Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Overwhelmed and Overjoyed

I am finally beginning to admit to myself that I overwhelmed.

Overwhelmed and overjoyed.

Overwhelmed with grief, yet overjoyed at being Evan, Kyle, Nicholas and Madison's mommy.

Ever since we got home from the hospital with Maddie I have been experiencing intense flashbacks. Flashbacks of the days leading up to meeting our third, beautiful, son, Nicholas. I find myself lost in the moments of when we learned of Nicholas' condition, the breathtaking silence, the indescribable pain of learning one of your children will most likely die. I flashback to the evening the doctors, genetic counselors and social workers sat across from us and explained that our son practically had no brain. That they were fairly certain that he would not survive childbirth... and if he did, he wouldn't survive for long. What I remember the most is that if he was born alive he may experience pain. He may suffer. He may struggle to breathe....

For us, that was the bottom line. We didn't want him to suffer. We didn't want him to experience any kind of pain. I knew he was happy, healthy and safe inside of me. That's what I wanted him to remember. That's where I wanted him to stay.

We were forced with the most horrendous, heinous decision a parent could ever be faced with. I am angry. So pissed that we were put in that position. Pissed that my body betrayed me when I was carrying such precious cargo. Devastated that I couldn't keep my son safe. So mad... it overtakes me sometimes and I am beyond reason. Beating myself from the inside out.

Sometimes I literally can't breathe. As if there is a giant weight sitting on my chest. I can't take a deep breath. I can't cleanse.... I can't release the burden.

I feel battered, bruised. Weathered beyond repair. I am guilt ridden every day and don't know how to rise above.

I do know that we made the right decision for us, for our family, for Nicholas and for our other children. That is the one constant. Nicholas is free from pain. He only knows love and warmth. He is at peace.

I struggle to find peace in my heart. I struggle with the memories, the images of those final moments, those final kicks. I remember rubbing my belly, talking to our boy, crying like I've never cried before. I remember the doctors entering the room, speaking some beautiful words.... and then I kind of blank out. I remember some key words from the doctors, which still make me cringe today when I hear them... and I remember one last movement before I knew he was gone. I truly think that is the most disturbing part of our journey. The moment I knew our son left this world. He may as well have died in my arms.

And then there is the moment when he actually entered our world. That final push. The one when I knew it was all over. When he was physically gone from me forever. I'll never forget the wail. The primal groan that came from the inner parts of my soul. Nicholas slipped out of me and our world came to a screeching halt.

These are all moments, fears, I re-live often. I want to only remember Nicholas with love, healing and peace... he is such a big, good part of me... of who I am now.

I spoke with my OB the other day. I spoke to him about talking to someone, someone who may be able to help me sort out all of these emotions. It's so complicated. So often I feel lost. I feel loved and supported, but lost in my own mind, my own soul. It really is a horrific struggle. A constant battle of love and hate. Pure joy and utter disillusionment.

I am happy. I am so, so happy and forever grateful for the wonderful family we have. Our children have blessed us in ways we never thought possible. They continue to bring so much joy, fun and fulfillment into our lives. I am constantly amazed at the boys and their love and understanding for their baby brother. The love and compassion they show towards him is beautiful and reassuring that we are helping them through their grief in the right way for them.

And Madison, what a true, true blessing. She is such a special little girl. More special than she will ever know. She makes us smile and enjoy life that much easier.

Heaven certainly has smiled down on us.

I will continue to focus on the beautiful family of 6 that we are. I will focus on sunshine. I will focus on the rainbow while forever remembering the rain......

19 comments:

Shannon said...

(((((hugs)))))

Hope's Mama said...

That wail. I remember it well. Too well.
Thinking of you, Lea.

xo

Melissa said...

I can so easily picture the moment my life came to a screeching halt as well, the worst moment, the one I will remember forever. Hugs! Have you read - Loving and Letting go, by Deborah Davis? I really liked that one, they gave it to me at the hospital.

Beth said...

remembering the rain with you...

klarsen said...

Wow, Lea. I'm overwhelmed with you. Your words. I feel your sorrow, and know your love. You are always in my prayers. The many lives that Nicholas has touched. He has touched mine as I fondly gaze at Hannah's beautiful wings. We don't understand. We can't. But someday we will all be together.

Madison is a beautiful little girl. I'm sure Nicholas whispered sweet words of love in her ear before he sent her to you.....

Angel said...

Hi ,
I cannot beleive how paralell our lives are .When you tell your story , I feel like you are tell mine. I feel what you are saying to my very core and I so wish I could hug you. I too just had a baby girl on the 19th of November . After loosing Michael and to finally hold a precious baby again ..I understand the why your grief may seem to have intesified..I went through the very same thing. You are so special lea ,..and the love for all your children resonates in the beautiful words you write xxx love to you

Tracey said...

Sending you so much love Lea and wishing you weren't going through this pain......

margaret said...

I often suffer too Lea, of the choices we had to make in regarding Calvin's life and death, sometimes remembering those things is agonizing. I will always wonder if I did the right thing by my son. In the months following Calvin's death, there were moments where Georgia was in my arms and the love and pain were so intensely intertwined that I couldn't breathe. Maddy is such a precious gift, and if you catcha glimpse of Nicholas in her from time to time then it's a gift from both of your babies to you...Hugs

Hopeful Mama said...

...Sigh, I am feeling so much today and understand too well.

Holly said...

The moment is devastating when you learn your baby will not live no matter what you do. It's so hard. (((hug)))

Mary said...

Lea, those flashbacks are the worst. I also get those along with the cold feeling down my spine, the racing of my heart, the cold sweats & etc. I just want to go back and have a happier outcome.

Fiona said...

I'm so sorry Lea. When I was 19 weeks pregnant with Bailey I was told "your baby isn't viable". Those words haunt me all the time. Then having to make a decision that no parent should ever have to make. I feel so much for you. I'm expecting another little boy, so I'll most likely experience similar feelings as you.

Madison is a beautiful blessing.

Take care.
Fiona

Kristy said...

You have a gorgeous family Lea, but that doesn't mean you can't mourn what you have lost. You are a mommy to 4 beautiful babies, no matter how many children you may have, that won't erase the pain you feel for Nicholas and him not being here. Your hapiness with Maddy is so very real, but so is your grief with Nicholas. Be easy on yourself hun. xo

Jessica said...

*hugs* Nicholas will never be forgotten.

Mommy (You can call me OM) said...

I know it's hard not to feel confused and guilty because we have so much for which to be grateful, yet the pain and the flashbacks remain. If only we could feel one emotion at at time, then move onto another one. I have a hard time compartmentalizing feelings, memories. I wish we could feel elation and just that. I wish the sadness could morph into something more comforting.

I'm thinking of you and wishing you peace.

Bluebird said...

Aw, honey. I know I'm getting to this late, and I have no real words of wisdom to share - I just wanted to say that I'm thinking of you. Your words and feelings make so much sense, and I'm sorry for the moments of pain, despite the moments of joy.

Thinking of you all.

Jennifer Ross said...

"And then there is the moment when he actually entered our world. That final push. The one when I knew it was all over. When he was physically gone from me forever. I'll never forget the wail. The primal groan that came from the inner parts of my soul. Nicholas slipped out of me and our world came to a screeching halt."

Okay, I don't think that I took a breath while reading that part. That part of the post really sums it all up. That was the separation between our boys and us. It just tugs at my soul over and over again.

Catherine W said...

Oh Lea, it must be truly over-whelming. Just too much. I also find myself absolutely lost in those awful moments sometimes.
Remembering with you x

BeeGee's Mom said...

Lea - have you considered writing a book about your experience? You write so beautifully it often brings me to tears.

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