Monday, May 9, 2011

A permanent set of glasses

Id like to believe those cliche statements... that child loss does not define me. That I shouldn't cry because "it's over", instead I should smile because "it happened" and she's mine. That I can go on the rest of my life just fine with her always in my heart, that she will not be forgotten. 

And while its true that there are more things about me than child loss, I do smile that she did happen and that she is mine. She is always in my heart and of course I will never forget her.... those statements are not entirely true for me. And that's ok. Society tells us that if the above statement is not true, that we are not ok. That we need therapy. That there is something wrong with us. That we are consumed.

I can only speak for myself on this. But I am forever changed by losing her. I'm changed in good and bad ways. I can go on and on about the good things... like how she made me a better mom for my rainbows, how I'm wiser, how she inspired me to help others... 

But as for the bad... the bad is that I'm no longer naive. It starts with trying to conceive. I was lucky enough to get pregnant with Genesis on the first try. I now know that even the healthiest of young people in their prime only have about a 25% chance of getting pregnant even when every aspect of getting pregnant is perfect.

When I saw the positive pregnancy test I automatically said "I'm gonna have a baby." The thought of not bringing a baby home did not cross my mind. I know now that 1 in 5 pregnancies in the US will end in some sort of loss. I also know that you can do everything right in a pregnancy and that doesn't ensure you have a healthy baby. I know from personal experience that I can never truly have a peaceful pregnancy that I can actually enjoy. With G I had what most people would consider a great pregnancy. No morning sickness, no aches and pains, not nothing. I had to remind myself sometimes that I was pregnant. But do you think that caused me to relax? No. With no morning sickness I was freaking out that something was wrong. After all I had it 24/7 with Genesis and then in the first trimester with D. I had fear in my heart each time I used the bathroom scared I would see blood. Even the tiniest of blood drops would set me into a panic attack. I did kick counts like you wouldn't believe and would start to freak out if I didn't get my 10 kicks in an hour. I even bought my own doppler to give me peace of mind. While that id help, the fear was still there. I remember being in labor with both my rainbows and still thinking "I wonder if I will be able to take this baby home..." Even when my babies were out and safe and warm in my arms I still had fears. Fears of jaundice, malnutrition, choking, SIDS... The list goes on. Even now that D is several years old I look at him and think "I think he's here to stay now...God I hope he is..." 

Truth is losing a child has changed me and has defined how I see life and how I parent my children. It cannot be avoided. I have been given a new set of permanent glasses. Colors are no longer as vibrant as they once were. As a matter of fact the lenses shattered on March 16th, 2007. Ive tried to repair the glasses several times. I fix them over and over and sometimes very well. But no matter how well I fix them or how many times I do it, the cracks are still there. I can never see through those glasses and see what I used to see before that day. It's just never going to happen. 

G fell down yesterday and cut her gums. And boy did that bleed a lot. I started to get worried when the bleeding wouldn't stop and she had blood spilling out of her mouth. There was so much blood she was even choking on it a bit. I went over to my moms and she said to put sugar on it, which we did. In the mean time I was questioning what do we do if it doesn't stop bleeding. My mom went on to tell me that I was overreacting. This accusation really upsets me. {and btw, G was fine}

It's no secret I am overprotective of the rainbows... another "side effect" of being a BLM. But its all in their best interest and I know all too well what could happen. I just looked her in the eye and said "look, Ive already had one child die....I'm not gonna let it happen again." And though I know a cut to the gums isn't life threatening, worst case scenarios do go through my mind. And if having my child's best interest at mind is a crime then sue me.

With these new glasses, cuts are not just cuts. They are an opportunity to bleed to death. Colds are not just colds. They are an opportunity for them to catch pneumonia. Bumps to the head are not just bumps to the head. They are a possibility of head trauma and a brain bleed. The list goes on and on. I do my best to not live a life wrapped in bubble wrap to prevent every injury. I try so very hard not to overreact for little things. {IE: I was not hysterical or anything when blood was gushing from G's mouth} I think that I live a pretty balanced way even if in my head the thoughts are not balanced. I don't think the thoughts are avoidable. 

Do you find that you see life through a new pair of glasses now?


Wyatt's Mommie said...

Funny, I recall referencing something similiar a few months back. I can relate all too well to your post. I find myself looking back at wedding pictures and thinking of how different Brian and I both were. We will never be those two people again. We have become different and forever will be.

TanaLee Davis said...

Wow. Well said Tiffany. Though I don't have a rainbow yet to say I agree on these feelings 100%...I do believe I see life in a whole new way. I did get new glasses too. I'm much more aware of dangers in pregnancy and life for a baby after birth.
I believe for us BLM's the fear never stops. Once you get that rainbow the new "protectiveness" leaks out and it can be a good or bad thing depending on the point of view. I think you have good reason to worry and protect your kids. Enough said. Love you mama,

Caroline said...

I know that I have changed a lot. Our whole family is different now. I know being a Mommy is not the same.
Great post.

Crystal Theresa said...

very well put, dear friend. i think it's hard for people to understand that for many of us, losing a child is a permanent change. there is just no way to completely go back to how things used to be, to how we used to be. and i am perfectly okay with that, even if it means i am more cautious/paranoid than "normal"--we have good reason to be this way.

Natasha said...

Definitely see life through new both good and bad ways. I get so nervous anytime I can't reach someone or my mom calls one too many times while I'm at work. I assume something has happened to my sister or my niece or my hubby. I know I will be the same way as you when I am able to have my Rainbow one day.

Fear is just a normal part of life for us's sad and unfair but it doesn't make us crazy or weird. People can just get over themselves if they feel like something is "wrong with us". There's a reason why we are different---we know and understand what can happen in the blink of an eye.

I'm so glad your baby girl is doing ok. Sending lots of love!


butterflymom said...

I love the way you reference looking at life through different glasses. I was just talking about a similar feeling with some co-workers who were there for me immediately following the loss of Kennedy. There are bits and pieces of me that see through one of the lenses that isn't broken. I may even shut one eye to see out of the good lens, yet I need both eyes to see. And unfortunately, I will always see through the cracked lens. The lens that spells out "babyloss mom". It makes me sad that I can't be that person. But if I was her, then I wouldn't have had Kennedy at all. This is a beautiful post, Tiffany. Thank you for sharing. Sending you many hugs.

Becky Baker said...

I completely agree! I look at Things are different now! Things that I worried about or that seemed like a big deal aren't anymore! I think I have more perspective now...or at least I fool myself that I do!
I also have fears of TTC, of what I eat effecting the baby those two weeks you have to wait to find out, I fear bp rising, I fear protein, I fear everything about the baby process and that's not fair! We don't get to have normal pregnancies!
Good thoughts Tiffany!!

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