Friday, May 29, 2009

one of those days...

I woke up this morning and decided to treat myself to Starbucks. I was supposed to start my diet this week but I put it off since I'm going to Monterey for a few days and I know I'll eat fatty food there for sure. Anyway, I used to go to a certain Starbucks during my pregnancy (decaf coffee, always......go figure, my cousins wife had 1 caffeinated beverage per day during her first pregnancy and had a healthy son and she is currently pregnant again and currently does the same thing -- I probably had the total of 1 can of Pepsi throughout my entire pregnancy, but that's not the point here). I went into Starbucks today, I still get decaf coffee...for some reason I still don't really allow myself to have caffeine. It's been three months and a lady at Starbucks who knew I had been pregnant finally realized I wasn't pregnant anymore. "Oh my god...you had your baby!" she said....."yeah..." I said. She asked "What was it?" "A boy" I said. "Congratulations...you must be so happy!" I just politely smiled and walked away. I knew it was

just going to be one of those days.

Ryan's dad's niece goes to the preschool I work at. She's four years old and although she knows I was pregnant, she didn't really understand what that meant. To her that meant there was a "baby living inside my tummy". Which yes, theoretically she was correct in that but she doesn't understand that he's not here now. Every once in a while she will come up to me, touch my stomach and say "Jamie, where's the baby in your tummy?" I show her the picture on my phone, remind her that he was her cousin, and tell her he's in heaven. She really doesn't understand any of this, so she smiles and goes on her merry way - I don't think anyone sat down and explained anything to her and I sure as hell couldn't get through doing it.

Another child at work came up to me this afternoon and said "Miss Jamie are you a Mommy?" My reply was "Sure...yes...no...Well...I think so hunny." This was probably not a clear enough answer for a four year old, even though she is actually a really bright kid, but she caught me off guard and I gave her the first answer that came to mind. She asked "Well...what I mean is...do you have any kids at home with you?" I said "No." She said "Oh......well I asked because my mommy had me in her tummy and now I'm here and now she has another baby in her tummy, isn't that funny?" I just smiled and thought silently to myself..."No...it's really not funny...its unfair."

Three of my kids parents are now pregnant. One is having a boy, the other a girl...the last is early in her pregnancy. I knew going back into the job I have that there would be a bigger chance of running into babies and pregnant women. The babies I long to hold and love - the pregnant women I long to yell at and secretly hate a little. But I just didn't think I'd be bombarded by SO many pregnant women that I have to see day in and day out...........
You think you've hit rock bottom and all of the sudden something just smacks you in the gut and you drop a level lower.........there has got to be a point where things turn around right? Where things start to go up? Where my life has at least a LITTLE bit of positive in it? Where things aren't hitting me from every angle? One more blow and I'm not sure I'll be able to keep myself together any longer...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ryan Austin Martin Memorial Video

video

Ryan's Due Date

Only about 5% of babies are born on their due dates. That's really not a large percent. But then again less than 1% of babies are born still and for some reason my Ryan had to fall into that category.

Ryan has been gone for just over three months. So why does today mean so much to me? I've known for three months that today would not be the day my baby would be born. But today is still his due date. Today is HIS day.

There should be three options for me. One is that Ryan was born early (the most likely option) and I already brought him home and we've already bonded...he sleeps next to me every night and I watch him with adoration in my eyes. The second is that I am one of those 5% and yesterday or today I go into labor...I spend hours pushing and I have my beautiful baby boy on his due date...we bring him home from the hospital 2 days later. The third is that I'm one of those women who are frustrated because the due date comes and goes and I end up being 8 days late but still, I bring home a healthy beautiful baby boy.

There should be no fourth option. There should be no still births. No mother should outlive her child...no mother should have a child who never had one breath of air, never got to breast feed, never saw his first birthday. I often wonder how I can even consider myself a mother when my son never did any of those things? But I do...I do consider myself a mother. I carried him for months...I felt him kick (hell, I knew how to make him kick - he loved piano music). I held him for three days before I had to let him go. And I carry his ashes on my neck and never, EVER, take them off.

I miss my son so much. I long to hear him cry. Sometimes I even hear a baby's cry in the middle of the night. Does that make me insane? I long to hold him again...my arms physically ache. It's a scientifically proven phenomenon...when a mother loses a baby their arms can hurt for weeks or month from lack of holding a child.

I planted another rose bush for Ryan today. I do little things as often as I can.....anything I can think of to try to keep his memory alive. I feel as though I am the only one who remembers him...who lives for him daily. He is the reason I am alive. That sounds weird because I've often thought that I should have died too that day......but loving him, memorializing him, remembering him - those are the only things that keep me alive.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

John's Incredible...

How do you get through life knowing that every day is different than it should be? Knowing that the fact that an alarm clock wakes you up in the morning instead of a crying baby is not the way things are supposed to be. Knowing that every time you leave the house you should have a car seat and a diaper bag...and a baby. I feel like for the first two and a half months I was either in shock or simply mourning my pregnancy. It seems like its just been the past few weeks that I started to really mourn losing RYAN. Ya know...like it just sank in that he should actually be here now.
Today was my friend Tara's daughters second birthday. My friend is like a sister to me and her daughter I consider my niece. I was really glad she didn't throw a birthday party. She had just a few people go to this place called John's Incredible - its basically like a fancier Chucky cheese. So I got to spend some time with her and the kid at her house and at the place in the restaurant part. But as soon as we took the kids (just Makenna and her little friend Ava) back to the play part of the place I started to slowly come unraveled. I ended up only staying there for about 20 minutes before I had to leave. There were so many kids. So many moms. So many things shoved in my face that Ryan will never do.
It's stupid but somehow absolutely everything makes me think about him. Every meal, every movie...everything. I eat pizza and at some point I think...Ryan will never have pizza. I watch a movie and someone goes to the beach and at some point I think...Ryan will never feel the cool of the ocean or the sand between his toes. I use a #2 pencil at work and somehow that gets me to think...Ryan will never go to school. Dont even get me started on all the birthday's he will never see...or the fact that he'll never have a birthday cake...
I dont even know how to express myself except to say nothing is the way its supposed to be. I think I've used the phrase "supposed to be" more in the last three months than I did in the previous 23 years. Does it make me sound like a spoiled 7 year old girl whining because I didn't get my way?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

tears...

If I cried in front of others as much as I cry when I'm alone, I wouldn't have a single moment in a day with dry eyes.....

being alone...

At work I'm decent. At school I'm okay. With family and friends I do alright. The second I am alone I feel the walls cave in. My chest feels like there's an elephant sitting on it. I cant breathe. And the tears begin to fall. I feel so alone. I miss my son like crazy. He should be in my arms right now...I should be nursing him and changing his diaper. He should be sleeping next to me every night as I admire how beautiful he is. He should be coming on family vacations. He should be here on my favorite holiday (the 4th of July).....I should be able to share that with him. If I cant share it with him I don't want to share it with anyone. I want to crawl in bed, pull the covers over my head and not get out until this pain goes away...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

when I see him...

I see him. He's slowly running towards me from the play set. Soft brown hair shining in the sun. Wobbly little legs threatening to fall out from under him with every unsure step he takes. A baseball shirt on. A smile that could light up my darkest day. Bright green eyes. A soft giggle that melts my heart erupts from his beautiful mouth. And then there's a smile that is meant only for me. I reach to pull him up into my arms...and then he's gone.

I open my eyes. I'm devoured by darkness. It takes two seconds and then I remember - that boy was not my boy...that smile was not meant for me. I cant breath. I choke for air...pulling on everything near to me as the hysterics set in. My breathing becomes less erratic. I move around in the darkness looking for what I cling to when this happens. A stuffed tiger wrapped in baby blankets that I wish smelled more like him. This gives me comfort, if only for a while......I cry myself back to sleep.


This, or something to that effect, haunts my nights religiously. And during my waking hours, every time I close my eyes I see it again. Nine times out of ten it takes my breath away and I have to stop and remember exactly how it is one breathes. I have to stop and make myself move, go on with what I was doing...keep working, keep moving, keep living. I shouldn't be living though. Not this way. No mother should live when her child does not.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mothers day in Yosemite

So, Ryan's dad ended up getting his night shift on Sunday switched to a morning shift which was better because we were heading up to Yosemite that day for out trip to spread Ryan's ashes. During the day my mom took me to the movies...she said she was going to get me a card but thought it would hurt more than help. I told her that just so she knows in the future that it would not hurt...not being acknowledged as a mother is what hurts. Ryan's dad got off around five and we packed the car and got up to the mountains around 930. We put everything into the tent-cabin and went to sleep since we were getting up early the next morning to do our hike. NOT ONCE did Ryan's dad even say "Happy Mothers Day" or get me a card or do absolutely ANYTHING. I decided not to bring it up because I was so angry and frustrated and I didn't want it to ruin our trip. I didn't even mention it until about an hour ago when we got home. He also said he thought about it but decided it would hurt more than help. This I can accept from my mother...but from him I just cant. It's not a good enough explanation. He lost his son too. He should feel like a father as much as I feel like a mother and he should understand how much it would hurt if someone (especially me) didn't look at him as a father. So anyway...Monday morning we got up early and hiked up Vernal Falls and all the way to the top of Nevada falls. Probably no one on here knows what the hell I'm talking about but it's a pretty strenuous trail. Round trip was around 8 miles of switchbacks and climbing up the side of two waterfalls. I haven't REALLY worked out since before I was pregnant and I had a c-section so I'm really, really out of shape so it took us a while and I had to stop a lot but I just kept telling myself it was for Ryan. I had his ashes and we were going to spread them in a beautiful place so I HAD to make it up there. Well I did. I made it to the top and then I chickened out. I couldn't do it. I couldn't walk away without his ashes. I needed to bring them home. I decided to just spread a very small amount of his ashes and bring the rest home with me. It was a very hard and emotional time. It felt like we waited 2 and a half months to have his funeral. Like everything just happened. Anyway we walked the rest of the trail back to the campground and all of the sudden my knee started hurting. Now, throughout the walk I twisted my ankles a few times but I didn't do anything that should have hurt my knee...so I'm wondering what the hell this is all about. As the night went on the pain got worse and worse and worse. I ended up getting out of the tent in the middle of the night bawling my eyes out and limping to our bear proof locker to get medicine. Yes I said bear proof. In the 3 1/2 days we were there we saw 4 different bears...1 several times. So Tuesday I could barely walk...I’m slightly better today but not by much. I can’t go up stairs, and any incline or decline in the floor kills my knee. I think I am going to try to go into Urgent Care tomorrow if it’s still this bad and get it looked at to see if maybe I tore something. So now I’ve got my knee to deal with on top of everything else and I really don’t need something serious like a torn ligament because I don’t have insurance right now.

OH – and on a separate note I was excited to get up to Yosemite because I thought I’d have a few blissful days without pregnant women everywhere. But I was wrong…they still go camping and hiking. And there were people with babies and toddlers everywhere and every time I see a kid (especially a toddler for some reason…I really don’t know why) it kills me. Whatever they are doing at that time…even if it is something stupid like eating a hot dog…my first thought is “Ryan will never do that”. So my “vacation” was definitely not what I thought it would be. I expected it to feel like a gigantic weight was lifted off my shoulders. But I feel exactly the same…maybe even a little worse. I came home today and sitting on my porch was a package…I knew I didn’t order anything so I wasn’t sure what it was. I came up and picked it up and it was a sample of Enfamil for the “new mom”. That was like a knife right in my heart. It made everything worse. It was a total setback. And I’m afraid there’s more stuff like that to come.

On one last note before I end my rant today…I was driving home today and me and Ryan’s dad were talking about something random and it happened to be something to coincided with Ryan’s due date. So just out of curiosity I asked him “When is Ryan’s due date?” He said “Um May 20th right?” WRONG! How the hell do you not know your sons due date? That frustrated me more than I can possibly explain! Am I wrong for being upset about that? I mean he was close and its not like he was at all the doctors appointments and that date was burned into his brain. But that was his SON. It’s not like I never told him or we never talked about it or he never heard the doctor say it. It really hurt me that he didn’t know that. I don’t know why it bothers me so much but it really, really does….

On one good note I had a butterfly that stuck around me for like 10 minutes on Tuesday…it even posed so I could get a really good picture of it. I couldn’t help but think maybe it was a sign from Ryan. Every time I see a butterfly since the day a while ago that like 20 of them swarmed me and wouldn't leave me alone... I read too much into it and think of it as a sign from him. So maybe it was just wishful thinking…

Friday, May 08, 2009

what irritated me today...

I have this annoying habit of checking Facebook. I look to see what everyone is doing. But the things that stick out the most are the pregnant women or women with kids who COMPLAIN. "The baby kicks me in the middle of the night and wakes me up." "My bladder is so full I have to go every 30 minutes." "I never get a good night sleep because the baby wants 2 am feedings." And so on and so forth. If they only knew. If they only knew that I would give my right arm to be woken up 10 times a night because Ryan was still kicking away inside me. I would give my left leg if it meant having to go to the bathroom every 30 minutes because Ryan was pushing on my bladder. I would give anything if it meant that I was woken up 3 times a night for feedings. All of this would mean that Ryan was still with me. I just don't understand how they can complain about these things...these things mean that their baby is alive. I don't even remember if I complained about these things before...I know he kicked all the time, I know I had to go to the bathroom 20 times a day (not an exaggeration)...but I don't remember being irritated by that. I looked forward to 2 am feedings. I wanted my son so much...I wanted everything...the good and the "bad". Part of me wants to leave a post on Facebook telling pregnant women everywhere to appreciate the kicks and the backaches and the heavy bladder and every single time you feed your baby...every single second they have with their baby. But I know that if I did it would fall on deaf ears. I know they cannot understand where I am coming from. And I pray for their sakes that they never can...
Today was an especially hard day at work. So far I've been able to keep myself composed there...I haven't cried there once. Which doesnt mean that at the end of the day as I'm driving away I am not bawling. But I really almost lost it at work today. I work at a preschool...I'm a PreK teacher. I'm around kids and even sometimes babies all day. It's hard but its such a busy job that it keeps my mind going and forces me to think about something else...if only for a little while. Today however, when I came in the class had made Mothers Day presents. It was a stupid string of beads that the teacher turned into bracelets and with the bracelets there was a drawing from their child. A typical gift given out at daycare centers. It just got me to thinking that I bet most of the moms will never wear those stupid bracelets...I bet the drawings will end up in the recycling & maybe even the bracelets. I would give anything to have a stupid bead bracelet and a scribbled picture. Ryan will never make me a lame Mothers day present. And the people who get them, probably dont appreciate them.............

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

winding down to mothers day...


I don't know if anyone else is having a hard week this week (not that every week - every minute - isn't hard; but this one seems especially hard). I just keep thinking about Sunday. Its like a ticking time bomb. I know its coming and there's nothing I can do to stop it. Too bad theres no red wire we can clip and just skip right over Mothers day. And then my due date is right after that. Two bombs. Yay for me. I keep trying to make his due date not such a big deal. I was told I probably would have had Ryan 4-6 weeks early at least...so I just keep telling myself "it's just a date it's just a date". But it's not. It's HIS date, even if he hadn't come that day...it'll always be his due date.


I was supposed to go to work today. But I couldn't sleep last night. I kept falling asleep for like 30 minutes and having dreams and waking up and not being able to fall back asleep for like an hour. So I called in to work today. I just couldn't deal with going in. I had nightmares for a while...dreams about what happened the night I lost Ryan...dreams about me abandoning him at the hospital. Those dreams have stopped. When I was little I had horrible nightmares but they went away, actually I quit dreaming pretty much ever. My doctor said it was my brain subconsciously shielding me from bad dreams. My new doctor said I'm probably still having those horrible dreams but I actually shield myself from remembering them. It's funny the way the body works to protect you. So anyway, even though the nightmares have subsided I still have these weird dreams. They could be about anything...going to a store, sky diving, being at the beach...literally anything...but the weird thing is that in almost every dream there is someone named Ryan. It could be a boy or a man. But there's always someone with his name. I wake up with such horrible anxiety. My son will never be a boy or a young man or an adult or a grandpa...my son will never be anything but a baby that isn't with me anymore. Mothers day is going to be so horribly terrible. Saturday my family is getting together to "celebrate" mothers day. I really don't want to go. I think they will look at that get together as a day to celebrate my mom and my grandma and my aunts......but I have this horrible fear that I will not be recognized as a mom. I barely recognize myself as a mom. But I really want them all to look at me and tell me happy mothers day too. Part of me doesn't even want to go, because I know I'm getting myself ready for a let down. Sunday we are going up to Yosemite - whenever Ryan's dad gets off work (he's trying to get his shift covered still so who knows when that will be). Mothers day is just really really going to suck.

I went into Borders today to get a book about hiking in Yosemite...I was looking at books and looked up and realized I was staring at all the baby books I used to come in and read and buy. I almost had a panic attack right in the store. I know some ladies have mentioned doing this but I don't cry in front of people. I keep myself together. I cry alone. I left and went to target to get some things for our trip. I was waiting in line and all of the sudden I heard a baby crying. I knew it was a boy without even looking. And he had that newborn baby cry...the kind that breaks my heart. I wanted to scream and tell the mom to pick up her crying baby...partly because I really just needed him to stop crying and also because if I had my child I'd do everything to comfort him. I looked over at the lady and she had FOUR children. A daughter who was like 3 or 4...and twins that looked to be about 10-11 months old... AND a baby boy who was maybe 6 weeks old. That hurt me so much. I cant explain it but I just wanted to scream...why does she have four healthy children and I lost my first and only son?

my scare...

I keep thinking about the fact that I had my "scare". In my pregnancy. I had 3 scares actually. I spotted around 10-12 weeks. I spotted around 18 weeks. And at my 17 week ultrasound the tech found something she thought might be wrong. But all three of these things turned out to be absolutely nothing to worry about. After my c-section it was found out that I have a heart shaped uterus (typically only found if you have a c-section and the only problem this sometimes causes is Pre-term labor and breech babies...so, not the cause of Ryan's death) HOWEVER, having a heart shaped uterus makes harmless spotting in early pregnancy more likely. Obviously still coming in to the doctors and getting everything checked out is the smart thing to do but the bleeding is very common in women with that kind of uterus. And what the tech saw on the ultrasound screen (one leg seems very slightly smaller than the other) ended up also being nothing. But I just keep thinking I had my scare. That was supposed to be it. I was worried out of my mind each and every time those things happened. I was crazy with worry. But everything ended up being okay. And all I could think was "good, that means this baby is healthy...that means he'll be with me in no time". Never once did it cross my mind that I wouldn't bring home anything but ashes.

Before I got pregnant I had this habit of always thinking the worst thing possible. Whenever anything bad happened to other people I always heard people say "I never thought this could happen"...or "how could this happen to ____". It wasn't even necessarily a habit but it was like second nature for me to automatically think the worst thing, because it seemed like maybe if I realized something horrible could happen, it wouldn't. That probably makes no sense but it made sense to me. If I couldn't get ahold of my mom or my boyfriend or my best friend or if someone was supposed to meet me and they were late and I hadn't heard from them I'd automatically think "god I hope they weren't in a car accident" or "__________ didn't happen to them". It was like thinking that made it so it wouldn't happen. Because I wouldn't be able to say "i never thought this could happen." And that's always what people say.

Well I never thought I'd lose my child. Not for a second. I never did what I had always done...I never said "what if he doesn't come home, what if something happens to him?" I believed with every fiber of my being that he'd be with me right now.

So I guess the joke is on me...

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

one sentence...

I could write a novel today...but really it comes down to one sentence...I would give anything for it to happen.........


I want my baby back.

Monday, May 04, 2009

coming out of the shadow...

The doctor I had for my c-section...well quite frankly she was amazing. She was honest with us and she was one of those rare doctors who somewhere along the way had learned bedside manner. From the minute I showed up at the hospital until hours after the c-section she was kind and straight forward and after we lost Ryan you could see the sorrow on her face and hear it in her voice. Her and the Peri I saw both strongly encouraged leaving Ryan inside me while the closely monitored him - they gave me a shot that rapidly matured his lungs (it takes 48 hours) and told me that his chances of surviving were better if he had those 48 hours. The choice was ultimately up to us, we could do a c-section right then and there or we could wait the 48 hours that both doctors wanted us to do. Because I was just under 7 months and his lungs would definitely not be mature, and because the doctors so adamantly pushed for us to wait we choose to do so. Ryan didn't get the 48 hours...he got about 3. When we lost him I thought...hey, I did right by my son - I gave him every fighting chance I could and I did what the doctors thought was the best choice. I never questioned it. Until recently. It's like this veil has been lifted and I'm starting to come out of the numbness and all of the sudden I see that night so differently. I had a c-section obviously - my point for restating this is Ryan didn't have the pressure on him from me pushing him during labor. And yet he was purple. I don't really remember if the doctors told us why he was purple. The only thing I can think of is that there was a lack of oxygen. I don't know if this would have been in the autopsy report. I don't know if this would have caused a stillbirth - I don't even know if that would be the cause for his coloration. All I do know is that something was wrong with him and they still haven't been able to tell me a definitive reason why............and now I find myself questioning the advice I was given that horrible night. If I had it to do over again I would have insisted on an immediate c-section. I have this terrible fear that he had a lack of oxygen for some reason and if he would have been taken and put into the NICU he might still be here with me...I was given a choice, and maybe I choose the wrong option. Maybe there was a problem inside and he wasn't getting what he could have gotten outside. Maybe the doctors pushed me to do the wrong thing...why didn't they insist right then and there that they do an emergency c-section??? When I went to see a Peri (a different one than the one I saw that night) she told me that in future pregnancies if I came in presenting anything like I did that night they would take the baby right away. Why didn't they do it with Ryan? Why didn't I make them?

Sunday, May 03, 2009

I dont even exist anymore...

Sometimes I feel like I don't exist anymore. This is a different feeling from feeling like I'm not myself anymore. I know I'm not myself anymore...and I hate it. But what I'm talking about is an actual feeling of not existing at all. Like I'm just going through the motions but there is no care behind it. Because honestly, I don't care. I don't care to get out of bed in the morning, but I do it because I cant stand to just sit around. I don't care to go to work, but I do it because I have bills to pay. I don't care to answer people when they talk to me...and half the time I don't - I hear them, I just don't have the energy to answer. I don't care to socialize or hang out with anyone...so I don't. I don't care to think about my future, because a large part of me feels my future is pointless without Ryan. I found a quote the other day..."Looking back, I've often thought the doctors should have written a death certificate for me as well as my son, for when he died, a part of me died, too." I really do feel that way. I had a c-section. A serious surgery. So many things could have gone wrong. But everything went right. Except for the part where the baby didn't make it. If my son had to die, I should have gone with him. But I'm still here. At least physically.
There is very little in my life that is positive. The one thing I cling to is that I got pregnant, this means I can get pregnant again...I believe I will bring home a healthy baby one day. I wish that day was tomorrow...

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Some people are just horrible.....

For almost two and a half months now we have been planing to go to Yosemite to spread Ryan's ashes. Joe took of the date pretty much immediately after we lost Ryan. This date happened to be mothers day (at the time a total coincidence but that ended up being the perfect date to do this. So we are supposed to go up on Mothers day (Sunday) and come back on Wednesday. That gave us two full days there plus part of Sunday and part of Wednesday. I really clung to the fact that we'd be driving on Mothers day...checking in on Mother's day...basically keeping myself busy and preoccupied on Mothers day. Joe's schedule came out earlier this week and at first he had all the days he requested off off, then all of the sudden his asshole of a boss decided that he needed to change the schedule because there was a mistake made and Joe now needed to work Mothers day night. Joe went and talked to his boss and explained why he took the days off and that we were going to be spreading his baby's ashes. His bosses response? Basically that he was SOL. What kind of a jerk wont change the schedule around to accommodate a bereaved parent scattering their child's ashes? I just don't understand some people...
Anyway, on a lighter note...I found this poem and I really like it...

Do you know of someone
Whose precious child has died?
Perhaps she is a neighbor or friend
With whom you can confide.
You assume that she is suffering
A tragedy so deep,
That there is nothing you can do
Since all she does is weep.
You feel that if you see her
There is nothing you can say
That would make her precious child come back
Or make the pain go away.
And if by chance you meet her
And have to face her grief,
You'll do your very best
To make this meeting brief.
You'll talk about the weather
Or the lady down the lane,
But you'll never mention her child --
That would cause her too much pain!
And when the funeral's over,
And all is said and done,
You'll go home to your family,
And she'll be all alone.
She'll go on, she'll be all right, time heals --
Or so it seems,
While she's left alone to pick up the pieces
Of her shattered life and dreams.

--OR--

You can open up your heart
And find that special place
Where compassion and true giving
Are awating your embrace.
"Today I'm thinking of you in a very special way,"
Or, how about "I love you"
Are some loving things to say.
Sometimes a very simple task
Like picking up the phone,
Can help her feel not-so-quite
Desperately alone.
Whatever comes froma genuine heart
Cannot be said in vain
For the truth is, it's these very things
That lessen her great pain.
And when you let her talk about
Her child who is now dead,
You'll know this is far greater
Than anything you've said.
So will you reach out with all your soul
And let her know you care?
For in the end there's no substitute
For simply BEING THERE!

Stages of Grief

The hospital where I delivered Ryan gave me a lot of resources to look into for mothers who had stillbirths. One of these resources was Sharing Parents. I just started going to a short-term grief series last week. It's a 4 week program for 2 hours every week where mothers (and some fathers) get together to talk about losses that are recent. The group I was with was comprised of 4 girls (they're boyfriends/husbands did not come) as well as 4 couples. It was probably one of the most helpful two hours I've spent since Ryan died. Hearing in person that others hurt the way I do was comforting. It made me feel less crazy. Grieving someone you didn't get to know can really make a person feel crazy. Anyway, during this meeting they gave each of us a book and one of the pages in the book had a circle with all the stages of grief...

-Loss (obviously)
-Shock
Numbness, denial, outbursts, weight loss
-Deterioration (not always a stage)
crying, loss of appetite, sleep disturbance, irritability, self-criticism, guilt, other physical
symptoms like: hyperventilating, difficulty swallowing/breathing, sweating, nausea
-Protest
increased shock, preoccupation with thoughts of the deceased, anger, yearning
-Disorganization
confusion, depression, withdrawal, aimlessness, restlessness, apathy, feeling of unreality
-Reorganization
trying new patterns of behavior, finding meaning in death and life
-Recovery



I know immediately following Ryan's death I was obviously in shock. This lasted a while. I definitely went into deterioration and stayed there for a while. But it seems as though I've gone back into shock...instead of forward into other stages. I think about my son every second of every day and yet I feel as if I'm living in denial of his death. I miss him so much it literally hurts to breath when I think about every moment we lost together. The sound of children laughing, which once made me smile, now breaks my heart a little more each time I hear it. I will never hear my son giggle. Part of me really wishes that I had gone to heaven with my son the day they did my c-section. I don't wish to be dead...I just wish to be with my son......