Tuesday, February 23, 2010

grieving mama guilt

I should warn you... this isn't a real feel good kind of post... but I need to unload a couple of things.... this is my place to do that:)

I live with regrets...

I never thought that I would say that, because I am pretty much a very honest, seize the moment kind of person, but when it comes to my loss, I do have regrets. I don't beat myself up about them because I do truly know that I did the best I could at the time. There are so many things I would do differently regarding Samuel. I will share a few with you...

If I could turn back time, I would have had my Doctor induce me a couple of weeks earlier. I had planned on having Samuel at home, but did have a back up doctor that did end up delivering him in the hospital. I was receiving care from both him and my midwife. A couple of weeks before Samuel's due date, the Doctor said, " You look pretty big, we could always induce you." Of course being a natural child birth teacher I didn't want to. Really there was absolutely no reason to... everything was going along perfectly... but now I do regret that. But Greg has told me that if Samuel's days were what they were, he still wouldn't be here... Sigh...

I would NEVER have left the hospital when I did. I delivered Samuel at 9:40 am and left by 2:40. We went straight to the airport to pick up my mother and went home... Why didn't I send someone to get her and bring her to see her grandson. No other family members besides our other children got to see Samuel. In fact only 1 friend got to see him. I regret that sooooo much. I think if others had seen him and held him, they would have had such a different perspective on our loss and grief.

I would also have spent much more time, like days, at the hospital with him. At the time they told me take all the time you need. Honestly, at the time, I thought maybe 5 hours was a long time. Now I know that many of my baby loss friends were able to spend days with their babies. They may seem odd to some, but wow, 5 hours was way, way too short.

I would have taken more pictures... Praise God for Kaycee our Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep photographer and our kids who took pictures... but me the picture taker didn't even pick up the camera... I just wanted to hold him and soak him up...I cherish every photo I have of him, but still wish I had more.

I also would not have left the hospital with out him. I know that might sound crazy, but I wish I would have waited till the funeral home came to get him or that I had taken him there myself. I don't even know if they let you do that. But then I would have KNOWN that his body was cared for properly and with respect. That still bothers me, that we just left him there... ugh...what was I thinking?

I wish I would have taken a picture of his precious little rear end... opened his eyes to see what color they were...I could go on and on.

I know that I was completely in shock, and wasn't at all thinking straight, I just wish someone would have told me some of those things or said something that would have made me think differently at the time. I forgive myself for those things but they do still bother me.

SO THERE ARE JUST A FEW OF MY REGRETS FROM BACK THEN... there are also the regrets I live with now...

Just last week, when I was at MEND, we always at the beginning of the meeting go around the circle and introduce ourselves and share what our loss was. I remember driving out there and thinking so much about Samuel. I had just taken a run before I left for MEND and had some specific thoughts that I will blog about soon. He was on my mind and I was really missing him. Well, when I introduced myself, I said my name, that I had 4 living kids, well really 4 1/2. Then I had to go on to explain Hope as the half. Then I mentioned that I had just had a miscarriage the week before. Then I was done and let the next person share. After the last few gals shared, it totally dawned on me.. "Did I not mention Samuel?" All of these ladies know me, know my story well, have walked this road of grief with me for the past 16 months... they just sort of shook their heads yes, that I hadn't mentioned Samuel. OH MY!!! I just put my head in my hands and cried. What is wrong with me that I would think about him the whole way there and then not mention him. I still think about him all the time and miss him like crazy... How did it slip my mind in that moment?

Then the guilt sets in. It drives me absolutely crazy when others purposely don't mention him because they are uncomfortable with the whole thing... but me fail to mention him at my infant loss support group. These women of course were there for me, they have seen my deep grief and know that just because I didn't mention him in my introduction doesn't mean, "I am over it" or that I miss him any less. I really think all the craziness with Hope and my miscarriage were at the forefront of my mind because these ladies didn't really know about those situations yet... but who knows, another example of how my mind is not what it used to be pre loss.

So that is just one of the crazy things that happen that I regret as I move forward with life... one step at a time, one day at a time. Even though I am in a much better place than I was this time last year... it is such a process, it still affects so much of what I do and think. I know that may be kind of tiring to read about still, for some of you. But this is where I come to unload and experiences like last week need unloading for me.

Ahhhh... that feels much better.

I am so thankful that the Lord knows my heart and my love for Samuel and all my other kids... I am so thankful that there in no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus... He doesn't condemn me for all of those little things that I regret... and I know that through this all He is working a mighty healing journey in my heart. I can feel it, I feel progress. I know I have a long way to go... but each step forward is one more step closer to eternity. Each step is one day closer to meeting my savior face to face and being reunited with my Samuel... each step is another one taken with ,Him, my Jesus, right along side of me, or ahead of me leading the way.... I will leave with one of my all time favorite verses...

Now to Him is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory and power in the church and in Christ Jesus, now and forever! Amen!

I would tell you where it is from, but at the moment I am too lazy to look it up... But no matter where it is from, isn't it an awesome verse? Immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. I don' t know about you but I can imagine some pretty amazing things... but He can do immeasurably more than the best that I can imagine. Now that is awesome.

It is late, I better hit the hay...


Tonya said...

Dear Sweet Sara,

I never tire of hearing what's on your heart. Good or bad, happy or sad. Regrets are so tough to live with. You know my regrets. We all have them I'm pretty sure. You hit the nail on the head when you said you were in shock. I learned that from the letter my support group leader wrote me when I was beating myself up over things with Grady (I think I may email it to you if I can find it). You can't think clearly when you're in shock. You can't make sound decisions that you would make otherwise when things are more clear and calm. But your regrets don't have any correlation to how much you love Samuel. And neither does the fact that you didn't mention him on your initial introduction at MEND. They all knew about him but didn't know about Hope and your miscarriage. I'm praying for you to be a little more gentle on yourself and give yourself some grace, although I know it's not easy AT ALL! Sending you a BIG hug and lots of love and prayers! Hang in there sweet friend!


Karoline said...


You have so much honesty and love to share. I love your writing, the way you share your wisdom so gently and yet profoundly.
It would be wonderful if you could create some sort of pamphlet that the hospitals could give to parents in similar circumstances. List resources (Such as NILMDTS - I volunteer with them regularly) and suggest things that they might regret not doing. Tonya is correct, you can't think clearly when you are in shock. Maybe a pamphlet with a sweet photo of Samuel and your story plus a checklist of things for parents to think about doing to help them create memories of their child, and minimize regrets later on. Of course, you can't think of everything, and things will be forgotten, but at least parents reading the list won' think "oh, I wish someone had told me that". You could maybe even get suggestions from your grief group, simple suggestions (give your baby a bath, make sure you get a picture of his/her sweet bum) to more complex (find out if you can drive your child to the funeral home, stay with them as long as you are able etc). It would be a great thing for OB's and midwives to have as well as the nurses on the delivery floor. I am sure there is something similar out there somewhere, but the information needs to be everywhere! Also, coming from someone who has walked that path, who has been in that room and felt that loss, will be valuable to parents.
Of course, it is easy for me to suggest - I know you have your hands and days very full =)
Please keep sharing, your words are so beautiful.

mom2many said...

I know you feel better when you post these things. I also know that you are not alone in your regrets. How I wish I had fought harder when they told me my baby was gone and no, I couldn't go see him because he was considered a crime scene. I should have found him myself. If I had gotten up earlier...if I hadn't had the door shut...if I had duct taped him into his bed for safety. Well, maybe not that last part, but God's ways are not our ways, they are higher than our ways. We all have regrets. But nobody blames you...the least of all, Samuel. That sweet baby went from the safety of his mother's womb straight into the arms of Jesus. Every mama in your MEND group knew about Samuel...nobody thought any less of you. As a matter of fact, although I will always include Jacob in our "count", I see it as a sign of healing when I talk about my six kids. It's all healing, Sara...praying, praying, praying!!

Beth said...

Love you sis.

stephanie said...

I think we will always have regrets. i have always wished I had changed Tatums diaper, taken more pictures, held her more, taken her to the funeral home. (not sure we could have??)etc....I also have many regrets about the last 2 weeks of my pregnancy and wondered if there is something I could have done. We could have taken 100 pictures, held them for days all of those things but it would never be enough b/c we are their moms and will always wish they were with us still. (you know?) Praise God we will make up for the time lost here on earth for Eternity! Love you, Steph J

Ebe said...

I have big regrets too. I wish I had a do over.

You are a wonderful mommy. You did everything you could...you made good decisions that were based on what God had revealed to you...
and the shock, oh the shock. It hit us all. I wish I had kept Owen overnight. I didn't know I could do that. I like Karoline's advice about the pamphlet.

You're not alone.
Grieving with you, Sara.

love you,

Bethany said...

Thank you