 6 months from when I used to be normal. To make matters worse as 6 months feels like quite the milestone (in the life of a live baby), the days occurred on the same days they did in December. December 4 was the day we went in for our final doctor visit--Saturday. We heard Andrew's heartbeat and left thinking we'd be giving birth any time! Sometime between December 4 and December 5, our son died. The next day, Sunday, I woke up and began feeling sharp pains in my abdomen. I was in labor and didn't know it until hours later when the contractions became unbearable. Hours later, we found out our son passed away. Today is a Monday and Monday was the first day without Andrew with us. In my body, in our arms. He was gone. GONE.

On the facebook front, I often want to announce this but realize those who should read it won't have access: If you have an infant, are blissfully pregnant and have never experienced a loss, or feel the need to talk about babies nonstop, I probably will not accept your friend request. I make no apologies.

It doesn't particularly help that this negative post is being written on a day just after a would-be milestone where our {large, empty} house was filled with lots of crying. I should've probably waited to write because I've got nothing positive to say. But this is where I am at today.

When I was on that hospital bed about to deliver my deceased child, I thought about wanting to immediately start over. I wanted to become pregnant as soon as possible. I wanted more children. I wanted to experience their bodies growing and kicking inside of mine and to know parenthood would not be too far ahead in our future. I was certain that a half of a year later, I'd be pregnant. I'm sitting here typing right now, at 6 months and 1 day without a child. Not pregnant and still at the exact same point I've been at for 6 months-- aside from not needing to be peeled off the couch from sobbing all day. I still do that quite regularly, but at least the blinds aren't closed. Of course when I see another person with a stroller walk by, I wonder why the blinds are still open and wish them closed again.

I'm feeling like my entire life in the last 6 months has been a waste of time and stagnant in nature. We've been distracting ourselves and managed to book up most of our summer weekends on distraction trips. Sometimes that makes matters better, and sometimes worse. We are out of our house and experiencing new things, but know that we'd rather be with Andrew. We'd rather be doing anything with Andrew over all these "fun" things we planned instead. We went for a nature walk yesterday and all I could think about was how wonderful it would've been to carry Andrew in the Bjorn or push him in a jogger. We would've taken photos and talked to him about all the animals, flowers, and trees. Instead, we just commented about how much we're missing out on.

I'm still distant from friends and my entire old life. I don't think that old life will ever be back and I guess in many ways I am okay with that. Because Andrew changed me. He changed us. Our house is looking more beautiful than ever but I could care less about any of that. I'd give it all up in an instant to just have Andrew here. A lot of people have said a lot of stupid things to me recently as 6 months marks a milestone. Many expect you to move on from here or to at least have a hope of new pregnancy. They are hoping we get pregnant, too, so I can be "fixed" and move on. So the old Brandy will come back. That's not how losing your child works. New babies, albeit wonderful, will never fill that gaping hole that Andrew fits.

I'm still very much devastated by losing my son. I still can't look at Parents magazines and still turn my head when I see babies on the street. I still avert my eyes at pregnant bellies and still refuse to attend baby showers. Being around newborns is nearly impossible. Seeing 6-month old babies is painful also, but since I only have one image of Andrew to remember, it's hard to even grasp what having a growing child would look like.

In some ways I feel like I was in a better place a few months ago and am now back in a slump. I was exercising and occupied and withholding sweets (which got me back into my size 2's and made me more health conscious). I'm thankful for my baby loss friends who literally get me through the days in knowing that what I feel is completely normal and acceptable. Knowing that I'm allowed to still cry and feel crushed by this pain. The only thing I am completely thankful for in this sadness is that my marriage is better than it's ever been (though it's always been pretty fantastic).

At 6 months and 1 day, I'm still surviving. Not sure about thriving, still, but getting myself out of bed every morning. Sorry for the downer, but it's right where I'm at in this moment.


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

I hate that grief is cylical but it is. I wish it could just be linear and then "over."
I know what you mean about feeling like time is "wasted" and filling your life with distraction trips.

Solange, Nik and Caitlin said... [Reply to comment]

I'm sorry.

still life angie said... [Reply to comment]

I related to every sentiment in your post. I'm glad you didn't wait until you felt better to post, because this sums up the way grief is at six months, especially at the anniversary of six months. At least for me. This project is about capturing right where you are. It is "right" where you are. There is no wrong way to do this. Grief is brutal and cruel. I'm just so sorry Andrew isn't with you. I am also glad you found a community of women. Sending love. xo

Kelly said... [Reply to comment]

I'm happy you didn't wait to write this, too. It's right where you are. Grief is horrible. I think people expect it to follow a straight line and that we move through it and get over it. It's up and down and always will be. I'm sorry you're having a rough time right now. ((Hugs))

Molly said... [Reply to comment]

I am so proud of you for posting this when you are down. And I'm so glad you're not torturing yourself with baby showers, etc. and for not apologizing for it! I know we all feel stronger and more confident in making those kinds of decisions bc we have each other.

Olaina.PhotosAndArt said... [Reply to comment]

I'm glad you posted. I sometimes feel embarrassed/ashamed/whatever to post when I'm down, but facts are facts. It wouldn't be real otherwise. You're helping people.

Ben and Katie said... [Reply to comment]

Thank you for sharing your heart! It means alot to me! One day I will post about what people say to me and be honest about it! I really dislike their comments.
I was on post today for an appt for Ben and it was a debby downer for cannot go on post and not see someone who is preggo and worse then that be in the hospital where either they are prego or just had sucks. We cannot even try right now because of our situation. I cannot even imagine your pain in losing Andrew but I have a glimpse of dreams that are dead right now and there is nothing you can do about it!
Praying for you and good for you getting off the couch even if you still are crabby! I have the same days and we deserve to still grieve!

Shell said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks for sharing your post. Thinking of you and Andrew.

katie illingworth said... [Reply to comment]

Brandy I'm so sorry this happened to both of us. It's just sucky, plain and simple. I don't know if I'll ever attend a baby shower ever again, and frankly, if I don't, I will not feel bad about it!

For me, too, life just feels like wasted time. Like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. The same awful morning again and again.

Georgie died on a Sunday. At least right now, I totally hate Sundays. So sad because Sundays used to be my favorite, and they never will be again.

Sending love and prayers to you. Thinking of your sweet Andrew. You will see him again. Of course your grief for him is huge, because your love for him is unfathomable.


Hope's Mama said... [Reply to comment]

Truly, this could have been me writing this post when I hit the six month mark. I also wanted to be pregnant immediately, but at six months I wasn't. Just past the seven month mark, I found out I was pregnant again. I hope the same happens for you, and soon.
I deleted my entire FB account when I lost my firstborn daughter, almost three years ago now. I've only been back on a year or so, but I still find so much of it hard. Baby girls born in 2008 are enough to destroy me. They are not even babies anymore.
Thinking of you so much and glad you took part in this project.
You truly are not alone.

LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

xox. That is all.

d.a.r. said... [Reply to comment]

I really admire your for sharing your journey. Your raw honesty is inspiring. I am praying for you guys.

Just the 3 of Us said... [Reply to comment]

I just want you to know I read every post...although sometimes I don't feel like I have the right words to say in a comment...

I am so sorry for your loss and for your pain. I appreciate your honesty in sharing your raw emotions with your readers.

erica said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks so much for writing so honestly about where you are. I am so sorry about your Andrew. Six months is a hard time anyway, but I remember those monthly anniversaries when the days lined up and how they just ached a little bit more somehow...

Sending love.

Fireflyforever said... [Reply to comment]

I am sorry your Andrew died. I remember the quarter milestones in that first year being sooo hard ... 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year. It was hard a lot of the time, but they were especially tough days to deal with.

I deleted my FB account after Emma died - had NO wish whatsoever to deal with all the happyland babytalk - I now have an account with only babylost friends.

I wish you gentle days ahead.

Josh said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks so much for sharing your loss and your grief. I am SLOWLY getting through Angie's project, but felt especially moved by your post. Thanks for your honesty, no matter how much of a downer mood you were in. I think the full picture is so important, especially for those of us who are behind you in your loss. Lots of grace and peace and gentleness to you and your partner. Lots of love from LA.