Wednesday, May 23, 2012

TV Hitting Close To Home

Since I went back to work (over a month ago, and I’m long overdue for a post on that – I will do it soon!), my PVR has been constantly clogged with my favourite TV shows.  Most nights I’m lucky to be awake at 9:30pm because my days are so hectic.  Hubby has been out the last few nights so I’ve been able to catch up on one of my favourites, Private Practice.  I had 5 episodes taped, which is a lot to watch!  Where I left off a few weeks ago was Emilia finding out she was pregnant but resisting having any tests or ultrasounds done.

So needless to say I was blindsided when I started watching last night only to discover that her baby doesn’t have a brain, she’s past the point of termination and needs to carry a baby that’s going to die to term.  It was like someone kicked me in the chest.  I have to say that the writers have done an amazing job of capturing the emotions one goes through when they find out the child they are carrying will not survive.  The sadness, anger, frustration and eventual numbness.  The desire to just hide from everyone who is happy because it’s too painful. 

I got halfway through the next episode where she decided to stay as healthy as possible so her baby would grow strong and she could donate its organs after birth.  It made me stop and wonder.  If I had carried Olivia to term, could I have done the same and saved the life of another baby?  Or would she have even made it to term?  I was induced at 27 weeks after knowing something was wrong for nearly a month.  That was hands down the worst month of my life.  No one understood how I was feeling, it was like everyone around me was exceptionally happy and I was carrying around a sadness that pressed down on me like a vice.  Every kick and movement was a painful reminder that our time was coming to an end.  I can’t imagine carrying her for another 13 weeks knowing she was going to die. 

I’m sure the remaining 4.5 episodes will only get harder to watch.  The upside is that the public gets a tiny glimpse into what it’s like to lose a child.  If anything, I hope people realize that it’s awful, there’s nothing you can say to make the mother feel better, and the only thing you can do to help is to just be there to listen and provide support.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I am a survivor

When Olivia died, I sunk into a very dark place I never thought I'd escape. The last two years have been a roller coaster of emotions and events, and somehow I'm still standing strong. I'm still not sure how.

I reconnected with a work friend last week I hadn't seen in over a year, and learned that she lost he 14 year old son last year to cancer. I offered my condolences and a hug, and before my eyes I saw her very fresh wound tear open. Her pain is so raw that it made my heart ache for her. I know how much it hurts to lose a child you never met, I can't imagine the ache of losing someone who was part of your life for so long.

We shared our stories (she never knew exactly what happened to me), shed some tears, and parted knowing there's one more person out there who "gets it".

I feel like my community of moms who have lost children continues to expand. I wish the opposite would happen, no one deserves to go through this.