Author, Blogger, Educator

Tag: grief (Page 2 of 2)

When to seek therapy for thoughts on my rainbow baby?

Well, I did nothing today for my bereavement journey and I broke down and cried when putting Timmy down for the night. Hormones? Long day? Being tired because I got such little sleep last night? I don’t know but maybe it’s time to talk with my therapist again. At the very least, I would like to know if this is normal or not.

I don’t feel like this all day. Something about putting Timmy to bed is triggering my emotions. Tonight, I put him to bed in the regular way. I laid him down in his crib as he looked up at me. He smiled with his little gummy smile. He had been sleepy up until I laid him down and of course, his eyes popped open and he was ready for interaction.

I rubbed his belly and told him I loved him. Then I asked him if he wanted to watch his fish light and turned that on for him. Instead of him turning and looking at the light, he continued to look up at me. Earlier in the evening, while the family was sitting on the couch, I could feel him staring at me so when he didn’t take his eyes off in the crib, I became overwhelmed with emotion. Why had he been staring at me when we were sitting on the couch?

I know I overanalyze everything but seriously, why? I had been with him all day. We played, ate, and napped together today. He was in daddy’s arms so why didn’t he want to interact with daddy who he hadn’t seen all day? Was he trying to tell me something? Not sure what it would be other than, “I want you to play with me mommy.”

It didn’t matter at this point. I couldn’t look down at him in the crib. I briefly thought about walking away but I couldn’t. I started to cry and I had to pick him up. I picked him up and pulled him in tightly. I held him in my right shoulder and just kissed his head, his face, and his neck. I kept telling him I loved him as I bounced up and down and rocked side to side. Then I told him not to leave me. I told him to stay with me. I prayed to God to give me more time with him and to not take him just yet.

Okay, this is crazy! Writing this makes me feel even crazier. Has anyone out there who had a rainbow baby had these feelings? Have you had them 3 months after your rainbow baby was born? I really hope someone answers these questions for me.

I emailed my therapist tonight requesting an appointment. I know that if it’s normal, she will tell me and if it’s not normal, she will help me process all this. So, if you have had a rainbow baby and struggled with the fear of losing baby, please contact me.

Stillbirth

This morning I received a notification about a stillbirth. I am always so saddened by these notifications and I know there are many stillbirths throughout the day but for some reason this morning, I received this one and read about it and watched the video created by the doula that attended to this family. For the doula, this was her very first birth.

That was a HUGE fear of mine as a new doula. I was afraid that my first birth would be a stillbirth, death, or there would be something wrong with the baby. I was blessed to have a “normal” first birth as a doula (although it was over 48 hours). The next one came and went with no issues either but as the months of normal births came and went, I knew that one day, I would be faced with the inevitable “unexpected outcome.”

My unexpected outcome DID arrive. I had two during my busiest time as a doula. 1 was where my doula client lost her uterus due to complications during a C-section and the other was a baby with a terminal heart condition. He survived but it was a very rough start. I also had a client hire me where their baby had HLHS (Hyperplastic Left Heart Syndrome) and they wanted compassionate care for their baby.

Unfortunately, during the prenatal process, they changed from a hospital birth to an unassisted homebirth and I could not ethically attend that birth. As much as I wanted to support this family through the death of their baby, I knew I was the only one there with any form of medical background and I would have been held liable. I don’t think the family would have done anything but I could not risk my family to attend their birth.

I wrote a letter to the family but never mailed it. I still have the letter. I should post it some day. I know that the family had a blog and I learned that they ended up going to the hospital only to have the hospital NOT respect their wishes for compassionate care and attempt to save their son’s life. It was a very traumatic experience for them as they did not want this at all. What a difficult decision it must have been to say goodbye only for the doctors to try to save his life.

I digress…

The post was for Sophia Marilyn. She was born in the hands of her creator on July 26, 2013. This was just so recent. I clicked on the link entitled Random Acts of Kindness in Memory of Baby Sophia Marilyn. Within the link was a note from her parents thanking everyone for responding and their post was the video. I hesitated to click on it as I KNEW it would be very emotional but I performed the inevitable “click.”

Beautiful music and I was touched immediately. Timmy, was just 4 feet in front of me in his bouncer. He was facing away from me and we were separated by my computer and a banister. I could hear him bouncing away with his bird toy jingling as he bounced. As the video played and I watched, the tears flowed down like rain. The raw emotion in this family was displayed in the pictures. I couldn’t imagine going through this kind of birth.

I was devastated and torn. Why? Why did this happen to them? Why does a baby have to die? She was full-term. She was over 38 weeks. The mother experienced what is called a placental abruption and because of this, her only daughter died. The last 9 months could not be taken back. 9 months of expectation, anxiety, joy, excitement, doctor’s appointments, bonding with her husband and two sons, the growth of her belly, and the kicks of her daughter within her womb could not be taken back. Her thoughts and dreams for her daughter remained, as did the scars from her pregnancy and the milk that would fill her breasts to nourish the baby that passed.

As I continued to watch this video, I felt guilt. Guilt that my son was playing in his bouncer just a few feet away. Guilt that I wasn’t holding him. Guilt that I wasn’t looking into his eyes and soaking up every moment, every smell, every smile…GUILT…that my baby was alive and hers was dead.

I am horrified when I hear about the death of a baby; whether from a miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss, or abortion. It hits me so deep inside. It’s not fair that a baby has to die. It’s not fair that we, as parents, have to bury our child. It’s just NOT FAIR!

Tonight, I will pray for this family. I will participate in their request for a “Random Act of Kindness” which is to take place on August 26, 2013, just one month after Sophia’s death. I have posted this event on all my pages. I will post this blog on all my pages and I will ask my readers…whoever you are to PLEASE sign up for this event. Please help to bring some peace and comfort to this family, in honor of Sophia Marilyn Seymour.

God Bless!

Aurora Shooting Mimics Miscarriage Grief

Day 6 after the Aurora shooting.

So, I have been literally too exhausted to journal. That’s not like me at all but everything from this shooting is draining me and as I said before, I am not related to a victim. The shooting has taken so much out of me and most days, it’s too overwhelming to complete more then one task.

I took Monday off and desperately hoped to have Tuesday off but with all the new people at my hospital and the fact that the company doesn’t provide sick time, I didn’t feel like I could take any more time off.

I am not one to ask for help but on Saturday, I asked for it in the best way I knew how. I contacted my schedulers and advised them I wasn’t doing well with the shooting and that I couldn’t come in on Monday. I also advised them to contact the person in charge to tell them because my boss was on military leave.

I didn’t hear back from anyone so on Monday morning, I sent an email to another director I used to work for and advised him I am overwhelmed and that I am still not 100%. He offered to have someone come help out with tasks at my facility but didn’t offer any time off. Since he didn’t make a statement in his email, I assumed it wasn’t okay for me to take more time.

Monday afternoon I received a call from HR. VERY brief. “Hi, I heard you called off today because you are having trouble with the shooting and I wanted to make sure you had the EAP brochure and information.” REALLY?! I tried to hold back the tears but they flowed and I tried to mask the crying in my voice but couldn’t. Despite the tears and voice change, she got off the phone.

Not once did she ask if I was okay, if there was anything I needed, if there was anything the company could do, or if I needed more time off. If someone had just said it was OKAY for me to take time, it would have made a HUGE difference but I am so sour right now, it hurts to think about.

Even though I wasn’t at the theater or involved with a victim (other than a few came to my hospital), I am still grieving immensely.

  • I lost our family theater. I don’t know if I will ever be able to return but I’ll try. I am not scared of it happening again, that’s not the issue, the innocence is lost and that bothers me the most. It will never be the same knowing so many people were hurt there.
  • My husband could have been killed. You will NEVER see his story on the news but not only does he normally work there on Friday nights, he also spent over 30 hours assisting with evacuations and diffusing of the booby trapped apartment, helped protect the President while he visited University Hospital of Colorado (don’t know why he couldn’t visit all the other victims) and then he assisted with the crowds at the memorial.
  • I had NO time to process this with my husband or family. I couldn’t take off work and my husband had to go to training the next week.
  • I had no one to spend time with and to talk with that understood what I was going through on all levels. It’s hard enough for me to be vulnerable but it’s even more hard when I am being vulnerable with someone who doesn’t understand the complexity of my situation. Thinking about it, I should have reached out to a few of the other wive’s whose husbands work at the theater AND would have been involved in the shooting like mine. That left me with maybe two that I know. I should check in with them.

How does this situation mimick the grief from my miscarriage?

  • Exhaustion
  • Jealousy
  • Weepiness
  • Anger
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Sleeping too much
  • Not sleeping at all
  • Nightmares
  • Body aches
  • Feelings of desolation

Those are just a few.

This hasn’t impacted me the same way my miscarriage did but it’s interesting to see all the similarities. As a new psychology major, I hope to study this phenomenon a little bit more.

The positive to having experienced grief before?

I know what I need.

  • Time with my family to process
  • Time for self-care

Those are the big ones. I don’t want to watch anymore footage of the incident or see anymore pictures or really hear anymore stories but I know all of that is normal and it’s okay. I will get through this funk. Each day gets a bit easier but I still long for time with my family to process everything that has happened.

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Aurora Shooting Day Three

It’s so difficult to watch everyone else go on their family weekends, go hiking, walking, running, just plain having fun, etc while I spent the entire weekend in bed, sleeping for well over 30 hours, pushing my son away on my brother-in-law’s family because I have absolutely no energy, all the while feeling guilty for it and hating others because they GET to do all those things as if their life wasn’t affected one bit by this tragedy. Some of their husbands were in the same place as mine but many don’t have anyone involved from Aurora PD. Some went to prayer vigils but many just acted like it was any normal weekend.

How is this possible?

Well, let me tell you, this was a HORRIBLE weekend. It is unfair. I expected to have some emotions surrounding this incident but I didn’t expect to be blown away by the sheer exhaustion and grief from several types of losses.

My son had no father this weekend and NO mother.

Our camper sits on the side of the house, prepped to go on our family trip but in reality, it will just be taken back to storage.

I was alone, no one to be with. No one to talk with about this incident or how it affected my family because my best friend was sitting outside the suspects home figuring out how to dismantle a bomb. I needed the presence of a person, not a phone call or text message.

We didn’t have anyone die in the theater but so much of what we knew has changed and will forever be changed.

I spent the wee hours of that first night at my hospital preparing for more victims and families of victims and watched the incident completely unfold around us on TV. The images of my family theater (Century 16 Aurora) surrounded by police cars, ambulances, fire trucks and helicopters destroyed the innocence of that theater.

I spent that morning, worrying and praying for the safety of my husband and all the officers who were called upon to help with this tragedy. I worried about my son, who was woken from his sound sleep only to discover his mother was gone and his father was leaving and he needed to be the biggest, strongest little boy by waiting for someone to come get him.

My old city, the city my son was born in, and the city my husband serves to protect was ruined, right in front of my eyes.

The family theater, the same one my husband and father-in-law and friends, protect on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays destroyed.

One of the most vulnerable places you can be and often thought of as safe, is now a place of distrust and won’t feel safe for a very long time.

You see, I can’t read all the Facebook posts of all the happy people, hiking, camping, doing family things, etc because I CAN’T. My family is off protecting the city and now the President. My family weekend was abruptly stopped and because of that, I lost all energy and flow to do anything. I am usually the one who is up and running around, but today, it was my husband; who yelled at me to get out of bed because 2 days in it was enough. Yelling at me because we have a child who needs his mother and I will HAVE to get him later. Yelling at me because this isn’t the best way to handle the situation. Pushing me out of the bed, pulling me out of the bed, opening the blinds, taking the covers and pillows, getting out my workout clothes and yelling at me to put them on and go jog.

No. I can’t go. I need more time to get through this funk. I need that DAMN trailer to go to storage because looking at it reminds me of Thursday. The day we scrambled around in preparation for our fishing trip. It reminds me of the days before, planning where we were going and how we were going to catch a fish other than a trout. It brings me back to the moment where we were a normal family, the three of us.  A father who teaches police officers to shoot, a mother who is rebuilding a security team, and a boy who has his parents fully available to him when he needs us. But just after midnight on Friday, we were sorely reminded that we are public servants, police officers, security managers and disaster specialists.

For me, I was only needed for 6 hours following the shooting but for my family; my husband spent three days working with the finest police department in the State of Colorado picking up the pieces of all the destruction from one man who had blatant disregard for the lives of others and only thought of himself. Yes, this man ruined my weekend and I am pissed but he ruined much more than that.

He took away the innocence of a child, the lives of twelve people, destroyed the family atmosphere, and brought fear into thousands of homes. He also managed to bring strangers together, others closer to God, and brought Jesus here to walk with those who are suffering.  But I am still mad and I will be for a while, because right now, all I see and all I feel is the death and damage to innocent lives, the massive grief and suffering people are experiencing, the destruction of my family unit, the loss of my family weekend, and the defacing and permanent change to my family’s movie theater. This is the ONLY theater my son knows. It’s gone and people are dead. No, this isn’t a regular weekend. This weekend sucks!

#theatershooting
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