Guilt

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

There's been so much floating around in my head in recent days. So many things I've wanted to say but havent been able to because there hasnt been time to sit and just let things out.

I feel... I dont even know how to express how I feel. It may sound crazy. I dont know...

Am I a success story? In the IF and loss community, what makes that? Is it the BFP? Getting out of the 1st Trimester? Passing the milestones of when your previous babies were miscarried or died? Is it bringing home a baby from the hospital or celebrating the babies 2nd birthday, when the risk of SIDS is so far gone that you stop worrying? Is it when they graduate high school? Get married? Is there a safe time that we are considered "successful" in pregnancy and childbearing?

I dont feel like a success story. I tell myself that maybe had I gone full term I might be able to consider everything a success, even with the bedrest, etc. But did I succeed? I dont feel that way. I feel like I was several weeks shy of it. Which makes no sense, since we all know that full term doesnt equal happy ending. Hell, bringing baby home doesnt equal it either.

So, is this a success story because Bobby and Maya are alive and doing well, in spite of their prematurity?

And that brings me to the guilt... And not the guilt of not holding them in long enough but the guilt I feel in the Community. This may make no sense at all, but I cant help but look at other "just shy of 28w" twin mommies who lost one of their babies... And I am so heartbroken. This is true of all of the blogs I follow where I passed by the time that babies were delivered. I remember feeling the pang of sadness when blog and IRL friends passed by 16w... 17w... 18w... There was joy that they were beyond that but it also hurt. And so I wonder: when I marked each day off the calendar and passed by each week, who was reading who felt joy that we were another day closer but felt that stab in their chest because I was farther along in pregnancy than they were when their baby/babies were born? Who reads the NICU updates and, once a certain day passes, is both happy because Bobby and Maya are doing well, but said because their baby died in the NICU on day X?

I feel guilty for bringing pain. I know there is so much more joy in how Bobby and Maya are doing, but I also feel a stab when I write, wondering who is reading and if it hurts. I know that we read the blogs of others who have lost and that it rekindles our hurts, but in that, we support one another and help each other through the rough times. But our pain in still there and, especially when rekindled, burns brighter... Hurts a little more... Let's us know it will always be there with us...

***

Last night was a bad belly night. In the morning, I did some very light housekeeping. (VERY light, I swear. I made the bed and sorted mail. Nothing major. I did walk back and forth quite a bit but that is "good" for me.) I was tired when I got back from the hospital and lunch, so after pumping, I broke my new afternoon rule of no sleeping and took a nap. It was lovely. I know that I need to get my days and nights back on track, but man, I miss those afternoon naps. Given, my day was pretty funny: pump, shower, hospital, Maya's care, pump, Bobby's care, lunch, home, pump, nap, pump, dinner, hospital, Maya's care/holding, Bobby's care/holding, home, pump, sleep. (and then wake this morning and start with pumping!). Not a whole lot else going on! But that is A-OK with me. They are growing and that is so important. But, last night, I started to feel it. I was aching a little when we got to the hospital. I sat down during Maya's care and, since Peter was holding her, I sat next to them. Then, I went and helped with Bobby's care, but needed to sit down afterwards and have his nurse bring him to me. (We are now allowed to pick them up ourselves but because i need both hands to sit down, I have been asking the nurses to continue bringing them to me). Peter sat next to me, and we had a wonderful hour of holdings, even though I really started to ache at the end. By the time we were leaving the NICU, I was really feeling it. I hadnt taken anything all day and was really hoping I was pretty much weaned off the drugs. But, I was in serious pain by the time I got in the car. Eventually, I fell asleep and Peter helped get me inside once we got home. After pumping, he gave me some pain meds and helped get me situated in bed, where I very quickly fell asleep.

I feel better this morning. There is still just so much healing to do. It's hard to be gentle on yourself when you feel like you should be healed already. Peter and Sarah both tell me that it's abdominal surgery and I cant expect to just go back to normal in 2 weeks. Online, it talks about months to heal fully. I think that once the "ridge" has healed and I dont feel like I have the Grand Canyon around my incision mark, I will feel better. Until then, the ice packs and I are practically married...

The NICU nurses think I'm healing faster than average and that I am more mobile because of my history of yoga. I told them that I was not in great shape prior to this pregnancy, but they say that there is a difference. So perhaps they are right. I'll blame this "fast" recovery on yoga.

The babies... No post would be complete without mentioning them. There is no pain in my belly that cant disappear when holding them close. Peter asked last night if I wanted to put him away early because I was uncomfortable. Never! It's well worth it.

Oct 5th is the NICU fundraising dinner. We bought tickets to go. There is a golf thing (which we arent going to since neither of us golf) and then dinner and a silent auction. It will rearrange when we see the babies but we felt it was important to donate and to go.

I guess that is all for now. I plan on updating pics to the photo blog soon. I know I'm a tad behind...

Bobby, 9/18, watching Grandma and Grandpa

Maya, 9/18, my favorite of her thus far

22 comments:

Krystal said...

NEVER FEEL GUILTY.

Life is to short to burden yourself with those feelings.

Feel blessed that you are here and now, and right now, you have 2 very sweet little babies, and they have brothers and sisters that are in heaven watching over them. Keeping them safe and you safe.

A n T said...

Michele,

You have no reason to feel guilty. Your story is a story of inspiration to other mothers. You have angels in heaven and it was your time to have angels on earth. It is truly a blessings and others who thought they would never make it pass a certain day can now read your blog and be encouraged that maybe they too can make it pass that precious viability point.

Donna said...

You really are a success story. You have two beautiful babies who are thriving. And through everything you were an inspiration to all of us in this babyloss community. You had your ups and downs - but you always had faith.

There is always some degree of guilt. But those of us who really care and support each other can feel those pangs of envy that you mention - but we can overcome them - to be there for the happy times that others deserve to celebrate too. I've felt those pricks and stabs but that's part of learing to live with a loss.

I'm glad you are healing quickly and I hope you can be completely pain free soon! Try not to push yourself to hard. You need some TLC too!

Anonymous said...

Oh they are so precious and seem to be getting stronger each day-I think that bobby looks like peter so far..I think you are sweet to care about other peoples feelings the way you do,as for me I read your post and am so happy for you and know that you have face so much to get to this point and you give me hope for my future..

Anonymous said...

I guess there is 'survivors' guilt but Michele you have made me so happy (and I am sure others too)just thinking of the love you have for Alexander, Sophie and Nicholas and also the way Bobby and Maya are doing so well. I treasure the prayer card you sent me and the love it represents. God has given you 2 beautiful babies. I know it hurts to see others lose babies but you can pray for them as others have prayed for you. God gives us comfort as we walk thru the hard times and you can pray for comfort for them. Love, Anne

Catherine W said...

I wish I could take those feelings of guilt away from you my dear. I agree with all the previous commentators, you are an inspiration. xo

Jessica said...

Michele, don't feel guilty. This is your blog and you write what you need to write. If an update is too painful for someone, they have the option of whether or not to follow your blog or they can decide to not read for that day. You have been through so much that you deserve all the happiness that Bobby and Maya are bringing you. *hugs*

Michelle said...

Wow your babies are gorgeous! Bobby looks so much like your husband with his prominent dark hair. And Maya's so beautiful too.

Jenni said...

Oh Michele, don't ever feel guilty. I can tell you that I always wondered the same thing. I didn't know when was time to call it a victory. I feel that everyday is a victory with Jess and you should feel that way too. I was looking at the pictures and OMG at Maya's hair. That is a head FULL of blonde hair. I was wondering who in the family is so fair as you and DH have dark hair. Oh How they are so beautiful. I can see so much growth in them already. Still praying for you and yours.

AKD said...

You are such a wonderful person for even thinking of these things. Only someone who has been through the hope and the sadness, the loss and the love can be mindful of these things.

Mrs. Cline said...

Michele,

I am so sorry that I've missed the past week. I don't have a good excuse, other than lack of internet time, but I'm so sorry I missed the birth post of your BEAUTIFUL babies!

(you have beautiful babies! This is so amazing!)

I am so happy for you and so excited for you and crying such tears of joy for Maya and Bobby.

Lots of love to you, sweet girl.

Natalie

Leah said...

The babies look GREAT. They are getting nice and plump. YAY YAY YAY. :-D

And I agree with the other comments. . . There is no reason to feel guilty. We all deal with pain in our lives, but the wonderful thing is that we're able to deal with our own pain and still rejoice in other people's successes. I want nothing more than for your beautiful children to continue to grow and prosper. You deserve that. :-D

Kandi Ann said...

I haven't read all yet, And I CAN NOT WAIT TO READ ON THE BABIES. YOUR BABIES.MY BABIES. THE INTERNETS BABIES, Bobby & Maya!!

I have read Peter and your Story and your faith in our creator. I hold no ill because your holding live babies. I came here and Prayed that you would get live take home babies that were problem free and I Prayed for my life that this would happen for you.

And now the tears start, because I don't know if you have thought of this or not, though I am sure you have a zillion times, as I did when I was older, and found out what the f a cerclage was.

My Two sets of Doubles and many single losses, because until the end of my journey with the PCOS, Endo et I didn't know I had a true IC. A simple little stitch and I may have a baby or two here. And every time a new year comes I picture what life would have been like with them and how this kid is the same age (God has blessed me as the Bible said as being Mother of the town uh or something like that.)as Amanda, Ozzy & Care Bear and their wee one, Timmy, ET ET. All the kids in this town and my Ozzy & CareBear who is in Texas. My "not my blood" adopted kids. I feel I did a good job with the kids God placed in my life but I do believe having Angel Babies to look forward to is what gets me through sometimes that after this life it will indeed be better. All this to say, Please Michele don't allow yourself to feel guilty about what you were blessed with. You are truly Gods children in every sense of the word and you really did get two Miracle Babies. I scream here on my couch in excitement to hear how well they are doing.

Everyone should just simply be so happy for you. You have a specific issue that I understand. And I know when you look at sweet Sophia, Alex and Nick or even Bobby and Maya that nagging thought isn't far from you and probably cripples you as it did me, What if someone told me about the stitch before? And with that (I am in the twenties, my kids would be in their twenties. Its a crazy thought that comes up a lot, It never goes away) I know you suffer silently and I wish only the very best for your two Miracles. I don't want to see one road block for you all. You have had a mountain already to climb. Try to enjoy the view as hard as I know its gotta be. I love you my new friend and your family. Keep on being beautiful and know you have many soul sisters who understand. xoxo, Kandi Ann

WHOA DUDE. My captcha is heellyed (HEALED) neat!

Heather said...

I wish I knew what to say to help you not feel guilty. I do understand - I have felt it that way about various things in my life. I remember feeling it when my baby was doing so well in utero for having no fluid, but other babies in similar scenarios were losing their babies along the way. If Madelyn had lived, I know I would feel guilty having to go back and tell others who had lost their babies. So I can sort of understand how you must feel now. And while it can be hard to see other babies so soon after a loss, I don't think anyone can deny you deserve this - you have been through so much. And you are so supportive and caring - no one could be anything but happy for you. I know that I am. :)

Tash said...

What everyone else said. Never apologize for having your life. You may of course take time to be thankful and grateful, and other people's stories may enhance those feelings. But no sorry's. Sorry!

They're really lovely.

Barefoot said...

I'm so very behind from being out of town, but I just wanted to say I'm so glad to hear that things are going well with the babes. They are both beautiful. :)

Ms. J said...

I feel guilty for being an Urban Myth. I feel guilty for being a "cheat" or disloyal to the adoptive community. I feel guilty for the slew of comments and inquiries (more than we already get) that Lil Pumpkin will be exposed to because of this pending child inside me.

Now, you will tell me to not to feel guilty, and I will tell you the same, and we can both cross each other out, eh?!

I love these new photos, with their sweet eyes open!!!

P.S. Instead of feeling guilty, I think you should try and re-frame it as being an inspiration to those we have lost babies, and ache to try again. You certainly have earned your stripes, honey. I am sorry you have had to go through so much pain and loss though, to get to this point :o(

Michelle said...

You DEFINITELY are a success story. I understand your feelings and I wish there was something that could help with that. You are blessed and I know you know that as well. It is amazing that with everything you have going on and everything you have to think about you still are thinking of every one else. I think the guilt is part of the whole IF process but you deserve your happiness...you deserve your beautiful babies and I am so so happy for your success. It gives me hope!

Just Breathe said...

They are just beautiful. Sorry about the pain but it sounds like your doing pretty well. It is major surgery, it takes time to heal. I am sorry about the guilt. Obviously you know what it's like to read about the success stories when yours hadn't gone that way. I get that but also didn't the success stories, even if you wished they were yours, give you hope that your day would come? Look what you have been through, look at the babies you lost, it's your time to shine. Take what God has given you and say Thank You.

Missing Kasey said...

You should not feel guilty! You have your babies in heaven and now on earth. ((hugs)) Thinking of you

Inanna said...

You know, we feel what we feel... it comes in waves, ebb and flow... guilt, remorse, sadness, joy, gratitude, love... it's all there...

They are so beautiful, mama. I just look at them and smile and smile and smile... :)

Justina said...

I think all the other ladies summed it up so well. You are a success story - even more so because you've gone through the pain and heartache - and have survived it. Your little babies are proof of that. I think most of us are so hard on ourselves and don't recogize all that we have accomplished. You've had your share of pain, so I am SO happy that you're finally able to experience some joy and happiness. You are an inspiration to me!