The Sixth Month

Sunday, February 2, 2003

Lately I have had some pangs of questioning our decisions for Abigailís care. I can see that Abigail got dehydrated from the pictures. I just try not to think about it when I am shaky. Did we make the wrong choices? I can't stand to think that we did. I'm just vacillating between wanting to burst into tears and to punch a hole in the wall and itís miserable.

Wednesday, February 5, 2003

Yesterday I went to a 3-day meeting out of town for work. I seemed to do ok through all the activities, but last night when I was driving home alone to my hotel, I got that familiar sad, lonely feeling. It is so draining to go to social things and talk about ďstupidĒ things and work when I really want to talk about Abigail. So when I got to the hotel I was really feeling down. When I called home, I found out that not only did my son have pinkeye but also my daughter had spiked a 103 fever. And I just got overwhelmed. I just wanted to be home. But it was rather late and it was a 2 1/2 hour drive home, so I was afraid to try it.

I was hoping that after some sleep I would be more rational, but this morning I felt the same way. I still was determined to make a go of it, swinging back and forth between staying and going home. And finally when I thought about another 14-hour day of being social and then doing the same the next day, I realized I just couldn't do it. I'm just not ready to deal with these social situations, and I really don't want to be away from my family. So I called the person in charge of the meeting and told her that my kids were sick and came home.

I cried all the way home, and when I was about half an hour from home the sun finally came up. And then I started wondering why I was so overwhelmed and started feeling really foolish. And when I got home, the kids were fine, just as I knew they would be. Now I feel like a real idiot, although I am so drained that I can't even cry anymore. I'm back to feeling really depressed, like I haven't for some months now. I feel like a kid who couldn't handle her first overnight sleepover. I think what is hardest for me to get a handle on is why this was such a crisis for me earlier, and now it just sounds SO TRIVIAL. I am home like I thought I wanted to be, but I don't really want to be here either. I just want to make it all go away for a while.

Monday, February 10, 2003

Most people would think that now that Abigail has died itís over and we must be glad or relieved to be getting back to normal. But I am seeing that going through it was the easy part; living without her is so much harder. And I've been wishing I'd done some things differently, too. But when I really think about it, those things wouldn't really make it easier because she is still gone.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

It's not fair that our innocence is gone. I just thought you grew up, got married, had kids, and it's that simple. But I have learned the hard way that it is just not that easy for everyone. And that stinks.

But I have to say I had a really good day today. I actually worked the whole day. That may sound dumb, but I haven't had too many days like that yet. It felt pretty good. I still was not highly energetic, but I did what I needed to do.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

I am starting to feel overwhelmed with all the new ladies with T18 diagnoses on the board. It is so hard to find something encouraging to say when 2 or 3 posts in a row are new moms - it's just too sad. But I am starting to turn into one of the "old-timers" now. I am now at the point where I can tell people "that's normal". Wow. It's strange to think that I am experienced and ďan expertĒ, but in some ways I guess I am.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Another Angel has joined ours in heaven: Savannah Joy died today at almost 2 months old. She had Trisomy 18 like Abigail, and she lives nearby so this has hit me pretty hard.

Monday, February 17, 2003

I have been feeling sort of unsettled last night and today. I had an excellent week at work last week; it makes me think I actually DO have a chance to do a decent job again. But Savannah's dying so suddenly really threw me. She had been doing so well. I went to calling hours Saturday night. As I pulled in, my heart started to pound and I suddenly got very nervous. I mean, I had never met her family before and what was I supposed to say? But it was OK. It just tugged at my heart to see their 2 other kids running around like kids do at these things, and how they kept coming back over to Savannah and touching her hands and her face. It was an intense evening, but I really did ok. Her funeral service was the next day and I was surprised that I wasn't really reliving Abigail's funeral, but I was hurting so badly for them that it was like reliving it. And most of the way home I just cried for them, knowing what that evening would be like, and the next day. It almost seems worse thinking about them going through it than it was to go through it myself. It is such a strange thing.

And so maybe it was too much for me, but I just felt so restless and unsettled. Like I didn't want to do anything, or to sit still, or relax. I just wanted to go to bed so I could hopefully wake up and feel differently in the morning. I think I am reliving it so much that it is really affecting me. And this morning, we had way more snow, and we weren't going anywhere, which I didn't like, because I actually wanted to go to work and have the focus and distraction.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

I am really having trouble adjusting to the fact that it is almost 6 months since Abigail was born. 6 months! That seems like an eternity. And yet it still seems so recent and fresh. But seeing a new loss, I realize just how "veteran" I have become to this whole experience. It is still so hard, but I am SO GLAD I am not back at the beginning again, either at the diagnosis or at her death. The pain was so deep and so relentless. The T18 journey is so unique that it is very rare to find someone who really understands. I am so thankful for the board and those from it who I have met. They have truly been such a blessing to me.

Friday, February 21, 2003

It seems like each of us who has lost a baby has at least one "I'll never forget" moment that kind of tells the whole story all at once. I remember sitting at the hospital holding Abigail and discussing with my husband what date to have Abigailís service and she hadnít even died yet. Those things are even more sad because we tell them so matter-of-factly. And that just makes me so MAD, that we tell these awful, sad things that horrify everyone else as if they were just normal.

It is eye opening to me to watch things from the other side of a loss now - to see (and know) the pain of the loss, to see how much others want to stop the pain, and to realize there really is nothing anyone can do to stop it. I didn't realize how hard this is on the others around us. I understand why people would appear to get impatient with grieving; it's not really impatience but just a strong desire to do something to ease the awful pain. It is SO hard to watch someone in this pain; I have a new respect for those who have supported me through all this.

Today was so weird, but at least I got to cry. And cry. And cry. That felt a lot better, but I haven't lost control like that at work for a while. And I also did a little work. So I guess I am not completely back to square one in that I can concentrate some, even though it is intermittent. In fact, I am a little encouraged that I could pull it together a few times to do some things - the whole day wasn't shot - when I first came back to work I couldn't do that so I guess I am getting better. Now I am just kind of spent emotionally. I am not feeling terrible, not great, just spent.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

I Posted on this on my message board:

My Precious Abigail:

Six months ago I held you in my arms for the first time. What a thrill to meet you: my petite little princess, so beautiful and delicate. I was so proud of you! It felt so good to hold you in my arms and in my heart. My arms are now empty; I miss you so much. But I hold you in my heart still, where you will remain forever. I am blessed beyond measure because you have been my daughter and I have been your mother.

I love you, Abigail. Till we meet again.

Mommy

Abigail Grace Wilsford
August 27 Ė September 1, 2002

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