Sunday, March 21, 2010

Baby Liv would be four months old today.

I can’t believe how fast the time is going. If I close my eyes, I can remember every second of the day Olivia was born like it was yesterday. I was never more happy, proud, and scared in my entire life. It's amazing to me that it's already been one third of a year since her birth. That sounds like such a long time... but I guess it's really not.

I have read about other women who say they want to put the events out of their mind because they were so traumatic. They want to remember their child without remembering all of the scary circumstances. In that regard, I feel like we are very lucky. Aside from hearing the horrible news that she was dying, we didn't really have any scary circumstances. The three days that Livie was with us were very peaceful. We were calm, and we smiled and laughed a lot. I remember being in the cafeteria at the hospital, just a few hours before we were going to remove Olivia from her ventilator, eating my first meal in days out of my hospital bed and we were surprisingly (now that I look back on it) in good spirits. Okay, I guess being rushed into emergency surgery was traumatic and scary... but thinking about it doesn't bother me. I guess I just feel like... I can't afford to try and wipe those moments out of my mind. Livie only lived for a few short days on this earth. If I forget any of those moments, then I will be forgetting the moments that made up her life. And that's not something that I'm willing to do.

I read a few blogs of women who have little girls. I started following them when I was pregnant, and they were about as far along as I was. I don't know why I still read them, I guess it's because I saw their ultrasound pictures before they were born, and I love to see what they've grown in to. But I do have to say, I get insanely jealous when I read the "month" posts, where they write a letter to their child telling them about how much they've grown and what kinds of milestones they've reached. I know, I know - you're probably thinking, "are you insane! Why are you torturing yourself!?" I have no idea. Its strangely comforting for me to read about these things and imagine what Livie would be like now. Is that weird? Don't get me wrong... it's painful. I guess there aren't really words to describe my feelings about this. I just think about her little face, and it's hard not to imagine what it would look like smiling and laughing. She would have been so adorable. I'm hoping that I'll be able to see a little of her in our future children, even if I won't be able to recognize it... because I won't have gotten to see her do those things. Does that make sense?

For the most part, I feel like my "old self" again - it's easy for me to talk about un-related things, to joke around and laugh, see babies without getting upset. Sometimes, a few hours go by that I don't think about what happened... and then something will remind me that feels like a punch in the gut.

Sometimes, I feel bad that I'm doing so "well". I've been reminded so many times though, that there is no timeline for how I'm supposed to feel. When I first had to go back to school and offically ended my "maternity leave" (what the heck am I supposed to call it? I've said "recovering from my surgery" before... because I guess that's technically what it was. But then I feel guilty for making it sound like I had my appendix removed or something, instead of giving birth to a beautiful little girl), I had done nothing but work on my scrapbook for 6 weeks and read infant loss books. I felt horrible for moving forward. At the time though, I guess I must have felt like I was abandoning her - because if she hadn't died, I wouldn't be getting on with my normal life. I would have been doing normal things.... and caring for our daughter at the same time. I guess I felt like I didn't want to give that up.

I've gotten past that though, and I now know that it isn't healthy for me to dwell on the loss and let it take over my life (thank you, therapist). I knew that all along, actually. But what you know "logically" in your head, as we all know, isn't always what you feel or know in your heart.

Happy four month birthday, Sweet girl. Mommy misses you so much. I love you.

post signature


Molly O. said...

Hi Betsy,
Everytime I read your blog, I feel like I get so much strength from reading about your experience and how you remember your angel. I completely agree with what you said about not forgetting or blocking out your experience. I know our situations are a different, but I just told my husband the other day that even though this has been the hardest thing we have ever been through, I'm still thankful for it and thankful for our little angel..and I never want to forget about her or the experience. ((BIG HUGS))

The McNeil Family said...

Love you, Bets!!


Post a Comment