Thursday, September 13, 2012

Purging Part II

My lovely MIL sent me a book recently entitled For They Shall Be Comforted, Grieving the Loss of A Child by Camille Call Whiting. It is a fairly quick read. There wasn't anything new in it that I haven't felt or thought about but it did wonders to realize that someone out there thought the same things I have. I found myself nodding emphatically to passages as I felt I could have written them myself. I even put stars next to the passages I really enjoyed and thought they would be a great way to express things I have felt/experienced.

"I wanted desperately for them to visit me in spirit form. I pleaded with Heavenly Father to allow just a few seconds of time for me to see my two children, just to know that they were together and doing well in the spirit world. I just knew that if only I could see them for a moment then I would be at peace. But they never came. I couldn't understand why they couldn't spare just a few moment for their mother, after I had given them life and been through immense pain in their behalf."

I was quite surprised when I first read this. I didn't necessarily want to see my children, but I have prayed fervently to feel their presence and feel them near. I remember a couple dreams I had about Emily shortly after her passing and what comfort that brought me! I know my children are real, and they exist somewhere, but I am having a hard time feeling like they are real. I have never heard them cry, I have no idea what they are like, I have no memories of them or their personality to fall back on. They seem more like an idea to me and I want so badly to feel like they are tangible beings. I just feel like if I could feel them close to me, or have a dream, like I did of Emily, they would become more real.

"Eventually, my anger faded, but it took longer for my guilty feelings about the anger to subside. Intellectually, I knew that anger was a necessary stage in grieving, but at the same time I felt that I should be above that. I was striving to be a righteous mother, wife, and person, and anger was unbecoming of someone like me."

This is something I have felt a lot of. Anger is natural in the healing process, but I don't want to be angry. I have never wanted to be angry. I am sad. It's not fair. But I never wanted this experience to turn me angry or bitter. I was not raised to be an angry individual or throw a tantrum when things don't go my way. I have always been taught to turn to the Lord and have faith when things got difficult and I don't always see where my anger fits in with that. How can I get direction and comfort from the Lord when I spend my time angry? But anger is a very real emotion that everyone has to go through when they are seriously grieving. I guess the important thing is to find balance between being angry, but not letting that anger consume me.

"Subconsciously, I felt there might be a problem with Ammon's arrival. I realized this afterward as I thought about the many worries I'd had that something would go wrong, almost as if they were hints toward the future.  The same thing occurred during Kija's pregnancy, except then I was very conscious of it."

This is something I experienced with both pregnancies. About a week before Emily was born I vividly remember thinking to myself, "Life has been really good to us the last couple years. The Lord has blessed us greatly.... It is about time something bad came our way..." And then she was born! And then with the triplets, I tried so hard to remain positive about the outcome. I tried to imagine what life was going to be like once we got all three babies home, but I could never imagine taking them home as a reality. I never could picture myself getting to take care of them or raise them. When I ended up back in the hospital the second time I knew what the outcome was going to be, despite every one's encouragement to stay strong and keep fighting.

"Grieving mothers are not thinking or feeling rationally. They may outwardly appear to be, but inside they are still battling the 'what ifs'."

The biggest "what if" that has consumed my thoughts is, what if we had chose to put the cerclage in early instead of waiting? I continue to kick myself over this. Had we put the cerclage in at 13 weeks, would I have even ended up in the hospital to begin with? Maybe Braden's water wouldn't have ruptured had we done it earlier. Maybe I would still be pregnant and my babies still alive. Are these thoughts rational? I don't know. I know it does me no good to ponder it, I will never know the answers, but I will probably wonder for the rest of my life what would have happened had we gone ahead with the cerclage when it was safer to do so.

"It may be easier to accept the death of a loved one when we know that we will be with them for eternity. But in some ways I think our knowledge of the gospel also makes grieving harder. It did for me, anyway, because we believe in a loving Father in Heaven who will grant blessings according to our obedience. If we pay our tithing, He will open the windows of heaven that there will not be room enough to receive the blessings. If we honor our father and mother, our days will be lengthened upon the earth. I thought that surely having a child should have been similar to these other commandments, with a promise of a healthy, living baby attached as a reward for obedience to the commandment to raise righteous families. It may be harder to come to peace with the death of a loved one when we know that we have tried our best to choose the right and to be a good person. To a grieving Latter-Day Saint mother, this makes no sense. Yet, our faith in Heavenly Father's plan and His love for us eventually persuade us to accept the reality of our lives-we are blessed for our righteousness, but we also need to be tried and tested."

This pretty much sums up what has been running through my head. Thanks for reading.

Purging Part I

Okay, I know my last post was supposed to be my last. But I have had so many thoughts swirling through my head the last couple weeks that I just need to get it all out. I have found that typing these things out is way easier than writing it down, which is why I have never been very successful at keeping up with my journal. I am not sure anyone will even see this. After all, everyone thinks I have stopped writing. But that is okay, this is more for me and my therapy than anything else. And who knows, maybe someone sometime will wander their way back to my blog and see this.

It has been about a week since my 2 week follow up appointment with my OB. I was very much looking forward to that appointment, because I really wanted to pick my OB's brain about Justin and I's circumstance and get some answers about whether or not I would ever be able to have children. I had gone into that appointment feeling optimistic, thinking my OB would be all for us trying again. If we got pregnant with just one baby, put the stitch in early, and hung me on my toes, I would easily make it to viability right? Well I was sorely surprised when she gave me a less than 50% chance of ever carrying a baby to viability. Yes, I have an incompetent cervix, but so do many women, and they get stitches and are fine the rest of their pregnancy, so why isn't that a possibility for me? Well apparently I have the weakest cervix any of my doctors have seen. I also go from perfectly fine to dilated very quickly. My OB also told me I would always have a chance of conceiving multiples as well since that is what happened last time. Yes, we got 2 from the Clomid, but we ended up with triplets because one split. I guess if it happened once, it can happen again. And with such a weak cervix, it is not really possibly for me to carry multiples.

I left my appointment feeling very discouraged. I was not expecting her to give me such a low probability of carrying a child. Justin thinks she probably thinks I can do it, but doesn't want to give me false hope. I am not so sure, her whole demeanor seemed worried about me getting pregnant again. We told her our plans to not use any contraceptive and just let nature take its course over the next couple years and she basically told me that that "scares her to death" because that could mean another pregnancy. I am not counting on getting pregnant without fertility drugs, but I guess crazier things have happened.

I have spent the last week thinking about what this means for us. I have spent my whole life thinking I would have children I would get to raise. That was my plan. Yes I would pursue school and get my degree, but that and my hobbies always took a back seat to what I really wanted to do with my life, which was to be a mother.  Never did I think I would be in a position to have to revamp my life plan. Justin and I have talked about adoption and that is a very real possibility for us now. Are we giving up on having children of our own? I don't know. Am I ready to pursue the adoption thing? Not yet. I definitely feel like Justin and I will have children. How those children come into our life, or when, I have no idea. But for now, we are taking a break. I am going back to school. I am going to finish school and start work before we come back to the baby thing. I am only 23 so we have time to focus on other things for the immediate future. I know this is the best thing for me, to heal physically and emotionally. Especially after the last couple years we have had. I am not really happy about waiting, but I know it's the right thing to do.

It has been three weeks since the birth of the Chloe and Daniel. I would say I am doing fairly well. I have my good days and my bad days. There are days I cry about everything and my heart physically hurts, and then there are days I hardly think about it. Physically I am all healed up, except my muscles, which I am slowly working to get back. I am not currently working or in school. I have to wait until January to get started on school. I am spending this semester finishing our house, catching up on my scrapbook, and a few other projects I have been wanting to get done. I am doing my best to just feel what I am feeling, without letting myself linger on the anger and unfairness of it all.

There will probably be another post coming, this one is long enough but my mind purging isn't quite finished. Thanks for reading, whoever you are.