Friday, August 20, 2010

Two Cent Fridays....

This week was a very beautiful week of honoring the babies.  August 19-Day of Hope has inspired my question of the day.

I was very happy to see that non-BLMs were supporting their family members by changing their pictures on FB.  Assisting them bring the memory boxes into hospitals, especially for those that it was still so fresh. I did not get any support from family, but I did get support from my very good friend, she always makes me feel 'less alone'.  I also had a Non-BLM take pictures of my daughters name and we do not speak at all...she seen her friends babies' name and my daughter and did it together.  It brought tears to my eyes thinking she was also thinking of Alyssa too.  There is nothing like people thinking of your child to make their memory live on.  Especially remembering their name.  Seems like a simple gesture, but you would be surprised at what people have done to me.

I would love your "Two Cents" on how do you feel when a Non-BLM supports you on your special days?  What have they done for you?  Is it just dropping off a card in the mail for your special dates?  Is it taking a picture of something that reminds you of the babies?  What are your "Two Cents" on those that have not shown support?  What have they done?  What can you do to change that in the future?

I can't wait to hear your responses, because I have found no matter how many DO support me, a little piece of me can't stop but think about those who do not and it is very hurtful.  It does not make me feel better knowing I am in this alone......

Hope we have more success stories than not today....but if we do maybe we can come up with a way to change that for us...or at least change our expectations of others' approach.

Monday, August 16, 2010

"What is your advice on anger? I am so angry, I wake up angry, I go to bed angry, I get angry at people for being mad for stupid reasons. I am so tired of being angry, but I can not control it." Thank you Stephanie K

Dear Stephanie,

You have every right to feel angry.  It is one of the major points in grief.  It comes out of no where and it comes in full force.  With that said I have also felt angry and I have come to realize, from the advice of a friend (non-BLM) that anger is fear.

What is your fear?  I think once you get to the core of that you will be able to understand when you get fits of anger.  I felt so much anger at those family members who chose to walk away from me when I was at my worst.  My fear was, being alone in this darkness.  I have accepted the fact that I may not have those around me that I was expecting, but I am so grateful for all the BLMs and friends IRL (in real life) that have been there for me too.  I felt angry at all the other people that were in our 'friends' circle for getting their babies, while I did everything right.  My fear was, that even though they know I had a baby, that they would not look at me as a mother.  I was/am angry at my body.  I tested positive for MTHFR and I have a fear that my body will not be able to bring home a living child for me and my husband.

I get SO angry sometimes (even with all the knowledge I have on anger) about people complaining about 'stupid problems' as you put it.  With this I do not think it is fear.  I think we just want others to realize that there are such small things in life that used to bother us, but we have been dealt the WORST hand (in my opinion) and it is really important for us to feel like others know 'we had a real problem'.  What i can tell you is that my therapist told me that I should respect the fact that 'outsiders' are entitled to their anger and complaints as well.  But I disagree.  I would prefer if they left their petty problems out of my life while I am grieving.  So for those people around you that are being insensitive I would suggest, taking it with a grain of salt.  Listen to what they are saying and that is it.  Do not give 'your two cents' because you will only be added to your anger.  I wish people would see our situations and sit back and think "Wow I am complaining about this, when it is a fixable problem and poor Stephanie just lost her baby."  THAT would be in a perfect world, and in my perfect world babies don't die, so we would not need to even discuss them.

Hope I was able to help.

But hey, its just "My Two Cents"

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Hi, my friend told me about this blog and I was wondering if you can help me out. I am feeling so bad right now and I just need to know if this is ok? A lot of the women in my loss group are now expecting another baby (rainbow) and I just don't want to be selfish, but I really don't want to hear all the details. I mean she lost a baby too, so she deserves this baby. But it doesn't make me any less sensitive to all the details. I want support when I have a rainbow, but right now I am not on that path. What do I tell her without making her think I am jealous? I feel like she should already know that this hurts. I feel like I am having to explain myself to someone who never lost a baby. Please!! HELP!!" Thank you, Kristine

Dear Kristine,

First of all I am so sorry for your loss.  It is enough having to deal with all your own emotions right and I am sorry you are having any added stress.

This is a very touchy subject.  Some of my BLMs can hear about rainbows (child born after a loss) and some are just as triggered as an outsider (a Non-BLM).  The important thing here is she DOES understand how you are feeling, as she has most likely felt this feeling herself.  It is very usual for others to still want comfort from those they confided in the most, especially about their own loss.

What you did not tell me is if you have ever mentioned to her that you were feeling a bit overwhelmed by her pregnancy at all?  How many months is she?  Is it the baby bump or the pregnancy details that are too much for you?

I know several of my BLMs that are expecting a rainbow and sometimes I just feel like it is a bit too much details for those who just had a loss.  There are days when I am very down myself and I just do not want to hear anything about other babies.  But with that said, I still want them to be able to talk to me about their babies.  In the future I will probably also be on that rainbow march and I would love some comfort myself as well.  This is why I say it is a touchy subject.  There are many who probably wont be able to conceive again, or have a biological child of their own.  I would think that if this was your case, she would 'know better'.  But that does not mean that you can't have still options for a rainbow.  As I am sure you and others know there are so many babies and children who are looking for love themselves.  I would love to be able to adopt, but that option is never going to be possible for me and my husband.  So if I am unable to have a biological child one day.  This subject will most likely be VERY sensitive to me as well.

So here is my advice, next time she mentions something about her pregnancy simply say "Today that is too much for me, Im so sorry but I am having a bad day and I really cant talk about your pregnancy right  now.  Have you considered talking to a mom that is on the ttc path or pregnant already?  They may be able to relate more with you, as right now I am still in a very dark place emotionally"  ANY BLM that hears this will know exactly where you are coming from and will probably follow with and "im so sorry i did not know", because the truth is, we hear so much sadness from each other sometimes hearing the hope and love coming from them is contagious.  It doesnt always mean you still dont get triggered yourself "I  should be pregnant too, I want to have another baby soon"  Some people do not have that option for what ever reason.

My other advice which is not in your question, but this can help you in the future, is come to an understanding between your non rainbow mommas yet.  Ask them how much or little would they wish to know about a future pregnancy this way you guys are already on the great path to communication.  I hope I was able to help, this was a REALLY hard question for me, and I usually don't come across too many of those.  It was one of the reasons I did not answer immediately and I hope that does not discourage you from asking me a question again.  I just wanted to be able to tell you 'good advice'....

But hey, it is just "My Two Cents" anyway.....

Friday, August 13, 2010

Two Cent Fridays....

Today on this 'Two Cent Friday" I would like to ask my fellow BLMs what their 'two cents' are on Guilt.

I have come across many of these thoughts myself since losing my daughter and even though I know I did EVERYTHING I could have to protect her, the thoughts do creep in my head from time to time.  Did I eat right?  Did I sleep right?  Did I drink enough water?  What if I went to the Dr. sooner?  What if I did this or that?  These thoughts on their own can drive a person crazy.  It is enough to slow down the healing at any given point.

My two cents on it?  If you TRULY believe it was your fault, it most likely wasnt.  I really believe that guilt is just a part of the grieving process and ANY good mother would come across a moment of it or not. That is what mother's do.  They protect their babies and they worry for them.  Just like when a child falls and scrapes thier knees, you ask yourself "Why did I not run and grab them quick enough"....I believe though the situations are different, that the idea of having to keep our babies safe is a major part of the guilt.

What would you tell a fellow BLM that is really blaming themselves?  Would you suggest therapy?  Would you suggest talking with other BLMs to feel less guilty?  For myself, therapy has helped a lot.  I hear from an 'outsider' that it is not my fault and that really validates me.  I also repeat to myself "I did NOT do this.  This was my body, but it was not ME"  That has seemed to help as well.

Thanks for participating in this week's Gimme your two cents...this question comes from a very close BLM of mine who really feels so guilty months later.  Any advice you can giver her, please leave it here.  Even how you were able to come past this point can help her out.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dear Antoinette, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question. You give really great advice and you are really honest. My question to you is about my friends IRL (In real life). They just do not get it. They keep telling me about how 'strong' I am and how time will heal. It really pisses me off because that is not want I want to hear. I just want them to listen to me and understand but they are not BLMs. How can I get them to hear what I am saying without saying stupid comments?

I am so sorry you are having to deal with this on top of your loss.  Unfortunately ALL of us can relate to that at one point or another.  Does not make it right, but it is yet another part of our grieving process.

I like to call Non-BLMs..."Outsiders"...because that is in fact what they are in many ways.  They see the 'outside' of you, what you show them, what you tell them.  They are on the 'outside' of the situation.  They have not experienced the heart ache that comes along with losing your babies, for the REST of your life.  I have to say that I wish I had the magic answer for this one.  It is really hard.

We are NOT strong.  We have no choice in the matter.  We are dealt these cards and we have to continue on in a life and find the ways to do so without our flesh in blood with us.  I have been called 'strong' before too.  I guess this is their way of saying we are handling it so well.  They do not see how we cry in the shower.  How when we see a simple pregnancy test commercial we flash right back to the days we bought them and took them ourselves.  They do not realize that the smallest thing brings us RIGHT BACK to those moments and that is what is really hard.  We seem strong because what else can we be?

I used to say if only the 'strong' women and men go through this, where do we sign up to be weak?  But, we are too late for that registration.  We are already members and we are in this together.  We can teach them about what we wish they would do.  We can ask them to just listen to our thoughts and feelings.  But we can not force them to really understand.  If we were, I am sure the Senior BLMs would have figured this part out and taught us the way.

I wish people would STOP saying time will heal.  The only thing time does is calculate MORE time.  Experiences heal.  Passing milestones heals.  Growing in your loss heals.  Time does NOT heal.  With me, finding the reason my baby passed has healed me.  Doing things for myself has healed me.  Blogging has healed me.  Helping others have a voice in their loss has healed me.  They need to educate themselves on what else goes into this grieving.  Time is not the only thing that heals here.  Some times time just reminds you of WHAT you are missing and how long.  That is a reason we say 4 months since....8 months since....2 years since...and I even came across a FB group that was 11 years since... People just DONT forget the pain.. They learn to live with it.  Some days you can and somedays you cant.  Simple.

Please share this rules in an email to your friends.  Explain to them that while you are in the journey you really need them to be there for you JUST to listen.  Nothing they say can fix the problem.  Even our own husbands/boyfriends find frustration with this part.  I am truly sorry you are feeling along IRL.  Maybe once you communicate this with them they can begin the understanding process a bit more. (((hugs)))...Hope I was able to help...I have these on my FB notes and I re post them from time to time to remind those around me where I am coming from.  It may help you if you are part of a social  network with people who do not 'get it'

1. I wish you would not be afraid to mention my baby. The truth is just because you never saw my baby doesn't mean he doesn't deserve your recognition.

2. I wish that if we did talk about my baby and I cried you didn't think it was because you have hurt me by mentioning him. The truth is I need to cry and talk about my baby with you. Crying and emotional outbursts help me heal.

3. I wish that you could talk about my baby more than once. The truth is if you do, it reassures me that you haven't forgotten him and that you do care and understand.

4. I wish you wouldn't think that I don't want to talk about my baby. The truth is that I love my baby and need to talk about him.

5. I wish you could tell me you are sorry my baby has died and that you are thinking of me. The truth is it tells me you care.

6. I wish you wouldn't think what has happened is one big bad memory for me. The truth is the memory of my baby, the love I feel for my baby, the dreams I had and the memories I have created for my baby are all loving memories. Yes, there are bad memories too but please understand that it's not all like that.

7. I wish you wouldn't pretend that my baby never existed. The truth is we both know I had a baby growing inside of me.

8. I wish you wouldn't judge me because I am not acting the way you think I should be. The truth is grief is a very personal thing and we are all different people who deal with things differently.

9. I wish you wouldn't think if I have a good day I'm "over it" or if I have a bad day I am being unreasonable because you think I should be over it. The truth is there is no "normal" way for me to act.

10. I wish you wouldn't stay away from me. The truth is losing my baby doesn't mean I'm contagious. By staying away you make me feel isolated, confused and like it's my fault.

11. I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be "over and done with" in a few weeks, months, or years for that matter. The truth is that it may get easier with time but I will never be "over this".

12. I wish you wouldn't think that my baby wasn't a real baby and it was blood and tissue or a fetus. The truth is my baby was a human life. He had a soul, heart, body, legs, arms and face. I have seen my baby's body and face. My baby was a real person.

13. My babies due date, Mothers Day, celebration times, the day my baby died and the day my baby was delivered are all important and sad days for me. The truth is I wish you could tell me by words or by letter you are thinking of me on these days.

14. I wish you would understand that losing my baby has changed me. The truth is I am not the same person I was before and will never be that person again. If you keep waiting for me to get back to "normal" you will stay frustrated. I am a new person with new thoughts, dreams, beliefs and values. Please try to get to know the real me --- maybe you'll still like me.

15. I wish you wouldn't tell me to have another baby. The truth is that I want the baby I lost and no other baby can replace her. Babies aren't interchangeable.

16. I wish you wouldn't feel awkward or uncomfortable talking about my baby or being near me. When you do, I can see it. The truth is it's not fair to make me feel uncomfortable just because you do.

17. I wish you wouldn't think that you'll keep away because all my friends and family will be there for me. The truth is, everyone thinks the same thing and I am left with no one.

18. I wish you would understand that being around pregnant women is uncomfortable for me.

19. I wish you wouldn't say that it's natures way of telling me something was wrong with my baby. The truth is my baby was perfect to me no matter what you think nature is saying.

20. I wish you would understand that what you are really saying when you say "next time things will be okay". The truth is how do you know? What will you say it it happens to me again?

But Hey this is just "My Two Cents"

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I lost my baby a few months back. Sometimes I feel like I am just too surrounded by loss and it makes me depressed. But I don't want anyone to feel alone. Is it wrong to feel like this?

Dear Anonymous,
I am sorry to hear about your baby.  I can understand all too well about feeling like there is so much loss around you.  I often wonder if this is why Baby Loss is Taboo?  Is it because of hearing what can actually happen that makes you continue to live in fear.

It is absolutely normal to feel like there is too much surrounding you and I encourage you to listen and read as often or as little as you need. About 3 months ago I realized I needed to step back a bit and I stopped reading new stories and stopped following new blogs.  I was still really grieving and it was hard for me to comfort others while I was still trying to 'find myself' if you will.  Now that I am in a different place I have slowly gotten back into it.  I have to say that it does educate me more on how others speak about their loss and sometimes I just feel 'better' after knowing I am not alone in my sadness.

Truth is this is a sad event.  Yes there will be stories of rainbows and good endings, but all those stories start with a sad beginning and in fact can be depressing.  What you have to ask yourself is very simple.  Have I reached my limit?  Everyone has a limit on what they will or will not be able to handle.  I have come to the point a few times and its then where I 'step back' for a bit and regroup and reorganize my thoughts.  When you start to feel consumed with grief it is usually a good time to allow yourself to just step away from the community for a bit.  There will always be someone there to comfort the others, and you should not feel obligated to do so.  Everyone can understand your thoughts and it is ok to want to 'get a breather' from it all.  I encourage other BLMs to comment here for this mom so that she can hear other opinions on this as well.  I am just one person speaking on how I feel about this.  Sometimes a question like this is better answered by more than one person...((hugs)) to all of those that have felt this at one point.  I know I sure have.

Hope I was able to help, But hey this is just "My Two Cents"

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I don't know what to do. Lately I am coming across more and more people that assume that because I am having a good day that I am healed. I want to continue to move forward but I am so scared people will think I am over it and judge me when I am having a bad day. This happens all the time and it makes me feel worse.

This is a common thing in our 'new normal'.  I have witnessed many people give their own version on what a good time line is to move on.  What they do not realize is, when we move on we are really only moving forward.  We do not forget what happened to us. And we certainly do no go back to being ourselves.  This is the damn part of the grieving that is just not understood by the rest of the world.  Many BLMs are made to feel like they are doing this right or wrong for the way they express themselves.  In this New Normal, there is absolutely no right or wrong.  I always say to embrace the feelings you have today.  That is the only way you can truly heal.  Holding feelings inside to fool others or worse, fool yourself will only bring you deeper into the pit when you fall.  The only thing I can say is you have to do what works for you.

If you are smiling and laughing today, then by all means enjoy it and embrace the happiness.  If there is anything that we deserve is those times of a really good HARD laugh.  I remember feeling like Carrie from Sex and the City 1, when she was left at the alter and thought she would never laugh again.  Then she see Charlotte crap her pants in Mexico and really did laugh hard.  It is moments like those that make us feel normal again and I totally think its ok.

If you find yourself not wanting to leave your bed today, maybe its an anniversary or the baby or just the fact that is a damn Monday...then that is ok too.  Allow yourself to cry and feel the sadness because as I am only seeing myself those days lesson more and more....the pain is there but the days of wanting to hide from the world do decrease.  Not just with time, but with experience and healing.  Time is NOT the medicine here.  Time is just a factor in it.  Some times time is just another reminder of how long the baby is gone, and how long you been sad, and how long you have not held them.  Time can be the enemy here as well.

My therapist told me that those that go ahead and act like nothing is wrong are not grieving publicly.  Instead those people are holding their pain inside for themselves.  Showing pain takes a lot of nerve.  No one likes to be judged.  No one wants to hear criticism.  People like me honestly just do not care.  I am not concerned with people assuming that I am in the wrong place.  In my opinion the RIGHT place would be in a rocking chair breast feeding my baby, so to me there is no wrong place in grief.

I really hope that you can get your friends, family and those that are not supportive to you to understand that you are doing the best you can with the WORST experience possible.  They need to just respect the fact that they do not really know what you are going through and give you as much time as you need to heal.  Do NOT feel you need to rush to show face.  In the long run you are only hurting yourself.  They will have moved on for real in their lives and you will be stuck in the grief.

Grief comes in stages and eventually turns into the Roller Coaster from hell.  The good days are SO GOOD, and then the bad days hit you like a ton of bricks.

God bless you and all the BLMs that have to have any added stress.  A good support system is the key to healing.  Sometimes you can only get the support from people you physically will never even know *sigh*....but it is so true.  Hope I was able to help you

But hey, it is just My Two Cents!!!