Monday, February 28, 2011

The Road Ahead

As I sit here, I wonder if this blog will ultimately be a 2 part journal entry.  Today my mother is returning back home to Florida.  She has been kind enough to stay to help with Dominic and bridge the gap during my physical recovery and as I begin my emotional journey.  She has been there through it all.  The heartbreaking telephone call with the awful news, the wake, the funeral, the breakdowns, the trips to the cemetery, and the quiet time when there were no words.

Last night, I felt the anxiety begin to set in.  After today at about 12pm I will be alone.  I will go back to my days of just me and Dominic, as Thad fulfills his obligations of school and work.  Since Dominic was 6 months old, I had been pregnant with Gabriella.  I known more of his life being pregnant than not.  I always knew by this time we would be going through an adjustment period thinking it would be to welcome a new baby girl into our home.  Now the adjustment is going to be much different, one I can not image, and one I am not necessarily looking forward to. Life is going to have to settle in without Gabriella here on earth.  I wondered how will I will weather this storm without the constant distraction of having continuous on the spot help and support? Quite frankly, I am a bit terrified. 

I am going to try to be strong. I am going to try to talk myself through this. I am hoping I am as strong as everyone tells me I am.  I am however, going to allow myself to cry and take the time to adjust because I know in my mind that is what my heart is going to need. 

In the meantime, I would like to say thank you to my mother for giving all that she has had to give during this time of tragedic mourning.  It is so very much appreciated. I love you.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Worry Not

It is amazing how God shows me daily that he is with me and that my daughter is alright, and that we will be alright.  This weekend Anna Rose, my cousin's daughter, was christened.  I was so happy and proud to be a witness to her special day and participate in the celebration.  Needless to say, emotionally, this was a rough weekend.  After the brunch today, I went to the cemetery to see Gabriella.  It was a beautiful day, the best one in terms of weather so far.  I sat with my mother and made plans to decorate Gabriella's gravesite in the weeks and months to come.  I am so sad that my plans are to decorate a grave, it should be her room.  The reality sets in more and more everyday.  Typically, I go to Sunday morning mass. I missed this morning. So, I decided to go to the evening mass looking for some words of comfort after a wary day.  If you could have hand picked the readings for me, you could not have picked them better.  Once again, God is showing me his love and support; assuring me everything is alright and my daughter is safe. Thank you Lord for knowing what I need and giving it to me.

Is 49:14-15
Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me;
my LORD has forgotten me.”
Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget,
I will never forget you.

Jesus said to his disciples:
“No one can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink,
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds in the sky;
they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns,
yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are not you more important than they?
Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?
Why are you anxious about clothes?
Learn from the way the wild flowers grow.
They do not work or spin.
But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor
was clothed like one of them.
If God so clothes the grass of the field,
which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow,
will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?
So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’
or ‘What are we to drink?’or ‘What are we to wear?’
All these things the pagans seek.
Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given you besides.
Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.
Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Interview with God

This was sent to me in the form of an email forward many years ago.  I have always liked it and so I saved it in my 'inbox' in my yahoo account for over 10 years.  To be honest, I haven't really look at it for quite some time, until recently.  For some mysterious reason, this email has been popping up into my current inbox repeatedly for about a week now.  The date stamp of the email has remained the same from the original email and the sender's email address also remains the same as the original email too.  I know for a fact the sender is no longer at the email address (it was a work email) and I have no explanation for the dating.  As if that was not mysterious enough, the email only show on my blackberry, not in my actual Yahoo account.  After the first couple of repeat emails, I thought it was a server problem, but the emails haven't stopped.  I am tending to believe that I am suppose to post this because someone out there needs to receive this message. So here it is.

Interview with God

 I dreamed I had a interview with God.

"Come in," God said. "So, you would like to interview Me?"

"If you have the time," I said.

God smiled and said: "My time is eternity and is enough to do everything; what questions do you have in mind to ask me?"
"What surprises you most about mankind?"
God answered:
"That they get bored being children, are in a rush to grow up, and then long to be children again.
That they lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore their health.
That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, such that they live neither for the present nor the future.
That they live as if they will never die, and they die as if they never lived..."

God's hands took mine and we were silent for a while and then I asked...
"As a parent, what are some of life's lessons you want your children to learn?"

God replied with a smile:
"To learn that they cannot make anyone love them. What they can do is to let themselves be loved.
To learn that what is most valuable is not what they have in their lives, but who they have in their lives.

To learn that it is not good to compare themselves to others. All will be judged individually on their own merits, not as a group on a comparison basis!
To learn that a rich person is not the one who has the most, but is one who needs the least.
To learn that it only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in persons we love, and that it takes many years to heal them.

To learn to forgive by practicing forgiveness.
To learn that there are persons that love them dearly, but simply do not know how to express or show their feelings.
To learn that money can buy everything but happiness.
To learn that two people can look at the same thing and see it totally different.
To learn that a true friend is someone who knows everything about them...and likes them anyway.
To learn that it is not always enough that they be forgiven by others, but that they have to forgive themselves."

I sat there for awhile enjoying the moment.
thanked Him for his time and for all that He had done for me and my family, and He replied,
"Anytime - I'm here 24 hours a day.
All you have to do is ask for me, and I'll answer.
People will forget what you said.
People will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Saturday, February 19, 2011

2 Months

This morning I woke up anxious. At first I didn't know why, and then I remembered it is the 19th.  It's been two months since we said good bye to our little angel.  Today the reality of her death is as real, if not, more real, than it was on that first day.  The initial business of funeral arrangements, autopsy reports, and physical healing has past and I (we) are left with the reality.  Our baby is gone. Her due date has come and gone, and she is not home with us.  Rather than 'getting easier', I believe it to be getting harder.  As more time passes, there are more opportunities to realize she is not here on earth. Whether it is seeing a baby girl, making plans for the summer without her, or having a stranger inquire about how many children I have or if I plan on having more kids. I am left few pictures to remind me of my baby girl and the pain in my heart.   Sometimes it is difficult to look at the pictures and other times a comfort.  This experience has been such a mind twister.  Sometimes, I still wonder if it is real and each morning wake up thinking, 'did it really happen.'  Sometime I find myself forcing myself to relive the first few days in the hospital to remind myself it is real and keep myself grounded.  Being grounded is maybe one of the hardest things to do.  Every fiber of my being wants to push this whole experience out of my mind and pretend it did not happen.  Yet, as much as I want to do that, I force myself to remember she is real, she did exist and I do love her.

To everyone reading out there, I want to tell you not to take your life for granted.  Do not take the people in your life for granted, even your unborn children.  Your entire life can change forever in the blink of an eye, for best or for worse, you will never be the same.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Square One

Something happened today that makes me feel like I am at square one again. I feel so lost, empty and sad.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tears in Heaven

Tears In Heaven
by Eric Clapton

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven?

I must be strong
And carry on
'Cause I know I don't belong
Here in heaven

Would you hold my hand
If I saw you in heaven?
Would you help me stand
If I saw you in heaven?

I'll find my way
Through night and day
'Cause I know I just can't stay
Here in heaven

Time can bring you down
Time can bend your knees
Time can break your heart
Have you begging please
Begging please

Beyond the door
There's peace, I'm sure
And I know there'll be no more
Tears in heaven

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven?

I must be strong
And carry on
'Cause I know I don't belong
Here in heaven

'Cause I know I don't belong
Here in heaven

Introducing Gabriella Eve

After much contemplation as whether or not to post a picture of Gabriella, I decide I am going to. She is my daughter and I am proud of her.  While some may feel it odd to post a picture of a breathless child, please consider my point of view.  She is my daughter.  She was not malformed. On the contrary she was perfectly formed, complete with all ten fingers and toes.  She was 4lbs, 2oz and 17 inches long.  She was a baby, not something to be feared.  She was as beautiful as another newborn.  She is our daughter, Dominic's sister; a granddaughter, a niece, a cousin, a godchild, and very loved.


I have found myself in recent nights, wondering if I am in denial.  I feel it is a thin line between acceptance and denial.  I know my daughter died, I know I buried her, I just can't believe it... How do you accept something like this? In the beginning, the visions of her in my arms, at the funeral home and the funeral itself, were so real. Now, as the weeks pass and turn to months, they are more like a bad dream.  I see them in my mind's eye in a haze.  They are not clear.  I think this adds to my feelings, or should I say concerns, of being in denial. 

While I have read denial is a natural and normal part of grieving.  I am not so sure I am 'normal' in my grieving process.  I also know without taking the proper steps towards acceptance and healing, I am going to risk this process being prolonged and perhaps rearing its ugly head at an unsuspecting, inconvenient time.  I ponder, whether or not this is a control issue.  Maybe I am trying to control my grief rather than accepting the process.  But, who in there right mind, would want to accept the process of grieving over their lost child? There is nothing natural about burying your child.  It is a tragedy no parent should be subjected to. However, it is a reality, babies and children die, everyday.  So maybe it is more imaginable than one might think.  I guess the point is, it isn't something you want to thing think about. 

How am I to determine if I am denial? If I am grieving in a healthy manner? I struggle with this agonizing thought daily.  Why can't I let this thought go? Why am I so concerned? Why can't I just be?  Last night, while lying in bed, with the television on, I thought about all of the daily distractions I have.  Television being one of the top ones.  Even as I write, right now, the television is on in the background.  I started to wonder what life would be like 150 years ago, in silence.  Nothing to distract me on those long, late nights.  Would I be more productive, more sad, or happier? I am almost considering unplugging the televisions in the house.  Maybe then I will just be. And maybe just being is what I need most right now. 

But, how can I just be when I have a little boy? He is a bundle of energy that needs a lot of attention and stimulation.  When I am looking to reduce stimulation how can a happy medium be found?  I want to sit in silence.  Me silent, what a new thought.  Mediation and reflection sounds golden to me right now.  And as golden as it sounds, it scared me so much.  What I might find in that silence may be much more than I bargain for.  I may find a deeper pain and hurt than I am willing, able and ready to take on. Maybe I won't find the peace I am desperately looking for.  That thin line, is a real, so clear and present, always.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Today at the Cemetery

I went to the cemetery today. I was so proud of myself that I was able to find my way to my little one with ease.  Then I realized how sad it was that I haven't been there enough times to know my way around yet.  I pull up the the baby section, Holy Innocents, and there was a grounds crew there clearly either digging a grave or covering one up, I immediately thought, "that poor family".  Another family is knowing the pain of losing a baby. It is so sad, heartbreaking in fact.

The winter has the ability to make an already unpleasant thing to do, all the more unpleasant. I am not saying I go to the cemetery to upset myself. On the contrary, I go to find some peace.  The unpleasant part is the simple fact that is where I have to go to have a physical connection with my daughter. Even with snow covering the graves like a white blanket, I could easily find Gabriella.  Her flowers are still there, the ones from her funeral.  While I was there I realized how many more times I will be coming to this very place. I realized in years to come, I will be exactly where I am right now, at my daughter's grave.  I looked around at all the other small gravesites, many of which are adorned with flowers, stuffed animals, other memorial type items.  I notice the dates on a few of the grave markers that were peeking through the snowy blanket, and realize these families have been coming here for years.  I flash forward in my mind to a year from now, three years, ten years. I will forever be drawn to this place because this is where my daughter is.  I will get older and older, and I will still be going there. And one day, no doubt, I will be there as an old lady and see a young mother like myself crying over her child's grave just at the beginning of her journey. Then I thought, how when I die I will want to be buried with her. I won't want to be away from her. I would want the same thing I want now, for us to be together.  Since that is not possible now, one day it will be.  So I asked her to play with the other children for now and that one day we can be together. 

Now, I am just anxious for the warmer weather to come and the snow to melt. I want to go to the cemetery and sit there with her. Maybe read her a book or bring her a gift.  Or perhaps, I want to go there and sit on the ground and just know she is right beneath me. I am looking forward to planting her a garden and making her space beautiful. I look forward to her permanent marker (grave marker) to come in and be put in place. It may seem strange that I am looking forward to some of these things, but, to me it is sort of like getting her room ready and putting on the finishing touches.  I didn't get to paint her room, set up her crib or wash her clothes. What I can do is make the space that she does have, special.

The Letter

I know there were many people who could not attend Gabriella's funeral mass.  It was, in deed, a beautiful mass.  Our pastor, Fr. Tom, did a wonderful job of leaving everyone there with a sense of hope.

Neither Thad or I, felt we could talk at her funeral nor did we know what it was we could say about her, even if we could pull it together to talk. She never lived but in my womb and we wished there was something meaningful we could say about her.  But even still, she did have meaning and she gave us something even if it wasn't obvious.  I then instead decide to write a letter to those present, letting them in on what our souls were saying, even though it wasn't obvious through the tears in our eyes.

I share with you now because in my darker days, I think back about the meaning of my daughter's life... and it was about love.

The following is the letter I wrote to be read by the priest at her funeral on our behalf:

Our Dear Friends and Family,

When we look out and see all of your faces, we see love.  We see the love you have for us and the love you have for Gabriella.  When you look back at this experience one day we want you to take away from it the love in this church.  While Gabriella’s existence and death, to us, maybe confusing, it is important to us that her conception, her life in Nicole’s womb and even ultimately her death, was not in vain.  This is not a time to question God, this is a time to rejoice in God’s love, and the love Gabriella has clearly brought to each of us.  When you remember our daughter, when you remember our family please try not to remember the sorrow, please do not think of us with pity, remember the love.  Remember the faith and love we have for one another and the love we have for each of you.  God has brought our baby girl home.  If you want to honor our angel whom we, even as her parents, barely knew, then take this experience and lead your lives in faith, forgiveness and love.

With the sincerest gratitude,
Thad & Nicole

Read at the Funeral Mass of Gabriella Eve Chapman
St. Patrick’s Church, Bay Shore, NY - December 23, 2010

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Faces of Sorrow

I attended my first bereavement group.  There is so much I have to say about this experience I don't even know how I am going to be able to get it all out. 

Prior to leaving the house, I found myself procrastinating.  I was dressed and ready, with my jacket on and keys in my hand. Yet, there was some part of me that didn't want to step foot out of the house.  I can only assume that subconsciously I was fearing the unknown.  Not that I was apprehensive to be around strangers, but, that I didn't know what to expect as far as the emotions this experience may bring up.  I was worried it may be a Pandora's box of sorts.  I have been as I call it 'functional' up to this point.  What if after this I am no longer functional? I couldn't let that hold me back. Fear was not an option. I have been through so much, I have to believe the worst is behind me and while the road to healing may be a rocky one, it is one I must travel nonetheless.  I owe it to myself and to my family.

Driving to the group I dealt with the nervousness by calling friends and 'chatting'.  The funny part is when I woke the next day, I didn't really recall the specifics of the conversations.  In fact, one friend I had to call back this morning and ask what did we talk about.  I knew it involved some commitment on my end, I just couldn't recall what.

After about a 20 minute drive, which felt like 5 minutes, I was there, in the church parking lot.  I parked and wondered, 'am I in the right place.' While at the time I meant physically, I know now, reflecting back that the question was as true from an emotional point of view too.  Was I in the right place? I walked down the stairs to the basement of the church wondering the same thing.  I got to the door of the meeting room and there was a line of people signing in.  I was so surprised, there was a line. Looking at the people ahead of me on line, I thought, maybe I am not in the right place. And then I saw the looks on their faces and I realized I was.  Everyone looked surprisingly normal to me, like any face you would see in the supermarket or some other benign place.  There was however one common denominator, the look in their eyes.  It was a look of emptiness and pain.  Even through smiles I could see it, the pain, it was in the women and men alike.  I know this look all too well. I see it everyday when I look in the mirror or in the eyes of my husband.  It is a look that says, 'a piece of my heart and soul is missing.' 

After I signed in, I sat down.  It was obvious some people knew each other, no doubt they had been coming for a while, and then there were others, like me who sat quietly, waiting.  I still couldn't get over it, everyone looked so normal, so everyday. How could all these people have been afflicted with the same unfortunate circumstance I had been?  There was some women I just felt like getting up and hugging. They just looked like they needed it.  Still I sat, waiting.  I had wish my husband was there with me at that very moment.  He was working and would be meeting me there shortly after the meeting started.  The chairs were set up in a circle.  And as the time passed, more and more people came.  They kept having to add chairs to the circle, and it grew larger and larger.  When it was all said and done, their were just shy of 30 people there.  I was shocked by the number. 

I was so surprised and impressed by the men in the group.  I expected the woman to talk and to be raw with emotion.  I also expected to see women with strength, hope and even perhaps some clarity.  But, the men, these big strong men, were just as raw and just as strong.  They didn't sit there just handing tissues to their wives, they talked. They had something to say and add to the group and the process. I was amazed.  By this time, Thad had joined the group and I was so relieved there was something of substance for him too.  People he can identify with on his level, from his perspective.  I often feel like he is lost in this process and I know he feels that way too.  People forget he is a grieving parent too.  He lost Gabriella too.  He is hurting too. This group of men brought me some hope that my husband would find the support he needs in the way that he needs it.

The stories I heard were brought by a range of emotions.  The stories ranged from early term miscarriages to losing a baby 3 weeks after birth, after a battle in the NICU.  Some people I just wanted to yell at, shut up and cut it out, you don't have it so bad.  Having suffered two miscarriages myself, I knew that wasn't fair.  Their pain was just as real as mine, but at the time that is how I felt.  Then on the other side of the spectrum, I heard stories that make me feel like, wow I got lucky.  They made me appreciate the blessing and gift God gave to me, by letting my daughter slip away with no pain, by sparing me the heartache of watching her fight for her life only to suffer the same inevitable fate she had succumbed to anyhow.  Like I said, a range of emotions.  But, still only a few spare tears fell from my face.  Many of the women admitted that they cry everyday, some even multiple times a day; even the women who were a year plus in.

I listened and listened.  My original intent was to just sit and listen this first time.  I haven't planned on talking. I wanted to see where everyone was at and if I would fit in.  About half way into it, I wasn't feeling like I wasn't like this people, even though I could identify with their pain.  I thought, here are a bunch of people just rehashing and tearing open their wounds, and for what? I was thinking, why would you come every month just to make yourself cry and hear these stories.  I don't cry everyday, I haven't for a while and I am still so fresh into it.  What is wrong with me? At first I thought, what is wrong with them? And as I heard the same thing over and over again, I really thought what is wrong with me?  I had to say something. That was what I was there for, to find comfort and commonality.  I thought if I don't say anything and walk away feeling 'different' I will have defeated the purpose of coming at all.  I have to give it a fair shot.  And so I spoke.

I didn't know where to begin. I didn't know what to say, so I simply started with my name.  I went on to say, what my losses where and how I could identify with people and then I went on the say, I don't cry. I am functional. What is wrong with me? I wanted to know, did they start off like me? Were the next few months going to become harder and more unbearable? Was I going to get to a point where I did cry everyday and go to the cemetery weekly? While no one there said they were 'like' me, they did assure me, I was normal.  And while I knew grieving is different in everyone, it was so nice to hear it from a group of people who knew my grief.  I started to come around and really start to see that I could not only get something from this group, but, maybe I could add something too. 

I left that evening feeling a sense of hope. I left thinking, 'I want to go back.' My attitude changed from thinking these people are nuts for reliving their pain every month, to feel I found some sort of a home, a safe place.  A place I could come to and express my frustration and sadness and ask the hard questions.  There are so many questions and thoughts I have on a regular basis that I don't expect anyone who is not in my situation to be able to imagine answering.  Here is a place where not only can they image it, they lived it, they are living it.  I found some reassurance.  I needed that.

I am now in a position to reflect on what I am going to take away from the meeting.  I am confident I will find somethings that will help to carry through to the next meeting.  I am hopeful I will be able to embrace my pain and accept myself for who I am and how I handle things.  While meeting these faces of sorrow, as I call them, was at first an experience I was anxious about, I know feel the comfort of knowing I am not alone; not because that is what people tell me, but because that is what I have experienced first hand.  I plan to go back next month, but, if I never go back, I will always feel good about having gone and proud of myself (and my husband) for taking a chance.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Bereavement Group

Tonight I will attend my first bereavement group for parents who have suffered an infancy loss.  I still can't believe I am part of that group of parents.  I have been feeling pretty good today, so I am nervous.  I am not sure what to expect.  I don't even necessarily feel like I 'need' support today.  I am worried this may set me back, even if just for tonight.  The group only meets once a month, so I feel compelled to go and get this started.  I feel like I have been put on a road I never intended to travel and I have just been sitting there idling.  I feel by going to this meeting I am beginning to travel this road.  I am hoping it is road on the way to healing.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Autopsy

Well, after 6 long weeks of waiting, I am sad to say we know nothing new.  The gambit of tests they ran on the placenta and all the cultures from the autopsy are negative. Nothing from the gross autopsy either.  This leaves us with the wonder of could it have been a cord accident? A cord accident is when the baby (or in medical terms, the fetus) some how pinches off the flow of blood through the cord, thus depriving itself from oxygen. The result is death.  Seriously, I am left to say 'WTF'.... really now, it is 2011.  How do perfectly healthy babies die in the womb from some thing so simple? With all of the technology available is there no way to predict or prevent if a baby will have a cord accident??? I am so angry at the thought that Gabriella suffocated herself, again, 'WTF'!!! 

I still can not believe this is my life. I can't believe I had to sit in a doctor's office to review the results of my daughter's autopsy.  I feel like I am living someone else's life, some one less fortunate than I.  There are so many times that I feel like I am having an outer body experience. Like I am watching a movie of myself.  I felt this the most at her wake and funeral.  I was following me.  I was there, physically, but some how I was removed from myself and seeing all that was happening as though I was a spirit following myself around.  I, my spirit body, was never far from my physical body, but I was I not in there. I felt the same way reviewing these results.  Who am I? When I experience this state of being, I think, "who am I?" I don't even feel like I know the person I am watching.  I can see how some people under tremendous pressure and stress could experience having multiply personalities.  The only difference is I am aware of the two self's I am experiencing at the same time.  Talk about a trip.  Of course, when I talk to people about what I am experiencing, I am told it is 'normal'.  There it is again that word 'normal'. Seems like nothing when it comes to grief is abnormal, aside from thoughts of hurting yourself or others.  Luckily, I have none of those feelings.  Quite honestly, I don't have room for any more emotions than I currently have. My plate is full.

I can't begin to describe what it is like to not know the cause of the death of your child.  I think sometimes not knowing is a mercy from God.  Would knowing be worse? What if it was a bacteria from something I ate? How would I have felt then? Would knowing in that case cause me more comfort or more pain?  I don't know if I could handle anymore pain.  That is why I think God is merciful. 

Nonetheless, it is what it is, Gabriella is gone.  Of course, now the gambit of tests is turned to me.  I am going for a special test where apparently they are going to draw 17 vials of blood. 17!!! They told me to eat before hand and have someone take me because I may not be able to drive home.  Seriously? Yes, in deed. I am now forced to become a human pin cushion, in the hopes that I will never have to lose another baby again. 

When I was first told that her heart had stopped beating, along with being shocked and sad, I was terrified.  I thought, 'how am I ever going to be able to do this again?'  Getting through the first trimester is hard enough.  And coming from a background of two miscarriages, I am especially nervous.  Now, I'm going to have to get through an entire pregnancy knowing that at any moment I could lose the baby. The mere thought of this is enough to throw me into an anxiety attack.  I can't begin to imagine how I will cope when I am living it.  I often think, ignorance is indeed, bliss.  I was so blissfully ignorant to all of these new found realities I have come to know as my life.  It was so much easier to believe I was a sympathetic person, rather than having to walk in the shoes of the people I myself  'pitied'.  I see the world through a new set of eyes now.  I see how delicate life is and how in an instant it can be taken. I know how quickly your life can be changed forever. How all the years of developing into who we become can be changed.  I don't know if I will ever be the same.  I don't know if I ever want to be the same.

Self Doubt

I often wonder if there was anything I could have done differently that would have changed the outcome of Gabriella's fate.  What if I took better care of myself? What if I was nicer to people? What if I was more insistent with my doctor? What if I had asked different questions? What if, what if, what if? My logical side tells me that self doubt and 'what ifs' are just a stupid waste of time.  But, my heart, my sorrow, can't help but wonder.

Throughout the day, I find myself doing the very thing I don't want to do, thinking.  I can't even imagine how many hours I spend day-dreaming about Gabriella.  From what ifs, to reliving those moments that have changed my life forever, to what would I be doing now if she was here... But, no amount of day-dreaming is making a difference, she is gone, I am sad.  I think the vail of numbness is starting to lift.  I have been tearing up more and more.  The past few weeks I have found it hard, sometimes impossible to cry.  During those times I feel so helpless and frustrated.  I almost feel guilty when I am able to talk to someone about her and feel my face being almost indifferent.  I feel like stone.  Almost like I am reporting something as matter of fact as the weather.  But do not be fooled, I am not stone and I am not indifferent.

Well, if it is a vail of numbness that has been upon me this past 6 weeks, it leaves me to wonder, what is next? How bad is the pain to come? I am about to return to my doctor for my 6 week postpartum check up. I am feeling such anxiety about this milestone.  I don't know if it is external pressure or internal pressure, that leaves me with the feeling that if I am healed physically, then I may be expected to be healed emotionally.  As my physical healing comes to completion, I have an unnerving suspicion that the emotional journey may just be beginning.  Soon, I will be able to return to my normal activities, thus returning to my 'normal' routine.  How will I handle this? Soon I will be alone.  My mother will return to Florida, my husband is back at school full-time and working, it will be me and Dominic.  I am so worried that I fall to pieces.  Yet, as concerned as I am, I know I need to be 'normal' again. I keep reminding myself, if I fall, there will be people to help me. If I fall, I can call out for help.  I don't need someone with me 24 hours a day in order to cope... or do I? I am a survivor, I know I can do it, but again, what if?