Friday, July 2, 2010

This one hurts

Charlotte,

A blog post over on Glow has set my mind to spinning baby girl. A large cloud of shame hovers over the hours immediately after you died. I was in pain, confused, lost, so damaged and just wanting to go home. I love you so much baby girl, but in those hours at the hospital I didn’t want to have anything to do with you.

How I wish I would’ve been more aware, more put together. I didn’t want to hold you, because you were dead and I didn’t understand why I needed to hold my dead baby. I am glad I held you eventually, but wish I would’ve held you closer.

I really wanted all of the midwives and apprentices to hold you. Four of them came to the hospital with us and I wanted all of them to hold you, see your sweet face, and spend time with you. I thought it was necessary and important for them to do so, but I could not understand why I needed to do so. I hope you felt their immense love.

I am sorry you were clothed in a unisex outfit the hospital provided. You were wrapped in a beautiful pink quilted blanket, but I wish I had thought to bring a blanket and outfit from the birthing center for you. I selected many sweet outfits for you, but you never got to wear them. I had four or five in the bag we brought to the birthing center because I could not settle on a favorite. And I had no idea how small you would be. That was another scary thing for me baby. You were tiny. Fully formed, full term, beautiful, but tiny.

We have beautiful pictures from the hospital, but I wish I had a better one of the two of us. The entire process confused me and I could not cope with the reality of your death. I was in shock and so tired baby. I hope you understand why I was less than present in the moment.

I didn’t want to be in that hospital room. I wanted to be back at the birth center with you alive and in my arms. However, when I was asked if I wanted to return to the birth center for pictures I said no. I also didn’t want to take you home with me. I am so sorry little bird. I should have kept you close to me as long as I could. Someone should’ve pried you from my arms. Instead your daddy laid you in a bassinet, I was helped into a wheelchair, and I left that hospital room without looking back. I am so sorry I did not stay until the people from the funeral home came to pick you up.

I will never regret having you at the birth center, but I am sorry you had to be transported alone. I am sorry you died alone, without your mama or daddy there. I hope you weren’t scared, or in pain, my little bird.

My biggest regret? I never kissed you baby. Not once. I was too freaked out by your cold deadness; by the reality of your slowly blackening finger and toenails. I cradled your head in my hand, I tentatively touched your hands, your feet, but I never kissed you. What kind of mother does that make me?

I feel like I failed you in so many ways Charlotte. I am sorry you could not live outside my belly. I am sorry I never kissed you my little bird. I hope you know how much Mama loves and misses you.

13 comments:

  1. Angela - This post breaks my heart. Charlotte knows how much you love her. I too wish I would have done some of those things, so I can relate. I have no family pictures...I have no picture (that I know of) of Bailey & Adam, and the ones of me and her are candid shots. No one can be prepared for this...but even though we weren't in the frame of mind at that time, I know our little girls know how much we loved (and still love) them. Thinking of you my friend.

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  2. Charlotte knows how much you love her and she knows that you think about her alot. I was also in a state of shock when Jacob was born and there are many things that I wish I had done with him. I think we all have regrets no matter what.

    Thinking of you.

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  3. Oh, Ang... Peace and love to you.

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  4. the others are right angela. charlotte understands.

    my circumstances were a little different but i couldn't even bring myself to glance. i got as far away as i could.

    you did hold her, that's the important thing. and even if you'd clung to her for a week it still would never have been enough. it can't be.

    sending hugs and thinking of you. xx

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  5. I could say this and hope it won't come out wrong. I really, really hope it doesn't. Please take it as read you aren't meant to be hurt by this. It isn't meant to sound patronising and I hope to goodness it doesn't.

    Lots, not all, of the lost baby mamas you talk to and read are women with children already. I did those moments with Freddie as I did from nothing more than learned experience, going through the motions of previous experiences and extrapolating as quickly as I could the things I felt were right at the time. I didn't get it all right, of course, but some of that automatic "this is what we normally do with a new baby" did guide me.

    You didn't have that behind you and you had nothing to guide you but people who could only offer, not insist. It isn't your fault you couldn't do it all as you now wish. You just didn't have the things behind you to prod you in one direction or another. I'm so sad and sorry for that.

    I'm so dreadfully sorry. I think of you, in the place you are in, every day and wish you had something to distract you from all this whirlwind of feeling. Keep talking.

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  6. No offense taken Merry. I get what you are saying.

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  7. Angela, this literally brought me to tears. How can regret be escaped in such a regretful situation? I'm often ashamed and guilt-ridden for the feelings I had before my daughter died. I had a week to process her impending demise but I still didn't get it "right." I shunned a bag of "her stuff" from the NICU nurse when I left the hospital. Why didn't she insist my husband take the bag and recommend we deal with it when we were ready? After we found out about her condition (basically born brain dead and in a coma-like state) I told my husband I had the strong urge to leave her at the hospital, drive away, and never look back. How do you deal with such a horrible thing as losing your baby? I just feel your pain and wish I could comfort you into never having to beat yourself up ever again. You love her and there's no doubt she knew that.

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  8. This post hurts me so much to read because it takes me back to some of the things I wish I would've done with my daughter. There are no rules when it comes to grief...no one knows exactly what to do when our babies die because no one can ever prepare us for what's about to happen. You were in shock and it's completely understandable. Charlotte knows that you love her. She was so young she didn't know anything bad in this world so I know she wouldn't hold a grudge against you for it. Try not to beat yourself up (I know, easier said than done) I do it to myself all the time so I guess I don't have the right to say it to you, but I'd like to believe what I'm saying is true (that we shouldn't beat ourselves up). I wish I could take your pain away...all of our pain away.

    I'm wishing those "better" days come to you that everyone talks about after time passes. I hope they come sooner than later and I will be thinking of you and Charlotte all the while.

    (((HUGS)))

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  9. This post brought me back to my hospital room after the birth of my daughter (she was born w/ trisomy 18 and barely lived for 2 1/2 days). While she was surviving on the ventilator, I remember the doctors and nurses trying to figure out if we could hold our daughther, and how to manuver her w/ all her tubes. I didn't understand why they were insisting we hold her. At first, I didn't want to hold her. I think my initial decision to hold her was partially based on a feeling of obligation. I felt like I "should" hold her, and everyone was telling me to, so perhaps it would somehow please everyone else that I did this. In the end, I am so glad I did it. It allowed me to connect w/ my daughter in a unique way. And like you, I still have so many regrets... I wish I had more pictures, I wish I had held her more... I wonder why I even slept those few nights - why didn't I keep vigilance at her bed side? And as others have commented here, then I remember I was also in shock and only beginning to tap into the overwhelming grief and all-consuming loss was seeping into my life and my being. I was also in my own physical recovery as I had just given birth. We expect so much from ourselves - and we are only human.

    also, as everyone has already said - your daughther knows you love her so much. But I get the questioning of it - I do it too.

    Love and hugs to you.

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  10. Oh Angela. I'm so, so sorry.

    Like many others above, I think Charlotte knew you loved her. She was surrounded by your body and your love for nearly the entirety of her life. She would have heard your voice talking. Even the tiny, tiny babies in the NICU turn towards the voices of their parents because they know them.

    I wish I could take that sense of shame away from you. You were in deep shock and grief. I also wish I had been more put together, been more aware of what was going on, I have so many regrets and, like Rebecca, I had much longer to grapple with the situation than you did. Please be kind to yourself.

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  11. This post brought me back to my hospital room after the birth of my daughter (she was born w/ trisomy 18 and barely lived for 2 1/2 days). While she was surviving on the ventilator, I remember the doctors and nurses trying to figure out if we could hold our daughther, and how to manuver her w/ all her tubes. I didn't understand why they were insisting we hold her. At first, I didn't want to hold her. I think my initial decision to hold her was partially based on a feeling of obligation. I felt like I "should" hold her, and everyone was telling me to, so perhaps it would somehow please everyone else that I did this. In the end, I am so glad I did it. It allowed me to connect w/ my daughter in a unique way. And like you, I still have so many regrets... I wish I had more pictures, I wish I had held her more... I wonder why I even slept those few nights - why didn't I keep vigilance at her bed side? And as others have commented here, then I remember I was also in shock and only beginning to tap into the overwhelming grief and all-consuming loss was seeping into my life and my being. I was also in my own physical recovery as I had just given birth. We expect so much from ourselves - and we are only human.

    also, as everyone has already said - your daughther knows you love her so much. But I get the questioning of it - I do it too.

    Love and hugs to you.

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  12. Oh Angela. I'm so, so sorry.

    Like many others above, I think Charlotte knew you loved her. She was surrounded by your body and your love for nearly the entirety of her life. She would have heard your voice talking. Even the tiny, tiny babies in the NICU turn towards the voices of their parents because they know them.

    I wish I could take that sense of shame away from you. You were in deep shock and grief. I also wish I had been more put together, been more aware of what was going on, I have so many regrets and, like Rebecca, I had much longer to grapple with the situation than you did. Please be kind to yourself.

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  13. Oh, Ang... Peace and love to you.

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thank you!

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