First Day of Healing

I’ve been slowly realizing lately that the rest of my life will forever be shrouded in darkness. I feel that, even as I heal and my life begins to seem full again, even on those sunny days full of love and laughter, there will always be a dark blue cloud of sorrow hovering nearby. I’ve connected with a few other moms who have lost their babies to SIDS and they all say the same thing: it will always hurt…but it will get easier. One woman said that, even 25 years later, she still regresses into denial. That it can’t be real, her baby can’t really be gone, he has to come back, there must be something she hasn’t tried. I was feeling like that for a few days last week. I have a lot over the last three months, honestly. I feel like I haven’t done enough, like I should be working harder to bring my baby home even though I know there is no way. I feel like I have failed my son.

I saw both my doctor and my grief councillor yesterday. I had my first prenatal physical. When the doctor got out the Doppler, I was excited at first. My boyfriend was there with me to hear the heartbeat and he had my phone out to record it. We sat there for so long… I watched her face as she searched across my abdomen and belly for the familiar fast-paced heartbeat of a tiny baby in utero. Every so often, we could hear mine. As time went on and she searched and searched, it sped up. I was holding back tears as my throat closed up in pre-meditated anguish. She was going to say it soon, I knew it. She was going to say, “I’m sorry. There is no heartbeat.” But she didn’t. The relief I felt when that 150 bpm heartbeat came from the speaker was like a blade being pulled from my heart. I have been (and still am) terrified of losing this baby, before or after birth. If that should happen, I will need to be committed. I do not want to kill myself, as I’ve explained before. I need to be with my babies when I die. But in that situation…I may not be able to stop myself.

I told my grief councillor this that same day. This was only the second time I’ve seen her, but she is extremely understanding. For a reason I don’t recall, she brought in a physician to this appointment to observe. At first, it was a little awkward, but I talked to the therapist as I would have otherwise. When I mentioned the guilt I have felt for not checking on Dax before I went to bed, especially since my boyfriend put him to sleep on his stomach (which he had been rolling onto lately anyway), the physician interjected and relieved a lot of my guilt. She told me that, unless I was there right at the moment it was happening, there is nothing I could have done. Even if I had checked on him, it could have happened two minutes after I left the room or hours later. Or even if it had happened wenty minutes before I checked on him and I was able to save his life, he would have severe, permanent brain damage. My therapist asked me how I felt about that, as I had obviously thought about it before – there are so many what-ifs that circle my mind constantly. Honestly, I’m not sure that would be better than this. Maybe it would be worse. I don’t mean that just because it would be harder and more work, but he wouldn’t even be the same little boy I know I love. He would need help with everything for the rest of his life. I don’t think it’s fair to wish that on my child out of my selfish desire to hold him and have him here. I believe he is safe and loved where he is now and I will continue to pray every night that I may be there with him when this world is done with me, too.

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