Tuesday, January 27, 2009

So, I was watching another show that was dealing with death and dying. I like Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice and they do a lot of baby story lines. (Watching the Grey's episode way back on stillbirth about put me in the loony bin. Wanted to watch my favorite TV show one night shortly after losing Curtis and BOOM, my story, played out on TV. Lovely.)

ANYWAY...Private Practice last week had a sick man, dying of cancer. Dying a painful death. He was dying alone. No friends. No loved ones. He had a good life, he said. But at the end of it he was alone and was saying how miserable it was to die alone. He knew the world would keep spinning. But it was hard to imagine him not in it. No one would know he was here. No one would know he existed. The world would continue on with out him...and no one would know.

The doctor helping him through this crawled into bed with him, rocked him, and kept telling him "you were here. you were here. you were here." and sobbing.

Of course, by the end I was sobbing too.

One of the hardest things about having a stillborn child is I feel like I am the only one who knew him. I am the only one who knew he was here. He grew inside of me. I felt his kicks. He heard me. He heard my heartbeat.

Everyone else just saw ME, only pregnant.

I am the only one who "held" him while he had a heartbeat. I am the only one who ever felt his movements.

When he was stillborn, family came to hold his still body. Everyone cried over his little body. We did foot prints and took a lock of hair. We dressed him in a little outfit, and wrapped him in a blanket. We took pictures.

But I am the only one who truly knew him. I am the only one who knew he was alive at one time. I am the only one he ever responded too. One night I was so upset over something, I was laying in bed, sobbing. So upset. He kicked me SO hard, I jumped out of bed. It was like he was saying "HEY! CALM DOWN!" He knew me. I knew him. But I am the only one.

So, I feel like chanting.... he was here, he was here, he was here.

When I die, all of that dies too. It is one of the things I struggle with the most. I work hard on keeping a small legacy for him. It isn't a grand thing like some people do. But it is a memorial walk once a year, it is celebrating his birthday, it is mentioning him on our Christmas cards.... to remind people HE WAS HERE.

It is hard to know his memory will most likely die with me. No one knows him. They know of him, they know how much I miss him. They all know we lost something precious.

But they never got to know him. They didn't spend 40 weeks with him.

Sometimes it is hard to be the only person who truly got to be with him. I would have liked to have someone else know what it was like when he would kick or what it felt like to be with him. Maybe then the burden of reminding people he existed wouldn't be so brutal.


Hope's Mama said...

I think about this a lot, too. That I'll be taking her with me when I go. It is mind boggling to think about just how much we missed out on. And you would be all too aware of that now with having your daughter here.
Everything you write is always so familiar, even though I'm so new on this road.

loribeth said...

I am reading this at work & trying hard not to cry. This is so very, very true. I hate that our daughter has been so totally forgotten by the rest of the world.

And I sometimes worry that I will wind up being that man on Private Practice, dying alone with no one around me. :(