Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Raw Emotions of Losing a Baby.

The night I came home from the hospital was initially full of joy and hugs and little ones happy to try to return to normalcy with Mommy home.  But that didn't last long.

I was so grateful that we had been blessed with a meal that night because I was too weak and exhausted to really even stand for very long.  As we sat down to eat, that's when Isabel just starts pouring emotion from her seven year old little heart.  "Why would God give us the joy of a baby only to take it away!?"  From her tiny little frame came this desperate voice, almost shaking her fist at God as she threw her arms up in the air.  I held her close and tried to explain that we can't understand some things this side of heaven, but we can think about Jesus' suffering and do our best to unite our suffering with His. 

My little Isabel,....way too experienced at losing siblings.

That night as I sat on the couch with the kids watching a children's show before bed, Rob walks in from locking up the chickens in their coop and hands me a note.

Something killed Wynona and I can't find Dora.

Our baby chickens...

My mind started reeling, but I sat perfectly still.  I couldn't say anything.  We couldn't tell Isabel yet.
It was too much.  Too much loss for one day.

The next morning I got up early and went out to look around the coop for signs.  I saw the black and white explosion of feathers near the tractor shed that had come from Wynona.  I half-hoped to see Dora come flying down from a tree, waiting to be let in with the other chickens....until I looked out into the field and saw the mass of reddish-brown feathers that had been Dora's.  I stumbled back inside, numb, angry, sick to my stomach.  And I sat on our garage steps and cried like a baby. 

I cried for two stupid chickens.  And for our dead baby.

I had held it together very well at the hospital and I was literally full of wonder and awe at the delivery- I cried with joy and relief at answered prayers then.  But on my garage steps I sobbed for the loss of it all.  The loss of another baby we will not get to know.  The loss of sibling joy over a new addition to the family.  Memories unmade and already lost.  It was cruel to lose a baby.  I went inside and told Isabel what had happened.

The day continued without much incident from there until just before dinner time.  Ian came into the house grumpy and I thought I had gotten him settled down until I saw him intentionally smash the exersaucer down  on Caroline's hands.  All of the emotions that had been building inside me exploded out of me; directed in deep, deep anger and rage at this little three year old.  He was in tears and I cried and apologized to my shocked husband.  My heart was pounding out of my chest and my pulse was 125bpm.  I excused myself to calm down.  Then I apologized to Ian and of course, he looked up with his giant blue eyes and forgave me.

I was lying in bed that night trying to figure out how to accept this cross better.  Surely all these emotions come with grief and loss, but I'm not carrying my cross well if I am sinning by screaming at my 3 year old.  I begged God to help me do better.  What can I offer up if I keep making a mess of the cross You've given me??  I have to keep looking for the gifts, the blessings in this thick muddy mess of loss.


Lucky as Sunshine said...

Sorry for your loss(es). I pray that the days get easier, and that you find the coping mechanisms that are right for your family. I know with my most recent loss. Some days, I just cried and it made it feel better. Continued prayers for you & your family.

Kandice said...

I just want you to know that I have and will continue to pray for you and your family. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Suzanne said...

Oh Angela..I am sorry. Wish I could say the right thing to make your pain go away. Like you said to Isabel, there's no way to know the WHY on this side of heaven. Just take a day at a time. Am thinking and praying for you every day.

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

Continuing to pray for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Praying for you--and your dear children, too, especially Isabel. With a daughter her age myself, I can imagine how hard it must be.

WheelbarrowRider said...

Your oldest sounds my oldest. So sweet and sensitive and smart enough to ask the adult questions. Please, Angela, be gentle on yourself. You are not the type that will typically scream at your kids, but others scream for far less and little people are forgiving people. It's okay for them to see their mama make a mistake. Mine see mistakes daily. They see me apologize and try again. i am glad you were surrounded by grace during the delivery etc, and I know it continues. It's going to be hard as realizations hit over the next days and weeks and months because it all just flew by so quickly. you need time to process, to heal. We will keep praying for you. So hard to lose so many, and especially given your particular circumstances. Hugs and prayers to you. i think you are doing amazingly. Wish I was closer to watch your littles and bring you a meal.

Sew said...

I'm so very sorry................

Anonymous said...

When I was 16 my 20 year old brother died two weeks after being diagnosed with leukemia. Isabel's question was mine. Why God? Why would you give him to us to love, only to take him away? God answered me. After I wept for a month and asked this question over and over, God said this to me; "The measure of your grief is the measure of your love." I was already a Roman Catholic, but this was the FIRST time I ever "heard" God's message in my heart. I KNEW this was from God. And my whole life changed, because I knew I would see my brother again, and his being gone, though it hurt, was like he was in China, and though I couldn't speak to him or write to him, someday I would see him again. I was filled with the joy of Easter.
I suggest you do what I did. Throw yourself on the mercy of God for consolation. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be consoled."
I am praying for you and your family. God Bless. ~ Bonnie
P.S. Your "losing it" is so normal, because sometimes its the small losses (the chickens) that cut the sharpest.

K said...

Oh I am praying for all of you. My own children have had their share of loss and my oldest daughter, just 9, often asks me hard questions that break my heart. Just know of our prayers on your behalf as you grieve.

Suzanne said...

Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven." Praying for you Angela.

Anonymous said...

I was alerted to your blog from another blog I follow, and I just wanted to say I am so sorry for your loss, and your earlier loss as well. I am currently experiencing infertility while trying for our second, and the idea of getting pregnant only to learn your little one is unhealthy and cannot survive is just devastating. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you process and grieve for your loss.

Tara Brelinsky said...

Oh Angela, I wish I could hug you right now. I don't know if I ever told you, but I thought of you soooo many times during those two looonnnggg years of back-to-back losses. I will admit that I threw my hands up a number of times and once I even threw myself down on my laundry room floor and yelled out at God like a tantruming child. I got sad, I got mad, I got depressed, I wanted to quit it all. Then I would remember you and your courage and grace. I would remember your faith inspite of the crosses and I would remember the promise of joy to come (eventually). After the babies, one of our dogs got hit and killed by a car and then our chickens became ill and started dying one by one. I was overwhelmed and couldn't understand why God would ask this much of one family. But then I thought of you and remember we were not alone. You are not messing anything up. Think of Peter who denied Jesus. He was human and Jesus fully understood that human frailty. Fr. Meares advised me to read the Sabat Mater when I was struggling. Give it all to your Mother Mary, every bit of it (a thousand times if necessary) and she will wrap her mantle around you and keep you close.

You are in all of our prayers. Tell Isabel she is welcome to share her thoughts with my girls when she sees them, they will understand her questions and sorrow.

Much love from one mother's heart to another,

Abigail said...

Right with you in sympathy and love. My 10 year old asked heartbreaking questions after the death of her baby brother this Fall.

You are doing great! It's okay to fall apart. It's okay to sin. The measure of a just man isn't that he never falls, its that he gets up afterwards.

I know that it's a special heartbreak to be missing a baby terribly and then find yourself short-tempered with her siblings. Grief is horrible. I went the extra measure in sin past you and got short-tempered with my husband in the weeks our son's funeral. How ironic, right?

You will get yourself back. You will heal. These are cumulative losses (loss of many babies during pregnancy and in still birth). It hurts.

Keep talking about your feelings. Find kind ears who will listen without judgment. Go to confession--but seek out even more spiritual direction from wise, trusted sources. Your situation is so rare--but you are NOT ALONE! All of us who are touched by Christ understand. For example, I just had the best chat with a monk the other day. He will never ever face a miscarriage personally, but he so "got me." He understood my interior struggles because he had space in his heart to be compassionate. I've also found support in a grieving parents group at a Protestant Church and a secular 12 step programs. I just showed up for these groups sight unseen b/c I needed support. It's hard to find people who have the interior space to listen to your pain without wanting to "fix it" or down play your pain. However, open-hearted listeners do exist. You don't have to face this overwhelming grief alone.

Hugs and prayers!

Adrianne said...

Angela, Cindi shared your story with me sent me your blog. Thank you so much for sharing yourself with us. Thank you for sharing you raw emotions. I am praying for you and your family. Your story of faith is an amazing example. I am amazed by your continued yes to Our Lord. It is difficult to have the strength to allow God's will to happen in our lives especially when it can and in your case so often does lead to heart ache. Please do be gentle with yourself no matter how good you feel some days grief is at the surface and can come out at any moment. Your whole family is grieving I will be praying for them and have my children who also know loss to pray for them.