Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Hello again friends.

It's here.  The dreaded month of May.  With Mother's Day, and poor Josh's birthday (the day that we had the Norovirus and possibly triggered my water breaking), 10 days when I was on bed rest in the hospital a state away from most of my family, Ethan's birthday, the 4 beautiful and terrifying days in the NICU and then the first anniversary of Ethan's death.  Not too many things to trigger my PTSD and grief right?  Yeah, right.

So May started off decently, at least from the emotional side of things.  I was status quo with my emotions and grief - checking off one more day every night.  This was likely because my family had the flu, the actual influenza strain something or other, despite it being May and having had our flu shots.  My day to day was filled with nebulizers, asthma attacks, 105 fevers, Tylenol, croup, steroids, anti-biotics, ear infections, chest x-rays and lots of trips to the pharmacy, doctors, hospital and phone calls with the pediatricians office.  Thankfully we are on the other side of these illnesses, but there go my distractions.  And now May 10th is a couple of days away.  The day my healthy pregnancy went out the window, when my water broke.  So this May 10th I have scheduled a great friend and photographer to take family photos of us at the Boston Garden.  Doing our usual Swan Boats, Make Way for Ducklings statues and more.  I am praying the good weather holds and that the kids don't fall and get bruises, unicorns or scabs on their faces between now and then.  

So the other night I was a mess, for the first time in a couple of months probably.  The kind people don't see any longer.  The kind of old school sob that harked back to the first few months after Ethan's death.  The kind of cry that might cause others to question if I was really "OK?"  Nope, I wasn't last night.  To those readers who are fellow babyloss parents, you know the kind I speak of, don't you?  No explanation necessary.  Though most who read this journal of mine are friends or family...peaking into the journey that is a mother grieving her baby's death.  So for most of you, let me explain the kind of cry I speak of.  

The kind where my breath catches in my throat.  Quite literally, there is an unintentional pause in my breathing pattern that is uncomfortable and even painful a bit.  

The kind where my face is tight with the salty tears drying on my cheeks.  Saline drown my pours, leaving them simultaneously wet yet dry from the salt.

The kind where my eyes are sure to be red and puffy.  There is no need for a mirror to confirm this.  The swelling is tangible, and somehow stings a bit.  

The kind that evokes a true headache for me.  Someone who rarely gets one.  And it's the headache that calls me to bed afterward.

The kind where my nose is impressively stuffed yet runny at the same time.  How does that happen in the absence of a cold?  Evidence is displayed on my shirt and sleeves (gross, I know), because I am in too much pain to find a tissue.  

Now you have the picture.  This is what grief looks like.  Raw grief, that is.  

So two nights ago I had my real good cry, and the tears flowed easily.  I looked at pictures of Ethan again.  And not just the beautiful one of him taken just after birth - when his skin looked pink and he wasn't swollen.  My poor boy, he was so very sick.  I am comfortable with the process and interventions we allowed and supported during those 4 days...and am absolutely sure nothing was done in vain, to harm him, or to selfishly prolong his life to delay my pain.  But, it breaks my heart to remember just how sick he really was.  Maybe that seems obvious to those who read this.  Well, surely he was really sick, he died after all.  But I have somehow buffered myself from some of those details.  And taking the time to reflect allows me to see his medical journey clearly again.  No shock to tint the lense any longer.  No major depression to smudge my memories with endless tears.  Just the beautiful, terrifying truth that was my son's body.

Anyway, these last two days I have greeted my close friends again.  Anger.  Tears.  Jealousy.  Irritability.  And more.  Why hello there.  I wish I could say it was good to see you again.  But my heart is not that simple any longer.


  1. I have no words except that I love you Annie....

  2. Yes, I know that kind of cry all too well. The medical stuff is so hard, it's all SO hard.

    1. it is impossibly hard. sorry you know that cry intimately.