Archive for the ‘Babyloss’ Category

h1

Untitled

November 17, 2012

This morning I went to Yoga class like I do most Saturday mornings. I didn’t sleep well last night; the memories were haunting me. I vowed to be present; to focus on the now. It was a struggle. I am mourning and it tugs at my mind constantly. After yoga, I ran. I ran until I almost threw up. Why? I think I wanted to punish my body for betraying me, Norah, and our family. I have no comfort right now. Coach is away.

Kids from the neighborhood were at our house from 12-4. They filter in and out on most days. Lots of them. I hung out outside in the southern sun trying to absorb as many rays as possible. I watched for the imminent fight and diffused situations. But always, my sadness is barely containable. If Coach were here, I would have left…retreated to the solice of the woods. I would have run until I did throw up, until my legs would not function anymore. I do not even have the privacy to cry like I want to. So, I mourn within myself. I miss my daughter. Like always, we adopted a 5 year old for Christmas (or whatever age that Norah would have been). Tomorrow, I’ll take everyone shopping for this 5 year old’s presents, and I will “celebrate” her brief life with the kids.

I gave Coach a pep talk today. I told him in hindsight it is so easy to criticize yourself. You have the advantage of telling yourself what you should have done. The subject was completely unrelated to Norah. Yet, from my own personal perspective, that is what I was talking about and only applying it to the situation at hand. How easy it is for me to dwell and say that I should have known. How painful and self-destructive it is to continue on that path. And yet, I let myself. It is my own punishment for not bringing Norah safely into this world.

I long to speak with her.

h1

Effects of Babyloss

September 9, 2011

Life always seems to be moving, to be coming at me. I rarely have time to think about what I am feeling or how I am coping.  When a babyloss Mom asks me how I am doing, I just tell the truth, I bury my feelings. I evade. I hide from my feelings. Soon, it will be 4 years since Norah died. I like to think that I function well. Sometimes I think about what I could have had, but then I bury it. As a babylost mom, the internet has been so valuable to me to look at what others are feeling and writing about.  We write about our pain, our anguish, our hope and our misery. However, one aspect seems lightly touched upon. How did the death of my baby effect my professional career?

I’m a scientist. I make observations, hypothesize and pose questions. I test hypotheses and formulate ideas. It sounds all very clean and glossy huh. There is a creative aspect to the job — I teach and I write manuscripts. However, my job and respect within the scientific community does not depend on teaching, it depends upon the quality and quantity of manuscripts that I produce. Anyone who has lost a baby knows that it messes with your mind — the lack of sleep, the images, the reminders. I forget to brush my hair or I forget to eat because I am in babylost world. It is hard to think consecutively, rationally….scientifically. One year after I lost Norah, I published two manuscripts but only because they were already accepted and at the publishers since before her death. Since Nov. 2007, I have not been a very good scientist. I teach, I write proposals, I have huge grants but I can’t publish. Since that time, I submitted two manuscripts and they were both rejected in 2010. The reasons given were that they were not well thought out, not well written, and had too many loopholes. Sound familiar. That is my life. I have lost confidence in my ability to be a scientist. I have recruited some other scientists to help me fix those manuscripts but they are still not submitted. I am depending on these people to look at my work critically before I submit again. I am annoyed that I have to depend on other people for a skill that I used to have, and I have to go by their timetable.

Norah’s death shattered me emotionally, beat my down physically and damaged my confidence. Her death stole my mental health. I am a scientist; yet, I have trouble playing the role. I am starting to physically feel the pressure from not being able to do the job. I wake up at nights in a panic. I work hard all day but at the end of the day, nothing seems to be done. My management of grants has not been spectacular, I have few results to show for the work I have done. I appear to no longer have a logic, rational mind. This hurts me. I have wrapped my life around science. My income depends upon me being able to do the job. I am not certain how to overcome this. I know that I can not be the person I was before her death. Over the past couple of years, I thought I would work through it, work my way out of this confusing mental spiral that seems to consume my thoughts. It has been almost 4 years and my thoughts still spiral. I wish I was linear thinking again. I do not know if I am going to pull out of this or if this is my “new normal”.  If this is my “new normal”, how do I incorporate this into my life as a scientist? Do I need to switch paths, look for other opportunities, maybe go into a field where I am told what to do instead of having academic freedom? So many unknowns. I can’t solve the equation with so many unknowns.

What about you? Did the loss of your baby effect your career?

h1

Right where I am Project: 3 years, 7 months, exactly

June 19, 2011

I am at a frantic time in my year. I made it through the semester: I go out into the field; I have dealines for grants and papers. I’ve been gone — physically and mentally. Last night I started reading some blogs again for the first time in many months and got wind of the “Right where I am Project” from Angie at StillLife365. I searched for the ladies that I knew and read their posts and then I was sent into a spiral of memories and self-analysis. How do I feel 3 years and 7 months after Norah died? Where am I right now?

My daughter Norah Clare died on November 18, 2007.  I was devastated; my children were confused and sad; my husband was lost. We did what we had to do to get through the first couple of months. At first, we were on the same grief page. He pulled it back together quicker than me. I grieved for a very long time. I had another baby, almost one year after Norah a died, a girl, my rainbow. She did bring happiness to me and my family; she did help us heal. I still grieved. Two and a half years after Norah died, I had another baby, a boy, my sunshine. We all healed some more. Our two little ones are so loved by the family, we know what the alternative is. I much prefer getting up 12 times a night and breastfeeding nonstop to buying a casket and burying my baby.

The conversations about Norah continue…

Oldest daughter (8): “I miss Norah.”

Me: “I do too.”

Oldest daughter: “Why did she have to die?”

Me: “I don’t know. Her heart stopped beating and her lungs stopped working. That situation is not compatible with life.”

Oldest Daughter: “Did it hurt to die?”

Me: “I don’t really know because I have never died. However, I suspect that it is easy and it doesn’t hurt to die. I suspect that it is peaceful.”

Oldest Daughter: “Where is Norah now?”

Me: “Norah is all around us. She is the wind, the trees, the air. She is the sunshine that warms our faces. She is the breeze that strokes our skin.”

Our family continues to heal but one is always missing. Always, she is the space at the dinner table, the space beside of me walking in the store, the space at the end of the sentence. If she were here, we would be…..

Where am I? Sometimes I am lost; sometimes I am here. My life moves onward. I am usually engaged but can fall into periods of melacholy. I am living.

h1

Lethargy

April 4, 2011

As a bonus to my Spring Grief season, I am also experiencing a lethargy and lack of energy that feels unrelenting. I can and did get out of bed this morning but only because I have to. I have to teach class because that is how our family is supported. I am exhausted so in order to function a drank a bunch of caffeine. I tried to exercise yesterday. Well, I did exercise. I had in my mind a goal that I wanted to reach but about 2/3 of the way through, I felt too tired to continue. I felt as if I could not lift my feet and continue. I hate to feel this way because I know it is a cycle. I know that after I adjust to the season, I’ll feel better. I know that if I force myself to exercise everyday that I will feel better. While I wait, my productivity at home and at work decreases. After I conquer the hump, I will have to work harder to catch up. You know what is even more of a bonus…

Taxes are due soon and we have not started.

h1

Spring

March 31, 2011

I forgot what my blog was called. For a bit, I didn’t know what to click on. I’ve let it languish, without attention.

The Spring is difficult for me. My baby died in November yet the season that is difficult is the Spring. Flowers are blooming, plants are growing, the days grow longer, new lives = new beginnings. Except for my daughter. My daughter no longer lives. I love the smells, the growing, the life. And yet, it makes me sad. The sadness is not crippling but it is dibilitating. I find it hard to concentrate, to function. Yesterday I had difficult doing a basic trigonometry problem. I was frustrated that I could not figure out which buttons to push on my calculator. It was an easy problem, but so hard for me to figure out. I have so many stresses right now but the sadness has numbed me. I tell myself that I am tired. I haven’t slept well lately. But I know it is because I am grieving the loss of my daughter. My mother died at this time of year 3 years ago. I grieve the loss of a confidant. We talked several times a week and then we didn’t. A sudden loss that sent me reeling after my daughters death. As everyone else is enjoying walking in park, playing outside, and returning to life. I mourn. I grieve over what should have been, the life that I left me.

Summer can not come quick enough…

h1

3 Years

November 18, 2010

November 18, 2010

3 years.

How should I feel today? How should I function?

3 years ago my baby daughter died.

I exhale with relief knowing that time has helped me and that I will never return to that time again.

I knit my brow with concentration when I think of Norah.

How did it feel to hold her? What did she smell like? How did she like to move in my womb?

I feel loss. I feel disappointed that she did not stay in human form. I feel guilt as a mother because I could not hold her to this world.

Yet, I feel love. I feel the maternal bond, even across the different worlds.

On the day that marks 3 years since she left, I feel “normal”, mostly.

I feel like the big invisible sign over my head that says “My baby died” has faded. I feel that people relate to me on a normal level and look to me to be a leader in compassion.

I can smile when I think of Norah, instead of crying.

I still get emotional and on days like today, the wound seems fresh. But, I know it is not. I know that it is my mind that is returning to the emotions of the past.

I have always felt like I needed to write to other Mom’s who have lost their children, whether on chat boards or on blogs, to tell them that it will be OK with time, that their child is missed and what a wonder parent they are. I want to let those Mom’s know that someone understands. Lately, I have found myself replying less and less. It is because the emotions that are wrapped up in replying to a Mom that lost her child inevitably tumble me back into grief. Children keep dying and I can not stop it. Yet, I want to be happy, and continuing to put myself into grief does not further happiness.

I’ve stopped myself from reliving every moment of those last couple of days that she was alive.

I think that is what I am expected to do but I don’t want to do it.

The thought creeps into my mind…, “3 years ago she was alive” and I banish it.

Now, my thoughts say, “3 years ago I was a living zombie, in shock, fearful, sad, grieving” and I banish it. I do not want those emotions to stay with me.

Yes, Norah died. It was a terrible experience but, I am making a choice not to relive it again and again.

Instead, I focus on the fact that I helped her. I helped her come to the human form to learn what she needed to learn for her to grow. I did what every mother wants to do for their children—she wants to help them. I will see Norah again when I leave this human form. I will commune with her and understand who she is, and possibly understand why she had to go. Until then, I intend to be happy with my other children, to take care of them and watch them grow into adulthood, to take advantage of this human experience, and to spend the rest of life playing and having fun with my husband.

Some might say 3 years is a long amount of time or maybe a short amount of time. I say that time is irrelevant. My baby died and time will never heal the wounds. Time has allowed me to incorporate the loss into my life and return to enjoying life. For that, I am grateful.

h1

Remember Norah

October 13, 2010

October 15th is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day

http://www.october15th.com/

AT 7:00 pm in your time zone, please light a candle for Norah and all of the other babies who left before their families were ready to let them go.