Sad Valentine's Day

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Sad Valentine's Day

Postby heatherbbb » Mon Feb 06, 2012 08:43 am

After 8years, I still struggle with Valentine’s Day. See the posts I made below in 2010 and 2006. My husband and I tried to schedule a romantic dinner for this V-day, but I just feel sick to my stomach trying to plan it. Instead, I think my husband and I will take a care package over to the NICU on Valentine’s Day for the Doctors, Nurses, Therapists, and other hospital staff. We’ll include pictures of Seth who stayed with them for 5 ½ months and pictures of our youngest son who only had a 10 day stay in the NICU and is now a healthy and active 7 year old. For me, the grief of losing a child has gotten easier over the years until Valentine’s Day approaches. Again, I am still confident that I made the best decision for my son Seth 8 years ago. He is always in my thoughts and heart, sometimes the memories bring happiness and sometimes an ache.

2010: I am always sad as we approach Valentine's Day. Six years ago my husband did something very uncharacteristic for him. He booked a surprise stay at a 5 star hotel for us for Feb 13th to celebrate Valentine's Day. He wanted to cheer me up. Instead of going to the hotel, we cancelled so we could take our son off the ventilator he had been on for 5 1/2 months. We got home from the hospital at about 11 p.m. the night before Valentine's Day and we just felt so empty. Six years later, life is easier. The pain stays in the background most of the time. But I still feel sad when I start to see all the hearts go up. People ask how we will celebrate the V day. Celebrate? I think not. We will go to Seth's grave.

Here is a memorial I wrote 4 years ago. There are not many posts on taking your child off of life support. I wanted others to know that I have been through it and still feel I made the very best decision I could for my son. I thought those who have been through this would relate.

2006: Two years ago, we made a decision. Not a decision to let Seth live or let Seth die. A Higher One than us made that decision. We were able to make the decision of how Seth's last moments would be. Would they be moments of panic, fear, surrounded by strangers in the middle of the night? Was he to suffer more and more pic lines, IVs, needles, blood draws, more being pinned down for 40 minutes every day so a respiratory tech could peal the tape from his face and administer more tape to hold the ventilator tube in place, higher ventilation settings that were shredding his lungs? No, we couldn't make the decision to save his life. We made the decision of how his last hours would be. The nurses gave him medications to keep him as comfortable as possible. We got our own room, Tim, Seth, and I. I held Seth in my arms as the doctor removed the ventilator tube. Seth opened his eyes and looked at me as if to say thank you. He had been trying to remove that tube for months, sometimes successfully. Those successful times had always been filled with panic for him and us. They were always followed by doctors and nurses running and the reinsertion of a tube, not a good experience for Seth. This time was different. This time it was peaceful. Seth opened his eyes, took about 5 breaths, then his breathing stopped and his eyes closed. I felt his spirit leave his body then, but his presence stayed with us. His heart continued to beat for 45 minutes. He fought to the very end, just as he had for the previous 5 1/2 months. For 5 months, my prayers had not been answered in the way that I had asked. Heavenly Father gave us those 5 1/2 months, but not a lifetime in this mortal existence. The last two weeks I had begun to ask for guidance. God answered those prayers. He gave me the wisdom, the strength, the courage, and the compassion to do the best thing I could do for my son. To end his suffering which no longer served any purpose and give him the most loving and peaceful passing he could have. I thank God that 2 years later I know that I did the right thing. I thank God that I had a husband that agreed and supported my decisions. I thank God for those 5 1/2 months of love, memories, photos, and videos. I thank God for Seth. I thank God for Seth's beautiful little brother who recently turned 1. I look forward to being reunited with Seth in the life to come.
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Re: Sad Valentine's Day

Postby kerisue » Mon Feb 06, 2012 02:28 pm

I had to let my daughter go too. It was such a difficult decision and like you, I know that I was showing my daughter mercy by letting her suffering end (although I also stand by my decision to help her fight for as long as we did, and she did put up a Good Fight as I'm sure Seth did.) My daughter died during a holiday too- 4th of July- and I struggle with that day knowing everyone else is happy and celebrating while I am feeling this loss so acutely and don't feel remotely like celebrating. Even 2 years or 8 years down the road, this seems natural.
Take care, I'll be thinking of Seth on Valentine's Day.
Mama to Millie
born June 2010 @ 24 wks. gestation due to my severe PE and CHF
lived 25 days, loved and missed
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Re: Sad Valentine's Day

Postby rosemary » Mon Feb 06, 2012 08:01 pm

You will be in my thoughts on Valentine's Day. Your precious Seth was so very blessed to have you as parents. The gifts for the NICU are a beautiful way to honor his memory and life. Wishing you peace and healing.
Rosemary - 47 - Central, PA
Momma to Kayleigh 8/25/88 - 36 weeks
Elliott 8/29/04 - lost at 20 weeks due to severe PE/HELLP
Proud Grandma to Max Allen 10/19/10.
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Re: Sad Valentine's Day

Postby m » Tue Feb 07, 2012 00:11 am

Thank you for re-sharing your memorial. We let our baby boy go on February 13, too. That was the most difficult decision of our lives, but we wanted him to pass peacefully and in the loving arms of his parents. I can't imagine ever celebrating Valentine's Day again.
DS 2/5/09 - 2/13/09; severe PE at 28 weeks
DD March 2010; PIH, preterm labor at 36 weeks, 10 days NICU
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Re: Sad Valentine's Day

Postby holly3372@msn.com » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:52 pm

Thank you for sharing this...it really brought me back. We are going on 2 years August since we too decided the same thing for our son Benjamin. He lived for 4 months in the nicu on a ventilator.We made a decision in the very same way and held him in our arms until he passed. I truly can relate to every word of your post. I will be thinking of you and Seth. Sending love and peace to you
Benjamin Spider Reeves born 4-28-2010( 1lb 6oz 26 weeks to severe pre-e and Iugr) we lost you after 4 long months in the NICU. You fought so hard,and were so brave.Our first baby .We miss you everyday and love you forever xo

Expecting ,dreaming, and hoping for our baby Girl sometime in January 2013
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