Thursday, May 3, 2012

"17 Months" Written By an Over Sensitive Mama

17 months...can that be real??

It's funny - last week I finally got to my pre-Asa-pregnancy weight. (remember in February when the doctor kindly said "You could stand to lose 30 -40 pounds?  I've lost 30 - See, I'm not always a defiant patient :o) But that makes 55 since Asa arrived!) And I'm right where I was soon after Rachel was born. (still more to go)  Sam pointed to my belly and said "Dat's Rachew's."  I asked what and he said "Your belly" - I smiled and said "Yes it is."

I never imagined body fat could be sentimental...  and trust me, I'm not going to try to hold on to it just for her, I'm not that crazy yet.. but my belly is hers.  My heart is hers.  My love is hers.

And 17 months later, all three feel just the same as the day I held her.  She left a mark that will never be erased.  And sometimes, time seemingly standing still for me is comforting.  I HATE that so much time has gone by.  I hate that she keeps getting further away.  I don't want my only memories to fade.  I don't want to forget what it was like to hold her, to kiss her, to look at her.

But sometimes I do.  I hate it.  I stare at pictures and try to remember.  I watch the video of her birth which is only like 30 secs long and try to remember being 'me' then.  Does that make sense?  Probably to my baby loss friends...  I'm just not that 'me' anymore. 

I miss the simpler days.  I miss feeling her kick.  I miss not knowing she would die so quickly.

I'm in a strange place emotionally.  I got the magazine the other day that our story is in.  I read it and cried.  But instead of the usual feeling of being excited and proud of her, I just felt like "I hate having a dead baby."  I bought a handful of extra copies to give to family and honestly, I almost don't even want to give them away.  And not because I want to keep them all, but because nobody seems to really give a crap anymore except the one person who keeps making it about herself and I just can't handle that either. 

I thought time was supposed to make it easier... isn't that what all the people who hadn't lost babies (and some who had) promised me the day of, and days following, her funeral?  Time has changed how it feels, but it seems to just get different, not easier.  And it's almost more complicated because people move on and expect me to as well.

Well, I just took a LONG break from writing to go find a link...  I guess I was trying to find something that could help people understand in someone else's words.  I looked on a site that my friend Nat had sent me a while back and it's so helpful.  Read it here if you have time, it's about Trisomy 18, but all the grief help applies.  I'm going to post it to the side of my blog as well.  And here is What to say as well as what NOT to say.

I guess I'm tired of trying to help people understand... although for the sake of others who have to walk this path, I will continue to share my painful experienced in hopes that it will some day, some way help another person in pain.

I have heard myself regularly saying lately that I don't have any of the same friends I had when I started this journey.  Just like our families scattered and avoided me (except for the random 'this is all about me' comments), so did most of the people I had called friends... and they are still nowhere to be found.... except maybe letting their kids disrespect Rachel's Playground... And the sad part is that some of them avoid me and say it's because I'm too hard to please instead of trying to meet me where I'm at and love me. You see, because I write about my pain here they can call me too sensitive and inappropriate.  I guess they prefer to go around hurting people and having them keep quiet about it...
Then they don't have to look at themselves, they can blame it on the 'over sensitive' mother.  Yep, been called that....

So I'm struggling at this point with some bitterness about that.  I do have new friends who have come along side me and proven to be better friends than I had - as well as some old ones who after I have been open about my hurt have made changes and chose to be there for me, but the ones who ran away have no idea how they have hurt me.  And they don't seem to care either.  I see them from a distance smiling or laughing and it's like salt in my wound.  Do I want them to be miserable? Nope.  But I would love for them to care.  To ask how I'm doing.  To give me a hug.  To tell me if they've thought about Rachel lately and let me know they think of me too. 

I guess I expect to much... I've heard that a time or two.... or 50.

So, as I read the link above, I couldn't help but cry cause I felt like my feelings made sense for once instead of this constant feeling of being a burden on others - or being judged by others for the fact that I still grieve.  Yesterday I was asked if I am depressed because I don't want to go to a certain event.  (I had said that I didn't really feel like being around a group of people.)  I couldn't help but get defensive because I thought I was doing so much better.  Not to mention I was out at work, left my house clean with dinner cooked, I was smiling and laughing, and I had not been crying or even sounding sad at all.  I feel like I'm on the 'other side' finally, back in the game and doing good. I'm not depressed, but my loss does still affect me.  But it's never enough.  I'm under the microscope.  But on that page above, it says that sometimes mothers don't want to do that kind of thing for 18-24 months after their child dies and I felt like my feelings had been validated. 

And why do I need the validation of people who have no idea what it's like to bury their baby anyway?  Why do I care?  I don't know.  I guess because I'm an "over-sensitive" mother.  I guess because nobody likes to be looked at like they are pathetic or talked to like they have a problem they can't see that needs to be pointed out.  Nobody likes being judged.  Nobody likes being labeled, especially incorrectly.

But anyway, I never intended to 'go there' in this post....  but since I yet again sit here on an anniversary that nobody has acknowledged - and probably aren't even considering, I can't help but notice the silence.  My desire to talk about her, to have her name spoken and to remember her seems to come up against a stone wall these days. 

Some will listen and not respond.  Some will change the subject.  Some will tell me not to cry as if it's a bad thing and walk away.  Some will give me a low 'awww' and silently judge me, thinking "when is she going to get over this."  Some will suggest we talk about Asa instead.  And some... some will say they know exactly how I feel and that Rachel's death was just as hard on them and be angry at ME for trying to suggest otherwise.  These things have all happened to me THIS WEEK alone and have been a consistent source of pain for the last almost 2 years.  wow...almost 2 years.  sigh.

And a very, very few will bring her up first....tell me they haven't forgotten....ask me how I'm doing on another anniversary...  some will go to her grave... some will tell me they still think of her and that they understand why this is so hard for me - even still - and tell me it's ok if I don't feel like doing x.y.z. right now.  Some will offer help with her race and share her with others....

I'm thankful for you... and you know who you are...  even though you may be few, I'd be lost without you.  Some days I feel lost anyway, but thank you for staying by my side.  Some days, like today, I sit here and wonder how on earth I can be the 'bad guy' in any of this when all I'm trying to do is survive.  All I want to do is love her.  That's all.  And I can't.  That hurts.... and will for the rest of my life.

Pass me the anti-depressants, please.  You'll see, they won't change that either. What they can help with is not my problem.  She's gone and heaven's far away - along with the people I need most on earth. 

17 months... my favorite age... I wish I knew what she would look like, sound like... cry like.  I wish I knew her.  I wish I was making memories with my child instead of trying to remember ones I had to create while holding my dead baby.

If you have been here, feel free to ask me if I am depressed or tell me it's time to move on.  If you have held YOUR baby dead in your arms, feel free to tell me you know how I feel.  Otherwise, please spare me from the frustration and pain and yourself from sounding/being insensitive. 

Rachel, I will love you and miss you every day until the day I see you again.  And you are worth every single tear, every ounce of judgement and every bit of pain along the way.  I don't regret you one sigle bit and I am honored to be able to call myself your mama.  I am so blessed to have known you and the unconditional love I have for you and God has for me.  I bet your oblivious to it, but if you do know how some view you (and me), I hope you know that in my eyes, you are perfect.  I hope you know that to me, your life mattered and still does.  I hope you know that as your mother, I will never let anyone say or do anything against you and let it slide.  I will protect you for the rest of my life just as I did while you were in my womb and in my arms and I will do it no matter what the cost.  Because I love you, my precious daughter.  My gift from God.  I miss you more than words can adequately express... and if you can't hear me, Lord please tell her.

Loving you & Hoping in Him, Mama


  1. {{{{HUG}}}}
    We just had a conversation about how I can help another friend grieve and you advised me to remember the anniversaries yet I totally spaced that today is one for you! I'm so sorry for not mentioning it earlier - Please know that you and Rachel are very much in my thoughts always.
    I actually almost walked up to a stranger at Disney to ask if her little girl was a December baby because she seemed like the age Rachel would be. Didn't ask but part of me really wishes I had.
    Love you and hope you can forgive my oversight!!

  2. In my heart always, though every Friday - every 3rd - she holds captive my thoughts.

  3. I'm sorry, I didn't think of these special days either :-(
    But Rachel and you are in my thoughts and prayers daily!
    Love you!
    Rachel Alice Aube <3

  4. Im sorry i cant put myself in your shoes bc my problems with having babies are different but i read those pages and def understand more im the one who if i dont know what to say i say nothing which can be worse bc then ppl dont think i care :( i do have to say that i lost my brother at 3mos old and wonder everyday about who hed be and look like what life would have ended up like... <3

  5. Stacy I'm so sorry people around you don't remember Rachel's special dates. I held my daughter in my arms after she died, and I will never 'get over' the pain that brings. No one should expect us to, but I know that so many do expect it - and that's so hard. Hardly anyone remembers my daughter Hannah's significant dates either, and it does hurt. The pain you feel is because you are an amazing loving Mummy to a very special little girl. I'm sorry you don't have her here with you any more though... I hate this journey too :(

  6. I can relate too much! I have different friends these past 5 months--I choose to be with the ones who have stood by me after Kayli's death, and those who still call, write, and are concerned--I know they are my true friends! I am still working my way through reading all your posts, know they are a blessing to me and others with empty arms. I know you will never forget Rachel, just like I will never forget Kayli. She is on my mind constantly, glad to know that Rachel is still on yours. I think I would be sad if you said that you didn't think of her as often. It would scare me to think that I would ever think less of Kayli! God Bless, you are in my prayers as one momma to another!


We so appreciate your words of encouragement!
Thank you! ♥ The Aubes