Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Shoulders We Cry On

I am haunted. Haunted by the day I gave birth to a dead baby. Every single night, when I close my eyes, I see the eyes who entered that room. Just their eyes. It's like a really horrible slide show. I see B's eyes. So, so red. So swollen. I see my handsome young Doctor's eyes. So dark brown. So helpless. I see B's cousin's eyes. She was the first one to get there after B that morning. She was so, so sad. I'd never seen her so sad. I see my MIL's eyes. So bewildered. So helpless. I see by best friend's eyes. So strong, so caring. I see my friend N's eyes. She started to walk in the room while I was pushing and I motioned for her to leave. She looked so worried. Her eyes so wide. It was obvious she had rolled out of bed and come straight to the hospital and sped the entire 45 minutes to the hospital. I found out later that she had, and when I had waved her off, she stood outside the door and sobbed.

I'll never forget the hugs each of those people gave me, as I laid in that bed, trying to get my 23 week, 5 day baby out. My mom was en route from Southern California the whole morning, so having all of those people there for support meant the absolute world to me. They cried with me, comforted me and also distracted me enough so that I could make it through. Two of my best friends from childhood had been planning on driving up to visit with me for that weekend. I texted them not to come, and now I kind of wish I would have told them to still come up. It would have been really good to have them there, but I just felt bad having them come up to such a traumatic scene. They were both on pins and needles trying to decide what to do. I found out later my mom had also called and told them she didn't think they should come up. So many people around us, holding us so close that day. I'll never, ever forget that morning in the hospital. Even when I try, not a day goes by that I don't relive that awful slideshow.

Then we were home. And my mother in law and her husband had gone to our house several hours before and cleaned the place from top to bottom. She changed my sheets. She straightened the towels. It felt amazing to come home to. And my best friend stayed. And went and got dinner for everyone. And she distracted me. She let me cry. We went out for breakfast with my mom and B the next morning. I'm so glad she stuck around. Without her the three of us would have never stopped crying.

I try not to be really personal on facebook. I have so many "friends" that I don't really talk to, and don't really want knowing my business, but I just had to announce our loss. I had to get it out there in one fell I posted about losing Bremy.

Then I got emails, texts, facebook comments. From so many. I heard from people I hadn't talked to in ten years. I heard from my college roommate-even though we now rarely speak. And she told me how sorry she was. I got flowers from B's boss, from a girl I hadn't seen since 11th grade and some friends we just reconnected with. I got a giftcard for a dinner out from a friend I never see. We received the most beautiful flowers from a friend of a friend who had recently had a baby girl. I found that most of those people who really reached out, were moms. Everyone knew I was hurting, but the friends I have who are moms, really knew I was hurting. I had strangers messaging me on facebook, telling me they also went through this, or they also had an incompetent cervix and they shared their stories of grief and shared their stories of success. And I hung on every word. I can't describe the level of comfort each message, each flower, each card meant to me in the weeks following that day. I was so, so weak and broken and knowing that anyone was thinking of me, made me feel less so.

I'm so thankful for every single friend in our lives. It was so hard for me to be so weak and to depend on friends to get me through. I'm much more comfortable at being the shoulder that others cry on. And I could tell some of my friends struggled with how to be there for me, since I'm not usually the type to ask for help or seek comfort. I'm usually the one giving it. But they found a way. It continues to be a struggle for me to really reach out, but I still have friends checking in on me, and just knowing that they understand how hard I'm taking this is bringing me some comfort. I'm so grateful to have so many I can rely on at this point.

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