Lilypie - Memorial

Monday, 30 July 2012

Mourning

Mourning. It's a life long journey. It has many faces and you will never know ahead of time which one you will encounter on a given day, given hour or even a given minute. The multitude of combinations of human emotion that you may feel and the varying length of those emotions are unknown. Sometimes, it creeps in and you know it's coming and at other times it just hits you from out of no where. The underlying theme, as much as I say it, is that missing piece of your heart that you may never recover.

This blog is a place I come to when I'm feeling overwhelmed by my emotions and is a mish mash of my thoughts and feelings. It also somehow it makes me feel closer to Clara. I know I still grieve a lot but some good moments are starting to come slowly. I know my jouney is longer than some others but I'm ok with that. There is no set timeline and everyone is different. I just wish everyone else knew that. Judgement of others comes so easily and it's not until you are placed in a similar situation that one will truly understand. Mourning is a journey that has no end.

I'm forever grateful to other baby loss mamas that have blogged about their jouney to healing, it gave me great comfort in the darkest hours of my life. It made me feel less alone in my own journey.  The forums have been helpful in which other baby loss moms have taken the time to comfort me in my weakest moments and in my plea for help. There are some family and friends that have been my sounding board when I feel devastated, hopeless and defeated. Today, I ordered my Molly Bear which will be made to Clara's birth weight. There has been so many outlets for my grief and I'm grateful. These resources will continue to be there as I need them in my journey but I am hopeful that they will no longer be my crutch in life. That somehow I will be able to stand on my own two feet. 


Now, it`s time to figure out who the ``new`` me is and figure a new ``normal`` to my life. It`s a hard road ahead, sometimes I walk this world feeling like I`m in this dream world and nothing is real. I need to readjust and try to determine what is important to me, the things that make me want to live again. I realize I haven`t lived since Clara died. There`s glimmers of life but I haven`t been living. I have to learn to let go of all the guilt and integrate Clara into my life in a meaningful way. A new way of mourning and loving her. I need to try to focus  on the love that we share and relish in the joy she brought to me in her short life instead of drowning in the sadness of her death. As many have said it, this will come in time.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Daddy Misses You Too

Dear Clara,

Daddy was thinking of you today. He read my blog and was looking through pictures of our family trip to New York City. I saw Daddy crying because he misses you so very much. It hurts him so much that he needs distractions from his pain. Can you imagine, your daddy loves you that much that it tears him up inside to think of what he's lost. And Daddy isn't very emotional to begin with.

Our trip to NYC with you was such a blessing - it was intended to be our baby moon. I'm so glad we had the opportunity to take you there. We even bought you your first onsie on this trip, it said "daddy's little princess". Your daddy was so proud of you. Daddy had so many plans for you himself. He wanted to show you his model airplanes and teach you geeky mathematical things. Everyday, Daddy and I debated who you would love more but I know you love each of us unconditionally.

Well, I just wanted to let you know daddy loves and misses you too!

Love, Mommy and Daddy

Friday, 27 July 2012

Missing You

Dear Clara,
Mommy is missing you so much right now. There is a constant ache in my heart. My life doesn't feel right without you in it. My life doesn't seem real. Clara, I think about you all the time. Sometimes, out of no where a wave of extreme sadness overcomes me and I don't think I can survive without you. Mommy loves you so much and was eagerly waiting to spend time with you. I wish with all my heart that things could have been different for us.

I guess I just want to remind you how special you are and how proud I am of you. You will always be my beautiful baby girl.

Love, Mommy

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Time

Clara should be here. Every step I take on this journey of grief is always taken with Clara should be here. But she's not. It's such a wonderment how the human brain allows a person to move forward after a piece of their soul is missing. Time allows a person to adjust and integrate the pain into just a memory. The depth of my grieving is changing and transforming slowly but I can feel the change over larger periods of time. It scares me immensely to let my mind wander away from the pain, the pain that ties me for now and to the meaning of loving Clara. I love my daughter no matter what but I feel the grief is the only thing I have left of her and to lose that connection - I can't even imagine. It's terrifying.

I'm grateful that I have given myself all this time to grieve heavily. I know it will be a lifelong journey that I have no choice but to accept.  I also know that the pain will ease over time.  It will scab over but I will be able to pick at the pieces to reach the feelings of my loss. My life has changed, I feel it will every step I take. The person who was is no longer here. I'm now a mother that has to live without her child. The person that has to move forward despite the loss.  I still have to live while my daughter wasn't given that opportunity. Time is passing and I can't stop it no matter how much I try. I can't live on an abandoned island to avoid the triggers that remind me of what I've lost. I have to eventually reintegrate to my old life - live it as before she ever existed. I hate time and I hate my brain for allowing me to go forward. It feels like denying to the world she ever existed. Yet I know it's what will inevitably life will return to the same daily routines. 

If she was here, I wouldn't have to be here documenting my journey. I would be happy and enjoying her. 

Sunday, 22 July 2012

What I Want, I Can't Have

Before I was pregnant with Clara, people including my husband were at a loss as what to get me for Christmas and Birthdays. The truth is I'm not a person that wanted for too much. I like doing things, swimming, running, cycling, hiking and travelling. I'm not a fashionista and according to my family I'm more of a tomboy. My husband and I wanted to enjoy our lives before starting our family in addition to establishing our careers (in restropect it seems trivial now that really all that I want is a family more than any of those things). We were active, participating in triathlons, camping and lots of hiking. We travelled to far off places like Peru, Malaysia, Thailand, Syria, Jordan, Panama. We felt happy and accomplished.

The next thing we wanted to do was to start a family. It seems so easy for so many people, right? I mean I come from a family with seven girls. I was naive. My innocence has been taken away in so many facets that I've never dreamed possible. I mean I was so great at planning every aspect of my life, why would family planning be any different. It was a struggle to get pregnant mixed in with many tears cycle after cycle. Then, a miracle. My precious daughter. All my dreams were coming true. Then, it got taken away just like that by what everyone is calling a fluke accident. I have spent so many hours contemplating what combination of events would cause my daughter to be so active. One theory is that the "accident" is caused by fetal hyperactivity. As much research I do, I'll never have the answers I need. It sucks and even if it was detected, there's no medical intervention that could have untwisted her umbilical cord.

Now there is only thing I want in this world that I can't have. I want more than anything to have my daughter back and to be able to snuggle her. I want to mother her as a living baby. But above all, I wanted her to experience all the great things this world has to offer, what Scott and I could offer her. She deserved everything and got nothing. She was innocent in all of this. I would sacrifice anything to have her back but that's not how it works. My therapist is starting to get tough by reiterating that fact she's not coming back. Of course, I cry but I know she wants to move me towards acceptance. Everything about baby loss sucks.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Hell in Repetition

Every morning is the same. I wake up and something is different, something is missing. As I leave the fog of dreamland, it all comes back to me - my daughter is gone. The ache in my heart  becomes noticeable again and I feel each broken piece with such acute pain. I feel like I'm suffocating and I begin each day crying for her. I reach out to my baby lost mama internet community looking for comfort. I think I do this to distract me from the acuity of my own feelings but Clara is always there. After awhile, I always allow myself to go to the "dark place" and I let myself cry. I cry for her, I cry for myself and I cry for the future I wanted to have with her. After the storm, I'm able to get back to the distractions and sometimes before the day is over, I will find the dark place again.

The other night, I had a dream and I felt my daughter's presence - it felt so real. I wanted to stay in that dream forever. I'm not sure if she was physically in the dream but I remember feeling her and feeling peace and happiness. So each night, I look forward to sleep so that I might have that chance to dream of Clara. 

Then when I awake, I live the same as I did the day before.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

2 Months

Dear Clara,
I can't believe how time is passing by so fast. It's been two months since you were born. The day daddy and I got to meet your sweet little face and hold you in our arms. Mommy is so sad that you couldn't stay with us but I will always carry you in my heart. You will always be loved and you will be forever missed.

I think about you all the time and I must admit that I feel lonely without your company. I always felt so special getting to spend all my time with you and knowing that you were growing stronger each day. I loved that I was able to talk to you whenever I wanted and that I know that you felt the love that I had for you.  I miss rubbing my belly and hoping that you could feel me. I was so proud to walk around this world with you in it. I felt complete.

You are the only one that knows what mommy's heart sounds like day in and out. It feels like in a way you stole part of my heart when you left me. I'm glad you have that part of me and I want you to hold on to it. I will live the rest of my life with that piece missing but it will remind me of you and I will look to the time we had together with much fondness. I'm glad you were a part of my life and all the happiness that you brought into my life. As your daddy and I used to sing to you "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine".

I guess today, I just wanted to let you know how special you are to me and hope that you can feel my love.

Your Mommy

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Living in Two Worlds

Losing your child feels like you are living in two separate worlds.

There is the world with the reality that Clara is gone. The one that causes the massive sobbing cries that brings me to my knees with the fact I'm going to miss a lifetime of raising her. The debilitating feeling of how I'm ever going to get through the intensity of the pain. The pain is so deep, I find myself googling "how to survive life without baby", "help me survive stillbirth" or "when does the pain go away". I know I'm not going to find the answers I need from google but how else do I get through the dark moments. After 8 weeks, I sound like a broken record "I want her back", "I miss her" and the infamous "why?". I don't even remember what life was before she was conceived. I just need my baby girl.

Then, there is my alternate world, the one if she had survived. She would have still be growing inside me. I would have finished her nursery. I would be happy. Then I fast forward in time, imagining her in her car seat amoung many things. In my alternate world, we're a happy family. Even when I go back to the past, I think of how I imagined myself carrying her in the sling that bought for myself or Scott carrying her in the baby carrier I bought for him. I actually had Scott assemble the carrier and pretend he was carrying Clara in it. It feels stupid now that I thought the there would be a happy ending to my story. In my alternate world I will always think about what Clara would have been doing if she was with us. It's strange that I will now and forever live in two worlds.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

A New Friend

Dear Clara,

I went to visit you today at the cemetery. I bought some items to decorate your burial site to make it more of a happy place for you. It was hard. The woman in line in front of me was buying toys for her children. I must admit I got teary-eyed because I would have spoiled you rotten if you were here with me. Actually, your whole family would have made sure you were never left wanting for anything.

While I was there, I noticed that they were preparing another spot for another little angel. You will soon have another friend near you. Clara, I hope you teach the new angel the ropes because I know that you are a kind, warm and loving child. Give him or her comfort from being separated from their loved ones.

Today is your grandma's birthday. Your aunties and I got her a watch. I was sad that you weren't there and that I'll never get to her the words "Happy Birthday Mommy" from you. I know in my heart that you do but never to hear the words from your lips makes Mommy sad. I really hope that you know how much I love you and would give up anything including my own life for you. I miss you every day.

Love, Mommy

When I saw that new grave site today, my heart sank even further in despair. I didn't even know that was possible at this stage in my grief. Another family that is saying goodbye to their child suffering through the same agony that I feel. Those feelings in the first few weeks where you think you would rather die to be with your child rather then live through the anguish of grief. Waking up every morning reliving the horror of losing your child you were looking so forward to meeting. No person should ever have to ever endure life long suffering of a lost child, it's cruel. And today, my heart goes out to that family.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Waiting

It feels like I'm waiting for her to come home, walk through that door. She's some where out there. Yet, rationally I know she's not coming home. The idea of living a life without my precious daughter is something that I cannot wrap my head around and if I think about it long enough it becomes this overwhelming and I feel as though I'm suffocating. I think of how life should be different, how I still should be pregnant and finishing up her nursery. I think of how I should be preparing for my 1 year mat leave so I can raise this precious child. I think about all the things that I will now miss that she's gone - swimming lessons, the camping trips, the travelling, the bike riding, her first day of school, going to her graduation, her wedding. So the idea of waiting for her becomes soothing. It's the only way I feel like I can get through my day without being tormented by her death at every waking moment.

I've been spending weeks now looking at blogs of other mother's who have lost their babies. It's amazing how every post resembles the feeling I have day to day. One mother wrote about how mourning is the only way left she knows how to love her child. I feel that this grief is the only way to show Clara how much I wanted her, how much I love her and how much I miss her. I keep making goals in my head to resume my daily activities but I keeping pushing the deadlines further away. Grief is a tough job.



Thursday, 5 July 2012

My Garden

One of the last things I remember doing when Clara was still alive was gardening. It was the week before the May long weekend and the weather was perfect. Scott did all the heavy lifting of the soil and the pots. I just had to sit down and shovel. I worked on the potters first and then moved on to the veggies and herbs. I was tired and reserved the flower garden until the following Tuesday. The last Tuesday were I heard her heart beating at the OB's office. So unaware, so oblivious, so naive. Those are the days I that will never have back as long as I live.

I was looking at my garden this morning and reflecting. Since Clara died, I haven't been the most enthusiastic about the care of my garden and yet everything still grows. A little water and some fertilizer every few weeks. My oleander is in bloom, my tomatoes are growing and my herbs look like weeds. So little care, yet everything continues to grow. While Clara was growing inside of me, every action was with her best interest in mind (although I did give in to some of my salty cravings). The food I ate and the activities I did was to ensure she would grow into a healthy baby. Scott would always encourage me to eat more broccoli, it was nice to know he had her health in mind too. Every night before going to bed, I would tell Scott that I needed a glass of milk, "for the baby". For six months, all our thoughts and efforts were focused on the baby. Yet unlike my garden, she no longer grows.

My Reality

I think reality is starting to sink in. This weekend I went out for dinner with some good friends. At dinner, we saw a little baby girl with the same stroller we had bought for Clara (or was it for me?). I wasn't so upset about the baby girl but more about the stroller. The one I would have pushed Clara in. Alas, I never will. There are many more hopes and dreams that will go unfulfilled with her death. She's not here with me and she will never be. Reality is a tough pill to swallow.

Yesterday was a tough day, I thought if I grieved hard enough somehow the universe will return her to me. It sounds stupid but grief is irrational as is her death. It's still hard to imagine my life without her and not think of all the things that could have been. All the happiness she would have brought to my life ... It's all gone. The future that will never be.