Tuesday, May 4, 2010

That day

It's like a dream looking back. Was I really there? The memories of that day are very clear but it's like I am watching it rather than living it. I was really nervous walking into the emergency department. Brendon and I hardly said a word to each other, although I remember him saying that everything was going to be ok. Little did we know just how wrong he was.

The image that I can never get out of my head is of looking up at the ultrasound screen and just KNOWING. The image was of Lola laying with her back to us and she was completely still. We didn't need the doctor to tell us, everyone in that room could see that this baby was dead. So they all filed out to give us some time and space.

I sat on the bed watching Brendon. His face was scrunched up in pain, he was pacing the end of the bed with his head in his hands and he looked like he was having trouble breathing. I sat and waited to feel what I could see he was feeling but I felt nothing. I knew that what had happened was bad but I was not feeling the pain my husband was feeling.

Brendon seemed to suddenly go into protective mode and he put his own needs aside and came to me. He held me and told me that we would get through this. I still felt nothing. In fact all I could think about was the fact that this baby was going to have to come out somehow. How? Surely I would not have to give birth naturally? Surely I would be sent off for a caesarian immediantly?

The nurse said No. I had to give birth naturally but I could have whatever drugs I wanted. She said "besides, you wouldn't want a scar to always remind you". Little did she know there would always be a scar regardless of how I give birth and I would never want to forget anyway.

It was all too much, I couldn't make any decisions that day, my head was struggling to keep up. We went home with the plan that we would return the next day in order to make the decisions that needed to be made.

Does it seem odd that we got in the car and sent text messages to our closest family and friends, does it seem odd that I went home and wrote a post on an online forum of which I am a member to tell people what had happened, does it seem odd that we went home at all, does it seem odd that I felt nothing at this stage except fear of giving birth to this baby, does it seem odd that I updated my facebook with the news, does it seem odd that I didn't fall in a heap on the floor overwhelmed with grief?

I know the answer to all of these questions is probably yes. Looking back though (and knowing the true pain of grief was yet to come) I understand the way I acted. It was shock, it was self-preservation. I was trying to understand what was happening. I was reading and watching the strong reactions to what had happened from everyone around me as a way of validating that, yes, this was bad, very bad. I was trying to make myself feel that too. The shock and adrenalin was stopping me from feeling anything at all. I wandered around my house and sat at our computer for the entire night trying to understand. I dont think that understanding really hit me for a long time after these events. If I looked back over the posts on this blog I could probably pinpoint when that may have actually happened.

I have felt shame about the events of that day for a long time. I struggled myself to come to terms with how I reacted and imagined how others probably perceived my actions also. I dont anymore though. I understand that grief does not happen in the way you imagine. It is different for everybody. I understand that it took a long time for me to come to terms with losing Lola and that is ok.


Spilt Milk said...

I'm glad you don't feel that shame anymore: you should never feel ashamed of how you deal with this. Thinking of you, these are tough anniversaries. xx

Puggie said...

I am so sorry to hear that alongside your grief and loss you were also feeling shame. I echo spilt milk's thoughts - you need feel no shame. Not then. Not now. Not ever.

Loving your daughter - before, during and after her birth - so very much seems perfectly natural, to me. As does any way in which you and yours express, deal with or endure your loss.

We will be thinking of you all tomorrow. Lola's birthday. The food colouring is ready, and pink cupcakes will be made.

Cris said...

Kristalee, this is beautiful and honest and my heart aches for you. I wish that you did not have to feel this or go through this loss of your Lola. Happy Birthday little one. xo