Holding Our Angel

Loving After Loss


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Breathing

Sometimes, just breathing is an accomplishment.

Officially diagnosed with PPD (who’s surprised? Bueller?) and I’m on medications. It will take a few weeks for the meds to take full effect. Kenny is very relieved I’m finally on meds, I think he was starting to feel a little helpless in dealing with my emotions. Can’t say I blame him too much for that, my emotions have been rather intense lately.

Artie wouldn’t take a bottle the last time we tried, so I’m still exclusively breastfeeding. We’re trying a bottle again next week. I think he’ll take it, as I finally got him to accept a pacifier earlier this week (I think it was this week, I have a terrible sense of time right now). I’m really looking forward to Artie using a bottle. I’ll no longer feel trapped at home, like I can’t go too far away in case Artie gets hungry. I do bring him out with me sometimes, but there’s not a lot of places that have convenient nursing areas. The mall and baby stores are just about it. Which really surprised me, considering this is California. 

Artie has been having some reflux. Mostly I feel awful that my baby is in pain and he can’t sleep, though sometimes I feel frustrated at him when we have difficulty putting him to bed. And then the guilt sets in, because I know how much worse it can be and I feel like I should just be grateful he’s alive (which I am!). And then my anxiety kicks in, as I start to imagine Artie dying. Imagine isn’t really the right word though, it’s more like I’m forced to watch a movie of him dying. I can see it happening before me, and I’m helpless to do anything.

A couple of weeks ago, Artie began smiling at us–and not just when he poops. He has such a beautiful smile, I love it. He smiles the most in the mornings, when he gets up for the day. But, like everything else, soon I start to think about how I never got that with Theo. I bet he would have a beautiful smile too, but I can’t say for sure and that kills me.

I think this is what I feel most guilty about–these thoughts of what I’m missing with Theo after everything Artie does. I don’t want to be constantly comparing my kids, and I really don’t want Artie to feel like he’s living in Theo’s shadow. Or that he has to “fix” our grief or be responsible for our happiness. But how can I make sure he doesn’t feel any of that when I’m constantly comparing them?

I found something I think I would like to do with Theo’s clothes. I’m thinking of having a quilt made out of them. I’ve been searching Pinterest for ideas, and I’ve found a few patterns I like. I am so not crafty though–and especially not good at sewing. I think I’m going to see if someone local would be willing to make the quilt for me (for pay of course). I do have some time to find someone-Artie won’t outgrown Theo’s clothes for a few more months at least. Though I’m still unsure how I feel about Artie wearing Theo’s clothes, I at least want that option, hence why I want to wait. 

Artie and I are now officially on Kenny’s insurance (my insurance used to be through my job but it’s considerably cheaper to have the three of us on Kenny’s than to keep us separated now), and Artie saw his new pediatrician today. I was filling out the new patient forms and they asked about siblings. So I wrote Theo’s name and then deceased in paraenthesis right next to it. Though I obviously write that Theo is dead here many times, writing it out in the “real world” was different. I wanted to scratch it out, or more like stab the paper with my pen. I was bracing myself for this part of the form and it was still sucky. 

I’m not sure if I like this pediatrician though. She was very friendly and seems very smart, but I felt rushed through our appointment. Maybe I just got used to getting extra time and attention during my pregnancy, and need to get used to a doctor who is treating us as normal. I don’t know. I wish kenny had been able to come, so I could bounce my impressions off his.  Artie is getting his shots in a couple of weeks, so I’ll see how that appointment goes. 


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Guilt and Answers

The guilt over Theo’s death comes and goes. It’s less now than it was in the beginning, and I’ve gone through various stages of blaming doctors and myself and everything else.

I have mostly come to terms with that Theo was beyond current medical knowledge. I’ve made peace with the fact that we’ll probably never get a definite answer (or rather, we’ll never get an answer we like), and the doctors truly couldn’t have truly done anything to save him.

But the one thing that always sends me into a tailspin is when I am asked if my amniotic fluid was ever leaking.

I am so sure it wasn’t leaking, but there is a small part of me that wonders. (This may get TMI…) At a certain point in the pregnancy, you have a tendency to leak a little urine when you cough or sneeze (or laugh). And I wonder, was I mistaken in thinking this wasn’t amniotic fluid? I was so sure it wasn’t, and it was such a small amount… I never felt like I was regularly leaking anything… But could I have missed leaking fluid? What could/should I have done differently?

The other day I was talking to someone, and they asked if my amniotic fluid ever leaked. And thus began the tailspin that lasted the past couple of days.

It got to the point where I needed to check my medical records again (yep, not the first time I have checked my records for this). All ultrasounds confirmed I had a healthy level of amniotic fluid. And I was checked a couple of times to see if I was leaking amniotic fluid, and those tests were negative.

It’s hard to accept sometimes that there are things we just don’t know. Part of me thinks it would be easier to have a definitive answer to why Theo’s lungs didn’t grow (they are pretty certain it is genetic, but are hesitant to say with 100% certainty), but ultimately I know I wouldn’t be happy with that. If they said Theo’s lungs were definitely caused by X, I would be obsessed with knowing what caused X. And then what caused whatever caused X. And on, and on.

Sometimes crap just happens. Accidents happen. Some things can’t be explained in this world. And it sucks.

People tell me I’ll find the answers to Theo’s lungs when I am in heaven. And I just think, I am not going to care at that point. Because I’ll be with Theo.