Wishing you courage

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow'."
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Monday, October 6, 2008

October already, which means the countdown for the first anniversary of Toren's delivery is marching steadily along.

Although I haven't read about this being a normal stage of deadbaby grief, I am in the stage of deep regrets. While completely honoring my choices at the time regarding what to do with his body, how I prepared for his delivery, and how much time I spent holding him afterwards, I so wish I had done things differently. It's been almost a year but the memories are so vivid and feel so near that it seems those moments are just out of reach - like if I could stand taller, stretch from tippy toe to finger tip just centimeters more I could change the past.

If I could re-do it I would spend the 5 days between finding out he was incompatible with life and entering the hospital cherishing our last days together. I would find him a special blanket and toy. I would have a photo taken of my husband and I while I was still pregnant. I would prepare for taking my own photos of him after he was delivered. I would have him cremated privately with the soft items I had given to him and have his remains returned to me. I would spend more time with his body afterwards.

I know I've said all of this before - must rehash, re-discuss, re-wish, over and over right now.

What actually happened - The first day and a half (Wednesday and Thursday) were spent crying, vomiting, and researching bilateral renal agenesis and delivery of mid-gestation fetus's. Then my husband took me to Helen, GA. We spent time together. Walked around, stayed in a beautiful bed and breakfast. Were intimate for the first time in about 6 weeks, because pelvic rest in an effort to prevent a threatened miscarriage was no longer applicable. We came back to town on Sunday and I met with a friend who counseled me regarding our choice - she said I needed to make room for the healthy babies who are coming in the future.

After the horror that the baby will die settled in a bit came the fear of entering the hospital. Fear of pain, fear of delivery - the aspect of pregnancy I hadn't had time to learn about yet. Fear of seeing the baby. So much to be afraid of that there was no time to find things that I wanted to give him, and really at the time I would never have imagined that I would have regretted not handling his body differently.

In retrospect I'm also pleased with how those 5 days were handled. My husband and I were close. It was an important time together. We weren't completely focused on what was upcoming. We were actually in public a lot, walking around, eating in restaurants, so we weren't displaying grief. We looked like a normal couple in love. I had a large tummy for me but did not look pregnant. No one looking at us would have guessed that we were just passing the time until our doomed baby left us.

The point of all that is I made the best possible choices at the time however now I would be greatly comforted to know where his body is. I want to honor Toren appropriately for the anniversary of his delivery. I have some ideas. Do any of you have ideas? What did you do, or what to do plan to do, to honor your lost children and express your love for them on special days?

Other stuff
I've been gardening again and I'll post some photos when all the planting is done. Yesterday was a bad day for one of my cats and my bank account. I don't feel like telling the whole story right now but here is what I told my real life friends through lj:

Picking up the story in the middle of it...

As soon as we got home my neighbor who owns the dogs came over to tell us the dogs were current on their rabies shots and they were just used to having a lot of land to run around on and blah blah blah... but it was very nice for him to check up on the situation.

X-rays showed no broken bones or internal injuries so that is good. But Sammy Kitty cannot move his right hind leg without it trembling and the few attempts he has made to stand made him growl and cry. He won't eat and the vet said the medications should be taken with food to guard against tummy upset but we gave him his pain medication anyway because it was clear he needed it.

A is going to bring the futon mattress down to the living room and at least I will be sleeping with Sammy down there. I don't want to put him anyplace high up in case he tries to walk around and falls to the floor, disoriented by the medication. I'll be working from home tomorrow.

So overall a good prognosis to a tense afternoon of rescuing the bloody kitty from a tree and taking him to the emergency vet, and I am so thankful for that, but it still is just very sad to see him in so much pain.

Sorry for this disjointed and rambling post - I took a Vicodin for back pain from gardening all weekend and I think Vicodin works by numbing your brain rather than the actual point of pain.


Sara said...

Hope Sammy is healed very soon.

Irresponsible dog owners enrage me!

janis said...

urgh, I am sorry to hear about your cat!

((hugs)) about Toren. It is hard, mama... and you did what was best at that time. No matter where his body is now, it was in you- cradled, loved, anticipated, and then birthed... that truly happened, and makes you a mama, Anna.
For what to do to honor him you will know best. I did less than I thought I would. I made a couple of donations, we made a fire and burned him messages; I made him a cake. Just do what feels best to your heart. *hugs*

Meg said...

So sorry about your cat! My puppy has been limping and we can't figure out what's wrong. I'm glad the kitty will be ok.

I don't have any ideas about what you could do for the anniversary. I'm sure whatever you decide will be right. You love him and that's the most important thing,right? By the way, I sent you another card, it should be there soon. Just so you know, the heart on the front is pink because it's your heart.

I think your garden for Toren is a beautiful tribute.

Ya Chun said...

I too regret many things. I wish I had held Serenity again the following day. But who knows, maybe her body would have been too cold or changed in some way that would haunt me. I wish we had taken more pictures, but I never thought the day at the hospital that I would want pictures of my dead baby. We only have pictures of her hands and feet and some of her face but far away. From what I have learned since, yes, I would hav liked more pics.

I guess my way of thinking about it is that none of these things really are what I want- I want her and no amount of holding her or pictures or different way of handling her body or memorializing her can add up to that.

We have a bit of a garden for her, her urn surrounded by photos of our grandparents, and we will burn a candle on Oct 15th and I guess again on her delivery date.

Our hospital said that if we didn't take the remains they would scatter the ashes at a local nature preserve. maybe you can contact someone at the hospital (I'd personally try the chaplain first) and see if your hospital did do something with the ashes. If they don't, maybe it is something you could get started there, as a way to honor Toren...

Zil said...

Toren is a beautful name. I so wish the past could be changed.

You feel free to rehash, re-discuss, and re-wish all you want. That's what a blog is for. And we're here to read and send you our support.