Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Walking Wounded

As some of you know, my dad had quadruple bypass surgery yesterday. He made it through ok - he's in a lot of pain but stable in the ICU. He'll be in the hospital for the coming week.

Unfortunately, seeing my Dad in the ICU set off intense flashbacks of Ezra's death. The beeping machines, the IV drips, the blood pressure monitor brought it all back in such an intense way, as if Ezra just died. I started crying and couldn't stop, couldn't breath in fact. I left the ICU with tears streaming down my face, afraid my Dad would notice something amiss. I stayed in the hallway, trying to breath, trying to stop seeing Ezra's lifeless body on the ultrasound screen.

"Your baby has passed away."

Friday was 12 weeks since Ezra left, 12 weeks since the world still seemed like a bright place. 12 weeks since I still had hope, and expectation, and could imagine Ezra's life ahead. All that hope and energy has been replaced by darkness. There isn't very much to look forward to now that I'm a mama without her baby.

We babylost mamas are like the walking wounded. We may appear fine on the outside. I've lost count of how many people have told me "I look good," with a hint of surprise in their voice. But regardless of what I look like, I'm not good, not good at all, whether anyone can see it or not. And I walk through the world, never sure what trauma trigger might be lurking behind the next corner. A pregnant stranger. A newborn baby. A beeping machine.

I have heard people talk about the narcissim of grief, the way grief turns you inward and everything you experience relates back to your loss. I feel guilty that my dad successfully surviving surgery becomes about me, about losing Ezra. I want to be able to be there for my dad, to support my mom, as they were there for me when Ezra died. But I think its unavoidable I'm seeing this all through the lens of losing Ezra. I don't have any other tools for relating to the world right now.


Barbara said...

Healing thoughts for your Dad and for you.


Gal aka SuperMommy said...

It's still so soon, Sarah. Don't be too hard on yourself for feeling all that you are feeling. How could you possibly get close to a hospital and not feel all those feelings, not have all those emotions come to the surface, not have all those experiences brought back as if they just happened. 12 weeks is SUCH a short time, and it is going to take many months before it becomes just a little less raw. You are exactly where you are, where you need to be, and you don't need to apologize for not being anywhere else. Sending you love and hugs from the other coast.

Hope's Mama said...

Firstly, so glad to hear your dad is ok. Secondly, I can only imagine how hard this must have been. I have a close friend due to give birth any day. And I'm happy and excited for her. She tried for many years to get pregnant and is quite a bit older than me, so this baby has been a long time coming. I know how happy she is, but I also know how terrified I made her. I want to go and meet her baby, but I know I just can't. And that makes me sad that some day down the track, when the dust has settled a little, I have rejoined the land of the living and have a family of my own to take care of, I'll always be sad I didn't rejoice in her baby when he/she was first born. She's just one of many, MANY pregnant friends at the moment, too. I bet it is the same for all of us loss Mamas. Difficult situations are just going to keep popping up in front of us. We have to learn when to duck under the waves, or let them crash over us. I think we'll all be doing this for the rest of our lives.

Anonymous said...

i can only imagine...the hospital is filled with everything you went's true that now it's your dad not you but it's so fresh, of course you would get triggered, there's so much trauma there in those beeping machines and iv.

your dad knows you are there for him and love him, i'm sure...

take care of yourself

Anonymous said...

I'm so relieved your Dad is ok. It is true - you are exactly where you need to be. We are not the same people anymore so it is going to take time to get used to this new life. Sending you hugs,