Sunday, September 17, 2006

Survival-Mode Kicks In

Lately, a lot of questions like "what happened to your babies?" have come my way. I'm finding that I have to maintain an air of detachment when I talk about our losses. I make it sound like a story that has happened to someone else. It's what I have to do. It's survival!

Sometimes I allow my mind to wander to how awful this part of our lives has been. At other times, I try to convince myself, that losing three babies wasn't the most horrible thing that could have happend. Like I said, survival-mode kicks in whether it makes sense to others or not.

As I tell others about why I organized our book, Stolen Angels: 25 Stories of Hope after Pregnancy or Infant Loss, I recount the facts but try hard not to allow emotion to creep into my voice. Our story is sad enough without me looking like I want to cry. Sometimes a good cry is in order!

You will also have moments when you just need to get through a painful day. Here our recent situations where it was either do (whatever is necessary to get through the day) or die (trying):

  • Watching families reunite during the deployment ceremonies. Little children waving American flags while frantically searching for daddy. Mothers tending to babies in strollers. Siblings chasing each other around the airplane hangar. Fathers cuddling children. Pregnant women.
  • Recently, I helped a young woman through the painful labor and delivery of her stillborn baby. Detachment was impossible although I couldn't fully "feel" or I would have been curled in a corner somewhere. The crash when I got home was unreal. It reminded me of everything I experienced when Elyana died.
  • Overcoming conversations about kids like the following: Listening to other people jokingly tell me I can have one of their children. Especially if they know of our losses. If they don't know of our losses, it is survival-mode (ALL THE WAY!) when a person tells me "it's good you don't have children ... my goodness don't have any!" Or, the ultimate ... when someone asks if we do have children ... I say no ... then they rattle off back-to-back questions ... "why? Don't you want any?" "How long have you been married anyway?" "Are you trying?" followed by raised eyebrows and a thoughtful hmf sound.
  • Wondering but never knowing when we will have children.

Share your "do or die" moments in the comments section or by e-mail.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think family functions are very hard. Especially when I'm the only one without a kid. It feels impossible to sit in church on Mother's Day or Father's Day. I wonder if someone will call me and remember that I'm still a mom. How long can a person hold their breath before passing out?!