Friday, April 29, 2011

The grief time clock...does it get any easier?

Recently I've been in therapy. Nothing ground breaking there, I'm sad & anxious & you would be as well if you survived my life, but it's been happening. Truth be told, I really wanted to get in somewhere just so I could see a shrink as well to continue my zoloft. My OB was going to cut me off soon & I didn't want to be without my little blue crutch.

I was happy when I met this woman & she wasn't annoying. I didn't dislike her. That's awesome because I dislike a lot of people. And she wasn't some overly happy rainbow & sunshine chick, which was nice. I don't want to just be told “but look on the bright side!” That's annoying.

Anyway, she referred me to their in house shrink a couple weeks later. That, my friends, was an adventure.

I didn't go in with expectations of compassion or support. He was an older foreign man, I didn't expect his hear to bleed for me. But damn, once I shared with some people what he told me I think many of my friends wants to hunt him down & bash his brains in.

Obviously, Joel came up in my entire history. Or, as he kept calling him, “the dead baby.” Fun questions like, “did you get to see your dead baby?” & my person favorite was, “so he was dead, he never lived, so you never had to bond with him or anything, so you shouldn't have many issues with that.”

….whaaaaa?

I just kinda stared at him thinking, “is this really happening?” but it was. He said some other zingers as well. He also asked some more entertaining questions like, “you don't think anyone is following you....mafia, terriorist, or anything like that? How about when you watch tv...do they talk to you or about you?” He asked if I drank, I answered that I drank socially. Not sure what that answer really means, but I always use it as a way of saying, “yeah, I drink, but I'm not a wino or anything.” He asked me to clarify, how often & how much. I told him a couple times a month, 2 or 3 drinks usually when I did drink. Then he asked, “how about first thing in the morning?!”

Long story short, he explained that after 6 months of having a baby I'm not longer postpartum, so I can't blame my crazy on that. And I also can't blame any crazy on Joel being dead because grief like that should only last a year.

...read that again. Last a year. My dead baby...I should only need a year to work through that?

He thinks I think about Joel too much. I think about him every day. I don't think that's weird. Because I have vivid flash backs, for lack of a better term, he also thinks I'm dealing with some post traumatic stress. Gee, you think? He said my main goal should be to work through my dead baby problems & focus more on my new baby than my dead baby.

If anything, that pissed me off more than anything. That implies I'm too wrapped up with my dead baby problems to think about my new baby, which isn't true at all. That's comparing apples to oranges.

Now, before you join the kick ass gang, please know that my therapist is not an idiot & doesn't feel this way at all. Honestly, she seemed a bit mortified by my experience. I, again, wasn't. Which got me thinking...why not?

Then I remembered holy shit, that's really not a lot different than what other people have said. I'm use to people being insensitive fucks. That in itself is sad, that I'm so use to people saying awful things about my dead kid.

Which brings me to my main question...does it get any easier?

Well, time heals all wounds.

Who ever said that was not a dead baby parent.

The truth is that yes, it gets easier. But it doesn't. Allow me to explain.

I obviously don't walk around crushed & hysterical as I was once I saw Joel being rolled out of the room for the last time. You can't function like that & eventually that intense pain...it does diminish. And in that respect, time does heal those wounds.

But the problem is that there are constantly new wounds added. Or maybe the scab gets picked off the original. However you want to look at it.

For example, every time I see a kid that is Joel's age I think about what should be. That he should be there with that little boy, playing & laughing.

New wound.

When I think about how Joel should be all over the place & learning to talk up a storm?

New wound.

When I think about everything that he should have been doing & could have been doing. Each thing. Small things from rolling over for the first time to getting married. Every single thing, it's gone. When your baby dies, so does this entire life you planned to have in yours & the dreams you had for it. So it's not just a person missing, it's everything. And that never stops. Never. So, how I wonder, is time suppose to heal wounds that aren't even yet really created?

I think of Joel everyday. Every. Single. Day. He's usually the last thing I think about before I go to sleep. He'll likely be part of my thoughts the last moments of my life. If that deserves a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress syndrome, then so be it. I'll hold onto what I got. I wouldn't have it any other way. I don't think that means there is something wrong with me...I think that means I'm the mom of a dead baby. I'll never move past it in many aspects. I don't believe it's possible. I think we cope, we deal, we move on because that's what life calls for.

Little man with his heart so pure
And his love so fine.
Stick with me and I'll ride with you
Till the end of the line.

Hold my hand and I'll walk with you
Through the darkest night.
And when I smile I'll be thinking of you
And every little thing will be all right.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dead baby jokes.

They aren't funny.

Being a sub, I actually knew it was just a matter of time, but that didn't help the hit.

Overhearing a punchline, I asked if I'd heard right. He said yes. I asked why he thought that was ok. He told me they were better than racist jokes.

I told him those were bad obviously, but dead baby jokes aren't good either...espiscially since I have a dead baby.

The room, you could hear a pin drop. He stared at me. Others looked at me & back to him, this clueless 10th grader who had just made me want to scream. He continued to stare. I said, "I have a dead baby. My son died. Dead baby jokes are not funny when you have one."

He muttered a "I'm sorry" but it wasn't one that let me know ge was sorry for telling it, but that he was sorry he was stuck in this moment with a dead baby mom.

The rest if my day wasn't fun. I mainly sat quietly the rest of the day. My kidding around, good time spirit is gone. I did my job &, well, survived.

I hope that kid actually felt bad. I hope he felt like shit. If not now, I hope he does someday. I hope he looks back & can understand how this, even in a small amount, how that 10 seconds effected me. And how it's now seared in my memory.

I feel empty, but at the same time I'm full of an anger & sadness that makes me want to scream, cry, & break things.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A "duh" update.

Remember this post about some asshole calling & making false claims to CPS?

Today we got final word that the case was closed. In fact, it was found totally unfounded & didn't even go any further than meeting with us & seeing our home & kids.

So, mysterious person, you can suck it. :D

Friday, April 22, 2011

Toddler Talk Fail

Jules hit me with this yesterday...

My back hurt...my back hurts mommy and that means I'm going to die...like Joel.

I felt like I was punched in the gut. He has no idea what he said, but I'll never forget it. It's not like I'm mad or anything, but that feeling is something I'll never forget in my life.

What more can I say?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Totally tubular.

Know how breastfed babies are suppose to be super healthy?

My breast milk didn't get the memo because poor Blair has had more ailments than I can count. I also didn't lose any weight, so I guess my body didn't get the message about what wonders breast feeding are suppose to do.

But that's beside the point.

The point is that about 3 months ago, Blair got sick. I gave it time to clear up, since it just seemed to be a simple cold that we all passed to each other. But he never really got better & was quite the unhappy baby. Cue me feeling like a shitty mom when I found out he had an ear infection...a really. He never pulled at his ears or anything, we did notice he didn't like laying on one side, but we thought that was just a comfort thing. Nope, turns out I'm a shitty parent who never once thought, "hey, maybe something is up!"

Anyways, Jules had an ear infection once. He was about 4 months old. Took antibiotics & he was all good. Has been since. I figured that's how it went.

Again, I'm an idiot & was wrong.

A couple days before his 2 week re-check of his ears, so just a couple days after his meds are finished, he's miserable. Up all night screaming. To urgent care we go.

Ear infection. More antibiotics.

This...this will kick it's ass! That's how these things work. And it did.

Until 2 days after he finished his new antibiotic. Then we were back to being miserable. Back to the doctor we go.

Another ear infection. This is really loads of fun, let me tell you.

This time his doctor says this earns the poor guy a referral to an ENT.

I was hoping that this new antibiotic would be the cure that I wanted.

Wrong. About 3 days after that one was done, scream & miserable again.

BACK to the urgent care. Another antibiotic. A doctor who talked about his ex-wife the entire visit. They aren't on good terms, let me tell you.

A couple days later we get to go to the ENT. Shocking...he has lots of fluid behind his ears, still a minor infection, & his tonsils were stage 4. Don't know what that means? Well, 0 is not there. And 4 is as large as they can possibly be. The ENT said they usually assume the adenoids are the same size as the tonsils.

Tubes. That was the word. And that was our decision. Of course, it was hard for me because growing up my parents thought tubes were pointless, they refused to have any inserted in me. I was a sickly child. Same reason, "not believing" in getting things like that or tonsils removed was the reason I had to have my tonsils out at 22. So I had to keep telling myself that this was the right thing to do. And even if they popped out in a week, at least the original fluid & infection would be drained & hopefully that would be enough to clear up this infection from hell.

At this point, I decide that Blair is totally my child. Seems to have my immune system. Let's just hope he's got my wit, too.

After lots of paperwork juggling to make sure they got paid by my insurance, we had a nice pre-op appointment so they could weigh him & look in his ears. Totally worth that 90 minute wait to see the doctor for 2 minutes, let me tell you.

In our waiting, I got tired of trying to keep my nosey baby contained. So I decided to let him just be nosey.

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Of course, then he found the papers.

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We got to play alot of "mommy, fetch!" while waiting on the doctor.

Of course, I was also stared down by good mom penguin.

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I kept thinking she looked smug, like she was saying, "look at me bitch, I'm taking care of my baby! Your kid has to get man made materials put in his ear drums...lame ass mom, you!" Or maybe she was thinking, "Oh bitch, what would babycenter peeps says if she saw your kid out in PAJAMAS?! Lazy whore of a mom you are, bet you don't even put your shopping cart back places either."

Eventually they wanted the crazy lady (me) out of their office, so they finally tell me to leave. As I'm leaving, a nurse asked if he could have a stuffed bear. Being tired & trying to joke, I blurted out, "As long as it's not stuffed with used needles, sure!"

...that got me some looks.

Speaking of looks, check out what a looker he is.

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He's all like, "pre-op...is that what it's called when you feed me noms?!"

I then go home & clean because I'm a good wife & mother & that's what we do. Yep, we do.

Eventually the surgery center called. They wanted to do intake stuff over the phone, but still wanted me to come in person to do the money talks. Ugh...money talks.

I got to answer fun questions about Blair at this point.

Is he married?

Does he work?

...I finally asked if she knew he was 9 months old & she told me yes, as if I was weird for wondering that. I guess they get lots of working, married 9 month olds. My kids are lazy though, Jules still won't get a damn job.

Anyway, I was coming up with reasonable answers until, "does Blair have any reglious or cultural beliefs that we need to be aware of?"

I couldn't help but to respond with, "Yes, yes he does. He belongs to the Church of Wonderpets & he thinks this is swerious."

At least she was some what amused by my response.

Later in the day I got to make the journey over to the surgery center, where I was given a number on a piece of notebook paper & told to wait. So I did. While no one else was there. And they were getting ready to leave in 45 minutes. Finally, number 27 was called. I jumped up like I won the lotto. Little did I know that they'd won the lotto from me.

Long story short, they wanted $500. She asked how I'd like to take care of it then. I asked if she would point me to the money tree, that's how I'd take care of it for her. She laughed & whispered that she hates to ask people that, because she knows people don't randomly carry hundreds of dollars on them, but she has to.

As I'm waiting for her to type in stuff that says I'm a poor person who has to pay this $500 over payments, I look at the sheet of stickers she has for Blair's chart. Something is...off.

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Like the fact that Blair is not a female.

I asked if F did indeed mean female, & she assured me that it did & that they put that on there because they don't want to mess anything up.

I then said, "I don't even want to know what surgery you'd mess up that you need to put that down, but I can assure you my Blair is a boy & I'd like him to stay that way."

They fixed it. Thankfully.

And finally, it was surgery day.

They did indeed fix it.

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Every time I see his name & middle initial, I always want to yell out, "Blair-O!" for some reason.

He got a little baby surgery gown.

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And he was all like, "do they know this is swerious?!"

They took him back. Then it was over. Then nothing happened. It was a very anti-climatic ending to the story. He came home & crashed.

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And later that day, he was like nothing ever happened. It was shameful really. Here he is playing peek-a-boo.

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And now, he is healthy. And now, helpfully, he stays that way. He just finished up a week of topical drops for the light infection he still had, so I'm hoping to get through the next few days without a trip to the doctor or urgent care.

But if there is, there better not be better-mom-than-you penguin in any room I go in. I can't take her stare.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Don't talk about your dead baby because it makes other people sad.

To start this, I'm just going to dictate a conversation I had with my mother on the phone tonight, once upcoming events were. I'm in normal font, she's in dumb italics.

Do you know when Joel's birthday is?
I don't know, let me ask your dad...hey, do you know when Blair's birthday is?
No, not Blair. Joel. Joel's birthday.
Oh, of course I know that! Jules birthday is December 14! I'd never forget that!
No. Not Jules. JOEL. J O E L. JOEL.
Oh...uhhh...I don't know, but I'm sure your dad has it written down somewhere.

I sit there & blink, trying to digest this entire discussion & finally start paying attention when I hear my dad coping an attitude in the background & saying all pissed off, "you tell her if she's going to make some issue out of this, but I've got that day written in my checkbook."

That really just caused more blinking. The attitude was shitty & the comment itself was...odd?

The discussion continued with my mother, who ended up explaining that they talk about him all the time...him, him, him. Never could say his name. But they don't talk to anyone but each other because it's sad & I need to understand that people grieve differently & it's a private matter we should deal with between ourselves, like how I should just share with Adam & viceversa. And they don't like to hear me talk about him because it makes them sad & how they don't talk about him around people because, again, it's sad & shouldn't be discussed . Said something like she's said before about how "he didn't come & was never here with us." I corrected her this time & said that he did come & he was here, he just died. She continued on making it an issue of me telling her they didn't care, which wasn't the case. I know they care. My point was just that I'd like to not feel like if I say the name JOEL in their company that I'm a 5 year old who just dropped the f bomb in Sunday church service.

She continued on & eventually said that it makes them sad, but if I'm going to insist on talking about it & wanting people to talk about it around me, they will have to just get use to it even though everytime they do, they get very upset, like tonight now she's going to have to go straight to bed she's so upset. And it wasn't same poorly worded voice of support even before the guilt trip started about how it'll be OK if it happens. It was a "well fuck, if you're going to insist on this, I'm still going to act obviously uncomfortable & make sure everyone around us knows we don't like talking about this icky situation."

Sad. I'm still just stuck on how talking about my dead son should basically be avoided because it makes them sad. No shit it's sad. It's suppose to be sad. When ISN'T it sad? Fuck.

She also said something about how, "I held him, you know. And I thought about how I'd like him to wake up."

TELL ME THAT. We'd finally have something in common. And holding Joel isn't some badge of honor you now carry...I got you beat with my 26 hours of labor & delivery on top of everything else.

Joel's existence should not be a date in a checkbook. Joel's name shouldn't be avoided. With so little facts to remember for him, Joel's birthday should be remembered. I cry enough for my dead baby. I shouldn't have to cry because of the drama around him or feel bad because I want to say his name.

I miss my baby. But he wouldn't be a baby anymore, he'd be a toddler. I miss everything.

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