Monday, February 15, 2010

On Angels Wings

One of my favorite Hymns has always been "On Eagles Wings". It's refrain is something that has gone through my mind a lot over the last 10 days.

And he will raise you up on eagle's wings
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His Hand.

In my head I have often changed the lyrics to angel's wings. I have been lifted and support by the angels that are among us. If you don't believe that there are angels among us, I am sorry. So many people around me have been my angels this last week. People "in real life" and people that I only now through the words they write. From the littlest people in my house to my amazing husband, I honestly have no idea where I would be without them.

I don't want to, in life or on this blog, dwell on what has happened to me. I stand now on the edge of an immense dark hole. It is my cross to bear, the personality I was born with, that teeters on the edge of darkness and addiction. I know this. I have lived this. The time that was supposed to be the happiest of my life led me into a the dark hole of PPD that left me with scary thoughts and actions that didn't seem to be my own (it is NOT always 5 o'clock somewhere).

I know that if I dwell to long, if I allow myself to focus too much on this horrible pain and aching in my heart it will not be good for my mind, body, soul or family. That thought alone is terrifying to me. I know for me to heal I need to move on, focus on the many, many, MANY, blessings I have. That does not mean forgetting, I will NEVER forget. It just means it cannot be front and center, every moment of every day of my life. My husband knows this too. He kept me very guarded from the internet for the first 5 days. If I ever started down that road he quickly lifted me up and carried me another way pushing his pain and heartache aside to protect me.

I spent those first few days crying, a lot. Reading, a lot. I also wrote. Mostly just plain free writing, spitting out what was in my head and heart and not going back to edit or re-read, just letting it all spill out on the page. I didn't know if I would ever publish them, or read them again. It's just that my head was so full, words, thoughts, feelings racing around in my head, jumbling up and crashing into each other. I had to get them out. I have decided to publish them (I am even going to edit grammar and spelling for you). Mostly because I am hoping that sometime, somewhere my words will help comfort at least one sad mother out there the way Beth's words helped comfort me and validate the thoughts and feelings I had in my head.

So what follows, broken up as I wrote them, are the pure and raw emotions of my experience as it was happening. They might not be pretty (family, dear friends, you may not want to read them) but they are real. I will not apologize for them.


Watching the snow fall in big puffy flakes. There is no wind so it's like being stuck in a snow globe as it pours straight down and swirls around you. A great analogy for how I feel that my world has been turned upside down. Everything in my head and heart and life is swirling around and around and I don' know which way is up or where to start. I feel like I am in the deepest darkest sea with only sparks of light few and far between. But do they guide or confuse? Are they meant to help or eat me alive? I am trying so hard to swim to the top, to see the light to find the happiness. There is so much good and so much beauty in the world, in the chubby arms of a toddler. But I am sad and broken and I just want to feel whole again, I want to go back to the safety of the naive place we were three days ago. Where we took advantage of the blessings we had and went on with our life without such heavy hearts and heads. I don't want to know this grief, I don't want to accept it I don't want to feel it, it's not fair.


I wore braids.
I wore braids to both my children's births, pigtail style, down each side. A way to manage the wild head of hair so it wasn't in the way of the surgeons or standing up every which way in the pictures. I wore them again on Friday, even though there would be no pictures. People may not want to call it a birth, they can call it whatever they want but that was my babies birthday. She* may not have been born in my arms, but she was mine and that was her day and it will be celebrated and remembered.

The doctor told me this was better, physically. It was better that the baby stopped growing a month ago. They said, mentally it was harder, I had been pregnant for a long time (we knew we were pregnant since before implantation), but physically this would be easier, the baby was smaller. I wouldn't have to labor, I would go to sleep and it would be over when I woke up. But it's not easier. I don't get to hold my baby, alive or not. I don't get to see and hold and grieve. I am actually jealous, in a sad horribly disgusting way that makes me feel even worse, for those mothers that got to carry a little longer. That got to hold their babies before saying good bye. I'm angry at all those people that took for granted the gift they were given and voluntarily had the procedure I am having. It's not fair and I don't understand. No one even offered to give me that one last ultrasound picture. I went home empty. Empty handed, empty heart, empty body. My child may not have been born into my arms but she was born into the hands of God and I know she is watching and protecting me and will guide me through this horrible time. She may have been small but she was ours and she was loved and she mattered.

* We don't know the sex of our baby. We have to wait until the genetic are done but I cannot bear to continue to call her it. My heart believes it was a girl and I will wait until science confirms it.


I'm scared to leave the house.
Its not like there is anything out there that can hurt me anymore than I already hurt. But I don't want to see the faces. I don't want to see anyone I know, that will look at me with those sad and pitying eyes, it's the sad pitying eyes I can't handle.

I want to be normal.

I want people to just pretend I am normal. But I also want hugs, and attention and flowers. I want to know I am loved. I know why. Some people don't know, it's hard to pass that news out. People that do know don't' know what to do. They want to give space and I need space, I crave space. I just don't know what I want. I want to leave but I don't. Its a strange, strange, in between world I am in, I know and I don't know what to do with myself. I want to sew. I want to finish projects but I missing supplies. This means I need to leave and I don't know if I can leave. I want to just go about life and be normal and I can't. It feels wrong to laugh and be happy and pretend nothing happened because it did. It was big and awful. I have children and I know I need to go on and live life. I also don't want to forget, I don't want this baby to be forgotten and whisked away in the busyness of life.

How do you balance that?

How do you balance the memories of what's been lost with the needs of today and moving forward? I guess that's something I will learn minute by minute and day by day....maybe these hard lessons are what we needed to learn. Maybe we needed to love richer, live more fully. I don't know. There has to be a lesson. There has to be a reason for this pain was not bestowed on us just because. We are not given what we can't handle even if it feels like it right?


I need to call people and it leaves a pit in my stomach, my chest is tight and I don't know if I have a voice. I don't know if I can say the words out loud, my baby died. But people need to know. I suppose it will heal me to say it, but it hurts so much. When? I want to call and get it over with but its 10 in the morning. I also don't want to be alone, I'm going to break down I know I will, someone needs to take the phone. But its also not fair, my hubby is stoic and can do it, but he has been forced to bear this burden all himself so far. He has had to be the bearer of bad news while I hide in my grief and that is not fair. I have to find strength, I just don't know where.


Alone, for the first time. It's strange and scary and I feel fragile and I don't want to. I had to tell a dear friend and it was hard, but easier than I thought. She is so much like me, she validated so many of my feelings. Knew just what to say I didn't even cry that hard, or maybe that's because my tears are drying up. Can you run out of tears, because I think I am almost there.

My kids and husband are so amazing I could not do this with out them. I can't believe how good my kids are, why did I ever take that for granted they are really special kids and I will never forget that or take that for granted again.

Its strange, my mind swirls between the horror and the memories and the pain and the mundane. The to do lists, the things that were scheduled for the week, the things I should be doing. I am sure no one expects me to do them, which is weird for me and hard. No one expecting something of me. I want to do it, I want to be normal again and be treated normal and pretend that this didn't happen, but I don't want to pretend it didn't happen because it did and that little life needs to be remembered and loved. It's just exhausting. I don't know what to do how to act where to go.


My body feels foreign and empty. I can't explain it. They say to call if I feel sick or anything out of the ordinary. Well I am supposed to be pregnant now, I am supposed to big bigger and uncomfortable and have a full tight stomach and heartburn and round ligament pain. So what is normal? What pain is wrong and what pain is right? Does my stomach flopping and spinning like I'm on a roller coaster when I lay down to try to chase the elusive sleep, is that normal? Is that grief? Is that low blood sugar? I don't know. I know I am supposed to eat. I need to eat. What? I have very little desire for anything, nothing tastes right, maybe I haven't brushed my teeth? I can't remember. I can't remember a lot and I remember too much. I'm in a weird place. I feel like Alice in Wonderland, topsy turvy, turned around and up side down and I want to laugh and hug my kids but it feels like I am forgetting and it's wrong. I shouldn't be normal yet but it feels like we have to move on we have to be normal. I just need to be patient I guess. I guess that is the biggest lesson that I need to learn, patience. Let my body heal and so too will my heart?


Today I will get dressed.

That is my goal, a big lofty one I know. You don't realize how hard it is. While my stomach is deflated it is surely still too bloated to wear my real clothes. I can't bear the thought of wearing maternity clothes. The sadness, the fraud, that's not who I am anymore. I have to figure out what to do because I cannot live in pajamas and my husbands shirts. I will eventually have to leave the house. So today I will try to get dressed. I want to sew, I have a few projects I wanted finished for the weekend, but our basement is cold, so I have to get dressed. Step by step and day by day. The more normal things I do the more normal I will feel, right? I will eat, I will get dressed and I will try to be normal, at least for the morning. Sleep has helped, the 6 hours I got my have come with an the help of an aide but they were needed. They might not be restoring my soul but they are restoring the body and that is the first step.


That's that. Raw, fresh, real, scary. I hope that none of you ever have to feel it.

If you have made it this far and are now worried, scared, for me. Note I am doing well, I am healing and getting better. I am having normal moments. That's what I need. Don't steal the normal moments from me by trying so hard to do the right thing, say the right thing, whatever it is. Know that I am healing at that if I want to talk to you about it I will, if I don't I won't. It can't be pushed or coerced.

I appreciate immensely everyone who has sent notes, who has shared their pain and told me their story. I know how hard it is, and so do you. If I don't reply it's not that I don't know, or understand, it's just right now, at THIS moment. It doesn't matter to mean that it happens to 10-15% or 20% or whatever number of people. It doesn't matter because right now, THIS moment the pain is mine, and I am not ready to share. I need to feel my pain. Ann said something to me that has really touched and stuck with me:
Grief is so tricky. When everyone knows it feels invasive, and when noone knows it is so very lonely. You just have to keep trudging through that impossible terrain, and count on those trusted few to hold you up or lay down with you when you must.
That's just it. I am alone in a crowded room and I am plugging through. While this is very public and everyone wants to share it's my own place and I have to find my way through this forest my own way. There is no bread crumb trail to follow. I need to follow my heart, and the light left by the littlest angel wings as the my guide me on.


WeaselMomma said...

Take the time to heal. You are allowed.

Unknown said...

Ditto to the above. I wish I had good words or something amazing to say. I hope sharing and exploring these emotions are helping,, even if just a little bit. Hugs as always.

Hyacynth said...

You are such a beautiful writer. And Ann's words? Totally agree with her.

Melissa Haak said...

Thank you everyone. Getting thoughts out on "paper" has really helped get through the process.

Jenn said...

I agree with the previous comments. I will keep you in my prayers as you work through this.

Erin said...

Heal as long as you need. We'll all be here while you do.

sarah said...

just read this through the repost on BPB...I am so touched my your honest words and open heart. thanks for sharing...