Monday, December 1, 2008

It still feels fake about 90% of the time. I have talked about this before, the whole "It was like I played a giant game of pretend for 9 months, everyone indulged me and then one day, we all stopped pretending."

Nine months. I was pregnant for NINE MONTHS. That is a really long time to think about something, and prepare for something. I did everything a pregnant woman, an educated, smart, pregnant woman does. I took my prenatal. I went to every doctor's appointment. I ate decent foods. I took a child birth class. (Okay. We skipped the second day. But it was seriously that boring.) My husband came with to every single doctor's appointment. We prepared a cute little nursery and bought newborn diapers. Happily married. College degree. Families who adore and love us. Families that were so excited about another grandchild.

For nine months we prepared and it was just....gone. In an instant. No time to prepare. Just....gone. How do you undo that in your mind?

I sit here and still think, two and a half years later "what the frick just happened here?"

I did go to therapy, starting in March of 2007. Right around the time I got pregnant with our daughter.

It didn't help. I am not trying to be mean, my therapist was very kind...but I had the feeling she just wanted to see me get my happy ending. She was so interested in my pregnancy and getting me through the end, she did little to help my anxiety, did little to help my guilt (which I got so much of I am running out of room to store it) and did little to help my grief. She just liked my story. The heartbreak of losing Curtis....trying again and miscarrying (which I will blog about in a "our story post" in the future) and then getting pregnant with our daughter. Then, the harrowing pregnancy, the complications we had with her heart and low fluid at 20 weeks. Meeting with the research doctors, the nightly monitoring .... she loved it all. She wanted the celebration and for us to go on our merry way.

Once again, I am not trying to rip on her, because she was kind. And let's admit: I enjoy talking about Curtis and telling our story. I like the attention surrounding him. Even if I am paying for it every 3rd week.

But therapy did little to actually help.

But when I think about it, I have to admit nothing is going to make me feel less guilty about losing him. I believe, hell I *know* it could have been prevented. I know I could have pushed harder, I knew I should and I chose not to. I chose to ignore what was going on inside of me. No matter how many people tell me it was not my fault (I know I didn't do it on purpose. I get that.) I will never let go of the roll I played in Curtis' death. Never.

So, while I think therapy can be helpful, I think in my case, it isn't. Because my guilt and my grief are ways of coping. Sounds odd, but it is true. How I cope is by knowing I could have prevented it and apologizing to Curtis for not doing more. I am sorry my mistakes assisted in his death. I am sorry I did not educate myself on kick counts, which would have saved his life. (See my kick counts post for more info). I am sorry that I worked so hard to get our daughter here and I didn't put the effort into him.

My guilt gets me through. Because if I didn't feel guilty...what would I have? A "well, it just happened" thinking? I can't do that. It isn't me. I am his mom. Moms feel guilty for the things they didn't do. They can't do. Didn't have the knowledge to do to make their child's lives better. Moms feel guilty.

So, while some days it still seems so surreal, I know he was in real. I have the stretch marks I wear on the outside and on the inside, a heavy heart full of guilt.

Curtis and his loss are all too real.


Hope's Mama said...

I know I'm new at this, and a long way away from any "happy endings" but I feel as if I could have written this myself. The "what the eff just happened here" kinda thing. We seem similar. Two intelligent, happily married, university-educated adults in their late 20s decide to have a baby. Mum is as fit and healthy as could possibly be - dad much the same. Conception happens easily. An easily pregnancy follows. You do all the right things (and more), you reach your due date, you sail past your due date, you go in to labour then bam, somebody turns off all the lights.
I think I have a similar relationship to my counsellor. I like her. She's nice. She comes to my house. She deals specifically with our kinda loss but I think she is just keen to follow my story through. To get that so called "happy ending". But when is it ever an ending when your baby dies? Your first, precious baby, made with so much love. Carried with love. Birthed with love, just silently.
I totally get all of what you're saying. I don't know you, but I can't believe this happened to you either, and I most certainly, after three and a half months, can't believe it happened to me as well. Take care xo

wandering mom said...

It was like I fell off a cliff when the doctor turned and looked at me and I knew, she didn't see a heart beat. I too did it all "right" and had the most energetic healthy pregnancy. "What the frick?" My broken heart could do nothing but figure I must have done something wrong. Holding that small little person who I was suppose to bring into this world, alive... so innocent... so beautiful... I must have done something... only I didn't. I think this was equally as hard to wrap my mind around. Thank you for sharing your struggles. It helps my heart heal as well.

Sarah said...

I hear so many of my feelings and thoughts in your words. In the words of the other comments. I feel that I will always blame myself - how can I not? I was supposed to protect her. I screwed up.

ms. G said...

I relate oh so well to this. I can't rid myself of the guilt. I try hard at just accepting it as part of the package.

Almost 3 years later and it can still feel like a dream, did this really happen?

gitz said...

I so wish I could say something to make this better and give you a happy ending... you have your daughter, but Curtis isn't going to be a happy ending until you're all meeting one day in heaven.

I won't placate you. You know it's not your fault but if you need to feel the guilt, feel it. But if one day you're ready to let that guilt go, that's ok too. whatever you need is what you need. Go with it. The only rule I know of is for you to get through it... however that works for you.