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Saturday, May 20, 2006

*Sigh*

I didn't have a great day today. I spent a lot of it outside in the 100 degree weather watching E. play in her swimming pool. She's so cute and funny and can make me laugh when no one else can but I've just been so down lately. I've become so apathetic about most things. I just.don't.care. I know that's normal and I really think that it's just now hitting me that I had a beautiful child and he's gone. Forever. I will never see him in this world again. I feel like I've awakened from a bad dream only to realize that it's reality. I can't kid or shelter myself any longer. I feel lost and hopeless. The only time I feel alive is when Elizabeth is being sweet, funny and loving (which is a lot of the time, she loves to hug and kiss me right now).

Yes, I'm depressed. I realize this and plan to do something about it. I've never perceived the stigma attached to taking antidepressants that many do. I was on them after E. was born because I was dealing with post-partum depression. Strangely enough with Drew, I didn't suffer with PPD. I was depressed during my pregnancy but not after he was born. I think that I was too busy, always on the move, etc. for that to happen. Or maybe not, who knows. All I know is that I didn't feel like I did after E. was born--two drastically different births and outcomes. I feel like I'm still a good mother to Elizabeth, most of the time (she says, "Mommy, don't be sad," a lot though), but not the mother I was before Drew's death and not the mother that I want to be.

But the time has come for me to seek help. Confessing this is very hard for me because I always like to be in control of things. I think that most people who know me know that! I figure that if I confess it here, I'll be more apt to get on it. I just don't know who to contact. My OB who helped me after E. was born? As far as I know, she's no longer my OB. My peri has done all of my physical stuff. Do I contact the perinatologist who saw me during and after Drew's birth? Do I call my general physician who I've only seen twice and who I really have no relationship with? The GP who doesn't know that Drew died and I would have to explain that? I don't know if I can explain everything again to yet another person. She knew that the child I was carrying had CDH but that's it.

And it's coming up on time for E.'s yearly doctor's appointment. I'll have to explain things then as well since Dr. P. knew about Drew's condition and was to be his peditrician after he was well enough to be released from the hospital. You don't think of these things until they creep up on you and people will want to know where your baby is.

The cashier at the grocery store that I go to all the time asked me tonight where my baby was. I said, "My daughter?" and she said, "No, you were pregnant not long ago, right?" It's horrible of me but I just replied, "He's at home." I feel like shit for not being honest but I didn't want to say that he had died and then have to answer questions.

I finished a memorial website for Drew. I doubt that I will update it but it tells his story adequately and has some pictures that I don't think that I've posted here. It can be found here: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/babydrew. Stop by if you get a chance and sign his guestbook.

I've been having a couple of thoughts that really bother me but that I know are normal. At least they're normal according to the book that I've been raving about. :)

One of those thoughts is that, while I would never *really* wish the loss of a child on anyone, at the same time I DO wish it. I wish that other people around me knew exactly what this feels like and how bad it hurts. I get mad that people don't understand and the only way that they could ever understand is to lose a child of their own. I wish that they had to watch their child suffer like Drew did, all for nothing. That makes me feel like such a bad person but dammit, I want everyone else to hurt as badly as I am.

My other bad thought makes me feel like the most selfish person in the world. I'm *relieved* on some level that Drew died. Because he did die, he won't have to live with the lifelong problems that come along with his defect. And by extension, we won't have to deal with those problems either. I read about the issues that CDH survivors have and Drew won't have to deal with them. I'd give anything in the world to have him here with us but he would not have had an easy life, nor would the rest of his family.

Go ahead and crucify me now. I just needed to get those off of my chest. I realize how bad that makes me look and I don't care.

I've been painting our master bathroom; that helps me get out some of my anger. :)
When that's done, I'll go to the next thing on my home improvement list. The neverending list. I can't paint when E. is awake or she'd want to "help" me. She's my good little helper but not with paint, lol!

I sent in the request for Drew's medical records last week. I want to have them because I know that I'll want to read them some day. I requested EVERYTHING. Wonder how much that's going to cost us? In Oklahoma, they can charge $0.50/per page and goodness knows how many pages of records on them they have.

You know, when we initially found out that we were having a boy, the biggest issue was whether or not to have him circumcised and whether to delay some vaccinations, etc. Drew never got to the point that those were even relevant concerns. He never even got the normal newborn screenings. No hearing test, no nothing. (Yes, I know that's a double negative for those grammar police like me.)

Another of Drew's nurses, Lori, left such a nice comment for us. She is such an amazing woman and she made the card that hung above Drew's bed and his MR#, bloodtype, etc. She found out that E. liked Nemo and made Elizabeth two cards that she is CRAZY about! They hang in her room and every morning, without fail, E. says something along the lines of, "There's my preeeeeeeeeeetty Nemo cards from Baby Drew's doctor." Everyone who works at the hospital is a doctor to her! Lori, it's great to hear from you, you really brightened my day!







Funny thing that E. does. Anytime she sees the OU symbol, which is EVERYWHERE out here (trust me, it's everywhere), she squeals, "Baby Drew's doctor! Hopsital....HELICOPTERS!" I love that child so much!

I've wanted to share a story for a while but I haven't because some might take it the wrong way. But I figure what the hell?! I want to share and think it's funny so I'm going to do so!

One day, Raymond was combing Drew's hair and the way he was combing it made Drew look like a little man rather than a baby. Raymond began joking that he looked like Hitler! Drew's nurses that day found that hilarious, as did R. I wasn't so sure, my baby's no Hitler! Then Raymond brought up the fact that Drew DOES have a lot of German in him from my family...I finally started laughing. You must keep a sense of humor when dealing with things like a sick child, you just have to. When we went back for our visit that night (March 25 in case anyone cares), this is what we saw:



Drew's nurses had given him a Hitler moustache!! We cracked up! Drew's night nurse was glad that we found it funny because she was a bit apprehensive (the day nurses had done it). Anyway, it's memories like that that make me smile. Our little Hitler Drew. :)

When I was at the cemetary the other day, I noticed that another headstone had the exact same picture that we chose for Drew. The other headstone is close to Drew's grave, at a diagonal. That upsets me, I wish that I had noticed that earlier. I still have time to change it but it doesn't bother Raymond. I guess I'll just leave it as is. :(

A mother on Breath of Hope found a couple of interesting articles about CDH. If you want to read them, they can be found here: http://www.ahfmr.ab.ca/publications/newsletter/Spring05/www.files/inside/breathing.feat.htm and http://www.uihealthcare.com/reports/pediatrics/050314babysurgery.html.

I have to share another Elizabeth story. I know that I'm biased as her mother but she really amazes me sometimes. The day that we went back to the hospital, she kept saying, "Go see Cameron." Cameron was an adorable little boy that she played with ONE time at Aikman's End Zone. It had been at least 5 weeks since she played with Cameron and we had not mentioned him after leaving that day. When we got to the End Zone, she was looking all over for, "My friend Cameron."

6 comments:

Lauren said...

Jana,

First of all, I cracked up when I saw the mustache! Thanks for sharing that picture. It's the first time I've really laughed in a while.

Second of all, you're totally normal for feeling guilty about Drew, Elizabeth, things that don't matter. You're totally normal to feel sad, relieved, angry, jealous. I find that I don't feel the same way for longer than an hour. Emotions seem to change so quickly.

You'll get through this. And I agree with you on the drugs. If you need them, get them. You don't have to feel sad forever. Eventually, thinking of Drew will bring you happiness! You're doing a great job, Jana!

Love Lauren
Avery's Mom 3/17/06 - 4/3/06

April said...

Jana
YOu have every right to feel how you feel and to have the random feelings that you feel. I'm here for you every step of the way.

Shawna said...

Jana,

Please do not feel like you are a bad person for feeling the things that you feel, it's perfectly normal. You are going through the most traumatic experienece anyone could ever experience and there is no "textbook" way to think or feel or deal with the grief. Every person grieves in their own way and there truly is no wrong way. It does NOT make you a bad person for feeling and thinking the things that you do. I can certainly imagine wanting other people to feel my pain if I ever had to deal with something like this. That's natural and it does NOT make you a bad person and anyone who could say that certainly hasn't been through this so they have NO right to judge!

It's also very normal to be "glad" about Drew's passing. Where he is now, he won't ever hurt again. He won't ever go through another painful recovery from yet another surgery. He won't ever have tubes or needles poked and prodded into him. He's comfortable now and flying free! Who wouldn't prefer seeing their child out of pain?

It may not feel like it right now Jana but you know you are a wonderful mother. E. seeing you grieve is actually good for her. It's showing her how much you do love Drew and that it's okay to hurt and cry and feel. And in the same breath, you're also showing her what it means to be weak and strong all at the same time. At some point, E. herself will grieve the loss of her baby brother more than she's able to now and being able to see you go through it will allow her the freedom to do the same and know that it's okay. It's so great that you and Raymond have E. in your lives. I'm sure she helps keep you grounded and to get through this. She certainly is an amazing child!

BTW, I laughed at the Hitler story. That was cute! (the moustache) I agree, you have to be able to keep a sense of humor. Laughter really can help heal! I'm still praying for you sweetie, I will call you this week. Promise!

HUGS AND LOVE,
Shawna L. and Family

Jenn said...

Jana,
Loved the little moustache pic. He looks adorable!
I am and will always pray for you and your family, especially with how sad and depressed you are.
Please know that no one will judge you and that we really do care about you.
(((((HUGS))))))
Jenn
(momsbored)

Anonymous said...

I laughed at the picture too. It was funny and cute.

Please do not feel guilty for the feelings you have. You have every right to feel that way and yes, it is normal. I can't imagine what you are going through but I am sure my feelings would be similar if I went through something as traumatic as losing a child! People have no right to judge those feelings unless they have been in your shoes and if they have been in your shoes then I am sure they completely understand how you feel!

Bravo to you for being strong enough to know to get help with your depression too. You really are strong whether you realize it or not.

Drew was very loved and very lucky and he isn't hurting anymore. He knows you did everything you could for him and I have no doubt he is proud of you.

Lastly, Elizabeth sounds like a true blessing! What a wonderful little girl! :)

Hugs and prayers,
Tasha

Shawn said...

Awww....Hitler was never that cute!