Friday, January 23, 2009

I've Read It Gets Worse

My brother and sister-in-law sent a book to me via my parents. It was recommended to them by some friends of theirs who have had two babies born around twenty weeks (and she's currently pregnant). I honestly cannot imagine how they manage to wake-up every day because every morning my pain begins the instant I open my eyes and the intensity is crushing. At least for the past couple of days I have been reminded of this verse which isn't as great as it probably seems because what I actually think is something like, 'yes, God's mercies and compassion are new every morning but so is the depth of my pain.' I'm not going to get a good grade for faith this week.

So, yeah, mornings are the time I miss Sarah the most (and I've read the pain actually gets worse as the initial shock/numbness wears off...I'm not sure that's even possible). Every morning at 9, Sarah had a 'care time' which is when the nurses would feed her, change her diaper, check her IV's, take her temperature, check her blood gases, and a few other things. Her care times were every 4 hours but the morning one at 9 was my favorite because I had been away from her for so long and I just couldn't wait to see her. The nurses were really good about letting us help with the care times which was great because it's pretty much the only time we were able to touch her.

Don't get me wrong, though, I mourn Sarah all day. After my initial morning freak out, I generally pull it together but by late afternoon I've had 2-3 bouts of tears and at least one of those is related to anxiety over the future. TOIAW's next assignment is a very selective and prestigious one but I've never embraced it. Rather I viewed it as something to be endured. The loss of Sarah has only magnified those feelings. At another time in our lives I would embrace this move as an adventure but right now all I can think is that it is postponing--and even decreasing--my opportunity to have a baby. I cannot say where we're moving but it is not a modern or Western country. Apparently there is an IVF clinic there that TOIAW thinks we should investigate. He's out of his ever lovin' mind if he thinks I would undergo treatment for anything other than a sore throat in that country.

I wrote the above earlier today but had to leave so I'm finishing it now. I spoke to the NICU social worker earlier today. She made me feel less crazy which was nice. TOIAW and I are the stereotypical male vs. female grievers which is something I already knew but it's still nice to have a professional shed some light on it. I told her all about my fears/concerns about the move and infertility how I feel that is complicating an already complicated situation. At least one other person in the world understands...that feels so good!

I'm not sure if I mentioned it earlier but we had a small service for Sarah on Wednesday. It wasn't exactly what we thought it would be but it was nice and private and the chaplain who conducted the service had met Sarah in the NICU. We also had a rabbi to say a couple of Hebrew prayers. I wanted to ask him to read Psalm 121 but I forgot to tell TOIAW that so it wasn't coordinated. God is good, though, because guess what psalm the rabbi read? This psalm has been on my heart since Sarah was born. I have lived in Israel and know the hills there very well so when I think of this psalm, I think of those majestic hills and all of the people who have lifted their eyes to the hills and called on their Maker for strength.

We also had to speak with the decedent affairs person so we did that after the service; not a timeline I would recommend but the hospital is an hour away from us and we just couldn't bear the thought of our Flippy being in the cold, sterile hospital morgue any longer so we wanted to make arrangements for her. I didn't actually see Sarah's body on Wednesday but TOIAW and my dad did although she was wrapped in a blanket so they didn't see her face. TOIAW left a picture of us with her; he couldn't stand the thought of her being alone. We finalized the cremation arrangements today and should have her "back" next week. It's odd, but the big things like the service and making final arrangements don't bother me as much as the little things do. I suppose that's because you kind of steel yourself for the big things but it's not possible to do that for everything.

I'm rambling again, huh? Sorry.

We took my parents to the airport--again--today. It was nice to have them here but it's probably time for us to begin dealing with this, in a week I'll be begging friends to come visit. I'm not going to begin classes just yet but I am meeting with my trainer twice next week. This is about the only positive step I can manage right now but it's a good start, I think.

So that's about it. We're making it. We really miss Sarah but we always will. We are so very thankful for the precious week we had with her!

P.S. See what I mean about the mornings being worse? There is a markedly different tone between the part of the post I wrote this morning and the part I wrote later. I'm pretty sure I don't have multiple personalities...yet.


Soapchick said...

Rachel I am so sorry. You are going through the most difficult thing any person ever faces on this earth. It is going to be a very difficult journey as you already know, but someday it will hurt less. I am so glad you have some support and people who love you and listen to you. I hope you don't have to move to this new country too soon - you need some more time surrounded by your support system. I am here for you if you ever want to email privately. I have never lost a baby, but I have lost many people. I'm here if you need me.

The Gutsy Mom said...

Dearest Rachel,
This note is just a drop in the bucket (ocean, really) of what I want to say to you and TOIAW. You write so beautifully about what you are going through, I just want to thank you for sharing this with those of us who are mourning with you. Now that I am back up online, I will write more soon. You and TOIAW and Sarah are on my heart, always.
The Gutsy Mom

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry you are going through this, but please know you are not alone. The mornings are the hardest for me, they still are and probably always will. I am scared for the future as well, I think it is expected for women like us. I dont know if it gets worse, I think it changes, but the pain never goes away. I am thinking of you, let me know if I can help in any way. The one thing that I have clung to is that I am a mother to my daughters and no one can take that away, you are Sarah's mother forever. Much love.