Friday, January 1, 2016

A journal of grief and healing Part Three

I think the late Sean Leary said it best, "It’s a long road and happens in tiny little steps at first. You’ll find yourself happy too, but there’s a lot of stuff you’ll have to face before that happens. At this point it’s best to just deal day to day or hour by hour and not think too much about the future. Right now your grief is this giant gaping hole with sharp edges but as you move forward in life the edges soften and other beautiful things start to grow around it. Flowers and trees of experiences. The hole never goes away, but it becomes gentler and sort of a garden in your soul, a place you can visit when you want to be near your love. at first it’s all you can do to deal with your basic needs, and that’s what your best friends are helping you with now. Soon the sadness will come in waves, and you have to hold on through the intense parts, letting them well up inside you, carry you for a bit, then subside. It’s all important stuff to feel. Don’t fight it, but don’t get carried too far.
Just hold on. It gets better and you’re not alone. You’re part of this messed up little club now, and the other members will come to help heal your pain with empathy and promise.
You are going to get through this. Even though this loss will shape who you are forever, you’ll be happy again. You will find peace."

>Andy and I are grieving on different paths. We bicker because we don't know how to help each other. Sometimes one of us doesn't want help or to really talk. How do we remedy this and help but let the process do it's thing? How do we just let each other grieve the way the other needs to grieve but have opposing needs ourselves? 11:32pm.  9.4.14

>Took a long Sunday drive today on a long dirt road. Makes me wonder how she would've done on such a long bumpy ride. Maybe she would've slept, maybe she would've cried the whole time. But I imagine her sitting in the back looking out the window with eyes wide. Seeing all the beautiful trees and clouds and blue sky. I'd look back at her and she'd give me a little grin. I wish I knew what her little grin looked like. 9.14.14. 5:00pm 

>One of my greatest wishes is that I could at least get a glimpse of her and see what's she doing. Like I could just look into heaven from the outside, like looking through a window, to watch her through the glass as she lives her spirit life. 9.16.14.   11:56pm

>"The ache to kiss and hold you is immense today. Your soft cheeks and lips. The sweet smell of your breath. I miss you."  9.28.14   9:28am

>I just had a miscarriage. In my heart, I knew it wasn’t going to last. I knew I was pregnant but Andy and I had no desire to tell anyone. We didn’t even tell our parents that we were pregnant again until I knew for sure that I was miscarrying. I was still so disappointed. Again, I have that same guilt that it was all my fault. Why can’t my body do what it’s supposed to do?

>Indi's giraffe costume mom bought for her went empty today. Hard to watch the cute babies and kids in their costumes and the parents having so much fun dressing up with them. 10.31.14  6:57pm

>It's amazing to me how I pretty much constantly feel stabs to the heart of things that make me think of Indi and the little reminders that she's not here are constant. But somehow I've learned to live with it. I realized that, in a way, I've become numb to it even though the pain is intense, and the stabs are always happening, I've just become used to the intensity and that intensity is normal to me now. 10.31.14. 11:54pm

> just had a sudden peaceful feeling while driving on the freeway by myself with no music, just the quiet, that pregnancy will happen when it happens for me and I don't need to be anxious about it.  I felt a mixture of relief and peace driving alone tonight. All of the sudden, the words that I've hated for the past ten months, "pregnancy will happen when it happens and at the right time for you," finally felt like they resonated with me. I don't know why or how, but I felt peace about it. 8:30 PM  November 17, 2014

>Sometimes I feel like Indi is just a figment of my imagination. Like, she's there, but she's just barely there. I'm her mother and the only place she knew mortal life was inside of me but I can only assume who she is. I don't REALLY know her. Can you tell a baby's personality buy their kicks and hiccups in the womb? Can you tell what kind of person that baby will be simply by instinct? I do think there is some intuition that a mother can have on who their child is while in the womb, but the truth is, you can't have a perfect knowledge of that child without really having met them. I feel like I know who Indi is but I know that I don't really know who she is. I wonder what her voice and her laugh sounds like. Is she silly or sarcastic? Could she have been a wild child, rebellious, or disobedient? Would she just have been average or extraordinary? I think a mixture of both. I wish I knew... 12:01am  12.5.14

>It's strange how for the first month or so, pretty much my every thought and action was consumed by thinking about you, my little babe. And now, I guess that word "consumed" isn't the proper word to use anymore. You're still thought about at least every hour. Some days, hours go by where I'm constantly thinking about you, and other days, I think of you several times an hour and then there's days where I think of you once about every hour. You're always there though, at the back of my mind. Subconsciously You're always on my thoughts. I still think that every morning I think of you as I wake up and I know for sure I think about you every night when I lay my my head down to sleep. 12:04am 12.14.14

>You're getting a baby sibling, Indi! We were dreading this Christmas without you but we found out today that I'm pregnant and somehow this softens that ache that we feel without you on what should've been your first Christmas. I feel more hope than I did with my pregnancy in October. I feel stronger and ready for the road ahead. Can you feel strong and be scared at the same time?  12.23.14

>I still really struggle with feeling like I know you the best out of anyone living on this earth and then other times I feel like I have no concept of who you are and you seem so foreign. I don't know why. 12.23.14

>We should've been stressed this time of year that a ten month old would've been crawling around, trying to rip ornaments and lights off of our Christmas tree. That our ten month old should've been ripping paper off of her first Christmas gifts this morning. The comfort of knowing that I'm pregnant again has helped make this day easier but I still long for you intensely. 12.25.14

>Sometimes it feels like a dream. Like she is a stranger. I used to think that I could reach up into the sky and I could feel her reaching down towards me. I really really felt like she was there, reaching for me too. I don't feel that anymore. 1.20.15

>I saw a picture of you tonight, actually one of my most liked photos on Instagram. A picture of me cradling you in my arms right up to my face and I'm nuzzling you with my nose. I remember how soft your cheeks were. Your cute little bum in those striped pants and your tiny little feet poking out in my old baby socks. You were real. You were right there in my arms, my nose on your cheeks. I started rubbing my nose on the palm of my hand, imagining that it was on your cheeks and that this nose that I have is the same nose that nuzzled your cheeks. I all of the sudden had a newfound appreciation for my nose and the fact that it was up against your cheeks. I should've never washed my nose after nuzzling you, so that I could always know the last place that my nose was, was on your cheeks. I cried and cried for you tonight. 1.20.15   11:56pm

>You and I were so connected for so long. The only mortal existence you know is with me. I feel so completely honored for that. 1.20.15   11:59pm

>I've had two very vivid dreams recently about being pregnant or having my own baby in my arms. The first one was so scary. I was big and round and for some reason every time the baby flipped or moved around I could see the shape of the baby through my skin because the only thing between the baby and me was my skin. I could feel the flips and movements so intensely. Then all of the sudden the movements became more aggressive and hurt me, then the movements stopped completely. And all the fear from before came rushing into me. So scared and nervous and anxious. I didn't know the gender of this baby in my dream.

>The second dream was that my baby was a girl and she was born and she was out me. She must've been somewhat older than a newborn because she was very big and heavy and hard for me to hold. And all I could think of was that I wished that I had one of those fabric baby carriers because my arms were so tired. We were at my grandmas house and there were a lot of people there for some reason.  I also noticed that no one seemed excited to see her or even really noticed she was with me. I remember feeling confused and disappointed. Also, I kind of came out of my dream and was slightly awake and was overcome with the thought that I had left my baby at my grandma's and I had to get up out of bed to go get her because I was aching and longing for her so badly. I don't know why she was there but in my half asleep, half awake stupor I really physically and mentally thought I needed to get out of bed to go get her.  

>It's been a long time since I've had dreams of babies and these recent ones were both not that great. 3:02pm 2.1.15

>We're having a baby boy. I so desperately wanted another girl. Not to replace you, Indi, but because I was so ready for a girl. I had figured our whole life around a little girl. It's hard to switch gears and think of having a boy. I'm very grateful for him, but I haven't connected with him as much yet because I'm so connected to the idea of a girl.

>We cried for you today, Indi. Your dad and I started talking about lullabies and how much we wished we could've sung to you. Andy envisioned watching me rocking you to sleep and listening to me sing. He says he thinks I have a pretty singing voice. We're still excited to be able to sing to your brother when he comes, but singing to a boy is different than singing to a girl. Different, but still good.  11:27pm 3.19.15

>The other day I said something to Andy and called him “Dad.” Although Andy and I are already parents to Indi, we really don’t feel like “mom” and “dad.” Those are names given to individuals who raise and parent a child. It struck me as sounding so strange and something that we are not familiar with. Calling Andy “dad” struck a cord and I realized I would, very soon hopefully, be called “mom.” It became exciting and scary at the same time. A whole new world and life that we really know nothing about. It will be interesting to see how Andy and I take on these new titles. 4.20.15 4:53 pm.

>Sometimes, with this pregnancy, I feel like I'm right back with Indira. It's strange to come back to a place that was so special between the two of us, the bond that only the two of us had together, no one else. The only other time I've known these feelings and body aches and sensations in my belly has been with her. I oftentimes find myself comparing this pregnancy to hers and try to find the differences and similarities. Tonight I struggled and felt almost selfish of the feelings I'm having with this little boy, like these feelings were only meant to be for Indi and no one else. I don't think I've really been able to admit this to myself until tonight, but I think I've also, for a small time or two, wished that this baby inside of me was actually Indi. But in the same moment, I'm excited for this little boy and visions of my life with a boy are becoming more clear and refined in my imagination. Every baby boy I see, I picture him as if he were my son and that Andy and I made him. I feel instant connection and love for the baby. But those times have flitted through my mind that this bond I had with Indi while she was growing inside of me, was for her, and her only. I feel like I'm, in a sense, betraying her with this new baby. "Betraying" is a strong word and I don't know if it's the correct word to describe my feelings but I can't think of anything else to replace it at the moment. It just seems like it should be Indi inside of me, not someone else.

>Andy mentioned tonight, that he missed the wonderful and peaceful feelings that he felt in the hospital after Indi was born. I wonder if that same feeling will be present when baby boy is born? A peaceful, hopeful, and loving feeling. Indira wrapped us up in her warm embrace while we were there in that room. I'm certain she will do it again in that moment when we actually become a family of four. "A family of four" still rocks my world and blows my mind. I WILL have two children. You could maybe even say that I have three children if you count my miscarriage. I'm not sure how miscarriages are viewed in heaven and by Heavenly Father. Will he count those tiny lives to us women who began their creation or will they just be fleeting memories. One of the many questions I want to ask/understand in the next life. I know Indi knows the answer. I wish she could share her eternal knowledge with me. I cried hard from the ache of missing you tonight, indira. I love you so excruciatingly.   4.20.15 11:47pm

>PTSD has hit me pretty hard during this pregnancy. I now know what quickly things can go wrong. I bought a heart monitor. It’s so incredible to be able to hear his heartbeat in my own home but it also scared me to use it because, what if one time when I go to use it, I don’t find a heartbeat? The monitor excites me and scares me at the same time.

>Delivery is going to be so intense. Everything that was supposed to happen with Indi didn’t. It should happen with Coen, too. Hopefully it will be a night and day experience. But I imagine we will mourn Indi all over again. We will finally get a taste of what really should have happened.

>We cried and cried in the delivery room for you, Indi. You should’ve been there. I know you were there, though. I know you helped bring you baby brother into this world and supported dad and I to be able to get through it.

>I never really forget about Indi, but Coen has completely taken over my life that it’s hard to focus on her. But I guess that’s the way it should be. She would be happy for me/us.

>People ask me all the time if Coen is my first. There have been a few times when I’ve said yes, because I don’t want to get into the whole thing with a stranger, but, then I feel completely awful about not talking abou Indi. I’ve committed myself to always say that Coen is my second and will always inform people about Indi and her sweetness. Sometimes it’s very awkward and the stranger has no idea what to say back to me but I’m grateful I’m being true to myself and to Indi.  Life is full of hard things and I can do hard things.

>There’s been a few times that I catch Coen looking up at the ceiling and I find him smiling. I can’t help but think you both are talking to each other. Oh how I wish I could see you be a big sister to Co.  

>It’s very important to me to incorporate Indi into our lives. I want Coen to know her and that she is a part of this family whether she’s here or not.

A journal of grief and healing Part Two

>It seems like there was some some invisible line we crossed when it all of the sudden wasn't hard to be at home by myself any more. I didn't break down into a full on sob every single day and full on sobs just became an occasional thing. Church became ok again. Holding a baby became ok again. People that I ran into stopped asking questions and stopped asking for details. The ache in my heart became a little more tolerable. I can't pinpoint it and I don't know how or why. Part of me thinks it kind of happened when Andy went to the Navajo nation and I realized I did better than I thought I would without him. I do find myself on the verge of tears at least several times a day but for some reason I won't allow myself to go there. Mother's Day was the first time in a while that I really let it all out. 5.21.14   12:18am

>I frequently go back to my posts about Indira and read they comments from friends, family, people I know, and people I don't know at all. It brings me comfort to read their kind, supportive, reassuring, loving words. It encourages me to keep moving forward. We weren't meant to go through this life alone. We were meant to have wonderful, fulfilling relationships so that we can care for each other and support one another in our times of need. 6.8.14   1:08 am

>Talking to Indira and truly, 100% focusing on her in that moment and what she's doing in that exact moment makes me feel close to her. I spoke to her on my way up to pick Andy up from work. Really spoke to her. Then when we were climbing and I was belaying Andy in the dark and it was getting chilly, I could feel her there. She brought me peace in my time of need. I need to make more quiet time to focus on her and when she's with me. 6.8.14. 1:10am

>A few days ago I had a very distinct impression that Indi's whole existence in the spirit world revolves around our family and our friends here on earth. With that many people to look after, she's got her work cut out for her.  6.8.14   1:11am

>It's amazing how much guilt there is on so many levels. Guilt that I couldn't protect her. Guilt that I wasn't more forthcoming with my intuitions and feelings about what was going on. Guilt that my body couldn't provide her with a safe home. Guilt that life moves forward and I must too. Guilt that I go out and have fun. Guilt that I'm doing things I probably wouldn't have been doing if she were here. It goes on and on. 6.8.14   1:16 am

>When people tell me, "I don't know how you do it!! I wouldn't be able to get out of bed ever if that happened to me." I know they're probably trying to tell me that they think I'm strong for being able to get up and work and bike, and climb and all that stuff, but part of me feels like they're really trying to say, "gosh, why aren't you more sad? How come you've gotten over it so easily?"  6.10.14   11:41 pm

>I'm not "moving on" I'm "moving forward."   6.10.14   11:42pm

>It wasn't until about two weeks ago that it really sank in that if we win a lawsuit that money would be part of the outcome. The money wasn't even on my radar until now. I don't even want "revenge." I just want justice/consequence for being a neglectful doctor. He can't just walk away from something like that and feel like everything is fine and dandy. He needs to man up, grow some balls, and take responsibility for his actions/inaction.  6.10.14  11:45pm

>Andy always tells me that even if he brings Indi up in a conversation, and opens that door to talk about her, people still avoid it. I feel sad for him. Just like any parent, we want to talk about our kid. She's who we are now. She's our life, even if she isn't here. 6.10.14   11:46 pm

>People tell us that they can't believe it's already been four months and that's it's completely flown by. That it seems like it happened just yesterday. For us though, this has been the longest four months of my life. It feels like it's been years since I held her in my arms, since I kissed her little cheeks and nuzzled her little nose. 6.10.14   11:50pm

>Watching father of the bride part two while Andy was out of town was not a wise choice. 6.10.14   11:51pm

>"She lived her whole life inside of you."  -Andy. 12:16am    6.16.14

>How is it that I can miss/ache for someone so much that I never saw alive with my own two eyes? How can I miss and love someone so much that I don't even “know?” How can I miss something so greatly that never really was? 6.20.14  1:46 am

>I wonder what spirits Indi has met. Surely not just family. Influential people to the human race, past church leaders, political figures? Who knows...  6.27.14.    12:59 am

>Things people shouldn't say:   
I know everything's going be perfect with your next pregnancy.
It's good you're starting to move on
At least we can know that everything happens for a reason.
You're so lucky you get to sleep all the way through the night at least.
Can you imagine how much harder it would've been to lose her had she lived longer and been older?
She was too perfect for this life
Heavenly Father needed her up there more than you needed her down here.
You accepted this in the pre-earth life
She's in a better place.
Everything will work out how it's supposed to.
Wasn't that weird for her to come out of the cooler in the morning and hold her while she was all cold?  
You're the cool mom because you don't really have anyone to look out for so you can just have fun.
I can't believe you've moved on so quickly. I'd still be attached to my bed and wouldn't be able to get out. You're just so strong, I guess.
You had a stillborn? Oh, my neighbor just had a miscarriage. While I truly do feel very sorry for your neighbor, It feels like you're not truly listening to me. (I'm not saying that my experience is more important or worse than your neighbor's, a loss is a loss no matter what way, shape, or form, I just need you to focus on me, selfishly.)

>I would respect someone so much if they came to me when someone else they know goes through our same tragedy and asks me what are things to say and not to say and how they can help them. 6.28.14.  12:33am

>Someone reminded me that I always knew that my pregnancies would be complicated. I would always talk to her about that. She thinks that maybe as soon as I started to have those thoughts long before I was pregnant that those thoughts were seeds that Heavenly Father placed in me to see if I could handle and accept this challenge.  6.28.14.  12:42am

>"What if" and "why" are very human responses   6.28.14  12:53am

>Sometimes I feel gas or digestion moving through my abdomen when I'm lying down at night and for a split second I think I'm pregnant. Sometimes it feels exactly like Indi just shifting or moving slightly. Then I snap back and I know I'm not pregnant. 7.6.14   1:27am

>Sometimes I feel like it was all just a dream and that Indi is totally fine and they're going to call me any day now and tell me they got it all wrong and that she's happy and healthy and alive and we can come pick her up from the hospital whenever we want.

>You are my daughter and I don't know you. 7.30.14.   12:15am

>How often are you so close to me that if I reached out, I would be able to touch you? How can I truly know you're here with me? sometimes I feel guilty like I'm a bad mom or not in tune with the spirit well enough because I SHOULD know and feel when you're near. How do I know? I have felt you but in a way I can't remember it. 7.30.14.   12:20am

>I feel you drifting away. The farther we get away from your birth, the more it seems like a dream. I don't feel close to that spirit that was in our room together. How do I get that back? What do I need to change? I need to be obedient. I need to get back on track. 8.24.14  9:56am

>Church is still hard. So many babies and children. What would it be like to have her here. I am watching a dad rock his new baby in the car seat as they listen in sacrament. It seems like second nature for that dad right now. Was that father naturally nurturing and did he naturally know what to do with his child as soon as he was born? Maybe he was but most likely the father wasn't. Andy is gentle and kind with children and has so much fun with them but I don't think these other nurturing things necessarily come natural him. But with becoming a father (and mother), you learn these things very quickly and it becomes second nature very quickly. I find myself feelin a ping of grief and sadness when I think of Andy being nurturing and seeing him fall into the father roll. Becoming comfortable with his new role. I long to see him rock a baby in church and even change a diaper. I long to see Indira asleep on his chest. I long to see him get up with her in the night. I long to see him prepare a bottle or wash her little clothes. It's not fair. He should be a well oiled father machine by now. But he's not. And I'm not a well oiled mother machine. I feel like a fake. 8.24.14  10:02

>Now that we know that a lawyer has said that there is enough evidence to win a case, my anger towards dr jones creeps up again. There's something satisfying yet heartbreaking to know that she could've been saved and she could've been here. It's hard to think that way but it's true. It's not just, "oh it was meant to be and we'll never know why."  Although that's still somewhat true, it's not the only thought we have to go on. Something did go wrong. Dr jones did fail us. She could be here. 8.24.14. 10:33am

>Someone told me today that because of being open about my symptoms and what was going on with me right before Indi died, that they were able to tell a friend that had very similar symptoms to mine, go get checked by their doctor. Sure enough, this woman had cholestasis and the baby was delivered early the next day. Part of me is obviously thrilled that because of my willingness to share, this woman was able to have a healthy baby but the other part of me is angry that this couldn't be me and jealous that she had a doctor that listened to her.

>Two nights ago, I had the most realistic dream that I was pregnant. I put my hand on my belly and I felt a baby roll around. I grabbed Andy's hand and he felt her too. I knew it was a baby girl but I was so small so I wasn't very far along. My heart aches. 8.28.14   9:48 pm

>I'm feeling so left out. I want so badly to be pregnant like everyone else. Only really been trying three months. Why does it feel like years? 8.28.14.  9:51pm

>The thought just struck me that if I have any other daughters it would be beautiful to give them "Indira" as a middle name instead of carrying on Usha. I love the middle name Usha but might be time to start a new tradition of "Indira" being a middle name. 9.1.14   11:25pm

>Hope is a place I go to to feel peace and comfort. Hope, in a way, is a knowledge. I hope for the future, the day I hold my sweet Indi. Because I have a knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, I can hope for that day when we are reunited. But that doesn't make this loss any easier. Hope ebbs and flows. At times I feel despair and that this pain will never end. That the time I must wait until I see her again is never going to come. Waiting is agonizing. --- Hope is comforting.  Hope is necessary to survive. Without hope, there is no meaning to life. There are also varying degrees of hope.  --- I hope I get to work on time, I hope everything goes well for my mom in surgery. Hope can also be deeper in your soul. I hope that the pain will become less sharp. That the edges will smooth, and I can go to the space in my heart without so much ache and sorrow.  9.3.14.   8:25am