55 days after

“Oh, baby, I miss you. My sweet girl. I even had a good day today…

But then it all comes rushing back to me. And I am miserable without you. I don’t know how to live without you, my darling daughter…

I don’t want to see or talk to anyone. Just want to sit and think of my Malou.

I love you, baby girl. I miss you so much.”

This shows how my “good days” could so easily turn into “bad ones.” As if allowing myself happiness only pushed the sadness away temporarily, allowing it to come back even stronger later. The good news is that that pattern went away…like I said before, eventually the good days outnumbered the bad. And having a “good day” didn’t mean I’d be due for a bad day. It just meant I had a good day. And I tried to be grateful for that, instead of feel guilty. Because it is so easy to feel guilty for laughing when you have a dead child. No one judged me, but I judged myself. Laughing felt so foreign at first that it would startle me – and then I would immediately become sad. I remember my first real laughter with Tom – it turned immediately into sobbing. My emotions were all mixed up. I am so grateful that laughter comes easily to me now, 3.5 years later.

Published in: on January 25, 2012 at 09:00  Leave a Comment  
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49 days later

“Another breakdown last night…Tom had to drive me to the cemetery to calm me down. Today is a tiny bit better. I just feel sad. Lethargic, listless, and sad…that is pretty much me lately. I keep having bad dreams. I wake up sad and don’t want to get up but I do. Just don’t do much. Can’t eat until lunchtime or later.”

I remember my days were spent alone, while Tom was at work, and I liked it that way. I didn’t want to go out or do anything. I didn’t want to get up, get dressed, shower, eat, exercise…nothing appealed to me. Just the thought drained me of energy. All I wanted to do was find other women online who had lost babies and look at Malou’s pictures. I was lucky enough to have paid time off from work for 3.5 months, time which allowed me to grieve. I still grieved when I went back to work, of course – but looking back, I am so glad I had a concentrated amount of time to do nothing. Nothing except be sad. No faking.

Published in: on January 24, 2012 at 09:00  Leave a Comment  
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45 days after

“Oh, baby, I am just sitting here weeping. I am so sad without you.”

…back from a meltdown that lasted several hours and made Tom come home from work early. 😦

“Feeling sad, depressed, hopeless, weak, useless, pain. In love with Malou. Missing Malou.”

(later)

“Tom says we’ll be ok. I’ll always be sad but it will get beter, I will be happy again. I’ll be happy when we can give Malou sisters and brothers.

I don’t believe him. Not today. Today is too hard. I think about where I should be, what I should be doing now, 10 days before Malou’s due date, and I am heartsick. Devastated.

I had the perfect life 7 weeks ago today. And now I have a life no one would want. Including me.

Oh, my darling girl, I love you so much! I miss you so very much.”

I see now Tom is right. I am happy now, 3.5 years later, even though Malou is still missing, and I still feel her absence. It hurts, but I can still find happiness. Joy came only with Liam’s birth, and since then it has grown. Yes, sadness still exists and nothing has changed in the sense that Malou is still gone, but I am so very grateful that it is possible to find happiness after loss. 

Published in: on January 23, 2012 at 09:00  Leave a Comment  
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23 days after

“How could this happen to my baby?????????

I can’t stop crying. It is pouring rain and I feel like the world is crying with me.

Now it is thundering – echoing my sobs.

How can I live through this? Oh God, I want to wake up from this nightmare and be with my daughter again.”

My grief went up and down. A good day was ALWAYS followed by a bad day. Once I figured out this pattern, it comforted me on the really bad days. Knowing that as bad as it was, it would get better again. And slowly the good days started outnumbering the bad. And now 3.5 years later, I don’t have any “bad days.” Not like I did before. I have sad moments during some days, but it doesn’t ruin my day. I never knew that could happen. And if someone had told me so, I probably wouldn’t have believed them, because it hurt so much in the first year, that an alternative didn’t seem possible.

Published in: on January 22, 2012 at 09:00  Leave a Comment  
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19 days after

“Oh, Malou, I am sitting on a deserted dock looking out at the calm water, the beautiful trees, the clouds which have been so unusual lately…and I am thinking about you. Of course. I am always thinking of you, my beautiful daughter. I wish you were here with me. Life would be perfect then.

I think, I hope, I am feeling your presence now. In all things beautiful and from nature. In the pouring rain and the warm sunshine. In the birds chirping, the water lapping, the wind blowing. In the clouds moving and in a rainbow appearing.

Today is the first dy I have felt any type of happiness since you died. I shared your name and pictures and my love for you on the website I’ve been visiting … everyone saw how beautiful you are, and saw my love and your daddy’s love shine through for you. That made me happy. To show you off. I am so proud of you, so proud to be your mama, my sweetheart.”

I refer to a website that I still visit occasionally…one other woman had lost a baby and she was my lifeline. Having other women validate my pain and look at pictures of Malou and tell me that they, too, thought she was beautiful and special, made my day. I remember so clearly feeling for the first time like a proud mama, and not “just” a dead-baby-mama. 

Published in: on January 21, 2012 at 09:00  Leave a Comment  
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17 days after

“I miss you so much, my sweet angel. I want you to be with me right now, physically, but I’ll settle for a sign that you are ok. Can you do that? It’s ok if you can’t. You have given me so much just by being you, I don’t even want to ask anything else of you. But, if you can, send your lonely mommy a sign. I love you so much…yet I feel as if I have abandoned you. Or that you, poor baby, might feel as if I abandoned you, when I never would and never will…

I love you!!! And I miss you. I want to cover your soft cheeks and cute tummy with my kisses right now.”

I remember being so desperate to receive a sign that Malou was ok. Some type of reassurance that life continues on some level and that I would see her again. I felt like I never really got that. I never “felt” her presence like I wanted to. I didn’t realize it until now, looking back, that after I wrote this journal entry, I started finding heart-shaped stones whenever I looked for them. I have a collection now, of stones collected from beaches all over the world. 

Published in: on January 20, 2012 at 09:00  Leave a Comment  
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14 days after

“Oh, Malou, I just saw my “to-do” list of things to do before you were born. 😦 It makes me so sad, that I don’t need to do it all anymore….”

(tears smudge the page)

“Your dad and I went to the hospital today —

Oh, FUCK IT! None of it matters. It’s all so fucking pointless. I HATE this! I hate my life. I hate knowing I have to live my life without Malou. I hate that I have no choice. I hate my body. For betraying me. For losing Malou. For reminding me of what I am – a mother without a child to love and hold in my arms.

I am nothing without you, Malou! I want you. I need you. Oh, my sweet daughter, you, your short life, knowing you, being your mama – it is ALL worth it, but I don’t want this pain. I want you so bad I can’t stand it. I just don’t know how to live without you. My whole life seems so pointless right now. My prior life seems pointless now. How was I ever happy without you??? What was life worth without you in it? NOTHING. You are my daughter. This is NOT RIGHT. This is a horrible mistake and I am so angry about it. I want you back right now!!! Do you hear me, God!? Give my baby back to me!!

Oh, please please please.
It’s not fair.

Oh, Malou, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I lost you. I’m sorry for being angry. But never at you. You are perfect and I know you love me and that you know I love you above all else.”

This started the second theme in my grief…anger. I was so angry. Especially at my body. I never got truly angry at God, or at the doctors (although when I think back now, I do think they could have done more to take care of Malou when I was admitted to the hospital, and I feel they were irresponsible when giving me the medicine Diclon three times throughout my pregnancy)…almost all of my anger was directed at my body. This was compounded when I struggled to get pregnant again. It took us a year after Malou died to get pregnant with Liam – and a lot of fertility treatments. Every time a treatment failed, I would rage against my body. For failing me yet again.

Published in: on January 19, 2012 at 09:00  Comments (1)  
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12 days after

“Please, God, let me wake up from this horrible nightmare. Please, it can’t be true. Not our beloved daughter. Malou, everything reminds me of you…oh, my sweet heart, I’m so sorry I couldn’t keep you. I feel as if I was waiting for you – and only you – my whole life. You have given my life purpose and given me and your daddy so much happiness. Now that you’re gone, I find my purpose and happiness have disappeared as well. Life seems pointless without you in it. Oh, sweet baby of mine, I LOVE YOU so so much.”

I remember being so afraid Malou wouldn’t know how much I loved her. I remember being so sad that I couldn’t feel her presence, and that made me scared that she couldn’t feel my love. And that seemed so unbearable.

Published in: on January 18, 2012 at 09:00  Leave a Comment  
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8 days after

“These have been two hard days. The pain seems to be intensifying. I became nearly hysterical with crying this morning, scaring Tom and myself. And I know that is just the tip of the iceberg of my sorrow…”

(later in the day)

“Oh, God, please help me! I don’t know how I can live through this. My heart is absolutely shattered. I NEED my baby Malou. Please, God, please – not me, not us, not my sweet baby Malou. Please help me. I don’t know if I can survive this pain.”

I felt so desperate. I struggled to keep it all in, but I couldn’t. I was afraid if I ever truly let myself go to grief, if I screamed and cried like I wanted to, that I would never be able to stop. The intensity of my grief scared me. But I know now that grieving however you want and however long you want – as long as it feels right to you, it is ok. There is no right way, there is no timeline, there is just pain that needs to come out if you are ever to move forward.

Published in: on January 17, 2012 at 09:00  Leave a Comment  

6 days after

“My life feels as if it has ended. My future was with my precious daughter, every moment of my future had her in it, and now she is gone. How can I live without her? My heart is broken and I don’t think it can ever be healed…

I would do anything to bring her back. If only this is a nightmare I can wake up from. I couldn’t fathom it during her labor Monday and Tuesday – it was too unimaginable – too big – too much loss – to possibly accept that it was real. But now I know it is and I am just so sad. Devastated. Hopeless…

Oh, God, this is just so wrong. I KNOW it is not meant to be. It was a horrible mistake. And it hurts so bad – nothing has ever been so pad. I pray to God nothing ever is again – that this is as bad as it gets…

Why my baby, God? We loved her so much – everything I did, I did for her. To take care of her inside me – and then I let her dwn. She died in my womb, my loving womb – why couldn’t I protect her???”

This started a theme for me, in the early days of my grief. I struggled so much to understand, asking God over and over Why? After many months, I accepted that God didn’t want this to happen, and that not everything in this life is in His control. And that’s when I stopped talking to God for quite awhile. I also struggled with Why us? I couldn’t care less about others at this point…I wished it had happened to anyone except us, even knowing the pain they would feel. I often say grief doesn’t bring out the best in me, and this is one way. I would have sacrificed anyone or anything if it meant Malou would be alive. 3.5 years later, I don’t feel that way. It stopped after I had Liam. Not because I love Liam more, but because for the first time, there was someone in my life who I loved just as much. I have also come a long way in accepting Malou’s death. Not understanding Why or Why us, but accepting that this is the way it is. And I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else anymore. Not even the smoking, yelling pregnant ladies with four other small children running around her that I used to see out and about – and judge, if I am being honest. 

Published in: on January 16, 2012 at 09:00  Leave a Comment  
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