I was fine, but...

A place for those bereaved to receive and offer support

I was fine, but...

Postby calliesmom » Tue Feb 17, 2004 10:53 am

I lost my daughter Callie in November. She was 23 weeks old, and stillborn. I was in a Catholic hospital, and my doctor wanted to deliver me because I had severe PE and HELLP, and my organs were beginning to fail. However, the head nun would not allow it, and they wanted to "wait it out" until I reached 24 weeks, so that Callie would be technically viable. At 24 weeks, my doctor would not be allowed to induce me in this hospital. After arguing with the Archdiocese in Baltimore and the ethics committee for two days while my condition deteriorated, my doctor convinced them that I would most certainly die if he did not act. He was granted his request, and she was delivered to save my life. I had nurses who ignored me, and refused to help me when my baby was being born because they did not "agree" with the situation, and called my doctor an abortionist because of his decision. When all was said and done, little Callie only measured the size of a 21 week old because of the PE.

After this ordeal, I stayed home from work for two months. I still have BP and vision problems.

I have since returned to work and seemed to be dealing with everything as best I can. HOWEVER, my due date is on February 25th. Just looking at the calendar sends me into tears. I turned on the tv this weekend and was bombarded with commercials for Discovery Channel's Birth Day special. Just what I need.

I haven't shared this with my husband. He thinks I'm fine, as does everyone else. It is like this nightmare is happening again. I have extreme guilt that my daughter's life had to end to save mine, and have the pain of thinking of what might have been. Right now, I should be preparing a nursery. Instead, we're getting ready to move because we don't need the extra room. I was so looking forward to all the little girl things: Barbies in the house, the shopping trips together, the planning of a wedding, but that is gone.

Sorry to ramble, but I don't know what to do.

Thanks for listening everyone.

Callie's Mom
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Re : I was fine, but...

Postby deerhart » Tue Feb 17, 2004 11:07 am

*hugs*
Might I suggest that you seek out grief counseling to deal with everything. You have been through a tramuatic ordeal made even more tramuatic by the surrounding events. The thing is you don't have to do this alone or feel alone. It doesn't matter if the people around you understand 100% what you feel because that will never happen, but it is important that they understand that you aren't feeling fine and that you are reaching out for help.

It is very okay to ask for help and you might be suprised that the people surrounding you are aware but not sure how to approach you.

Most insurance companies do cover mental health services, which would either be like a regular co-pay to a doctors visit or some are even 100% covered. There is usually a number you can call on the back of your insurance card or you can contact their customer service line to get connected.

If nothing else, some of the larger cities the hospitals run moms lines, kids lines, or nurses lines where people can call in and ask questions, referrals etc.. and they would be able to direct you to appropriate services.

Do not feel guilty, this isn't your fault and you dind't do anything to make this happen and don't let other people make you feel guilty about it either. You did everything you could possible do.
Please talk to your husband and let him know how you feel and also seek out a professional who can help you handle the emotions that will come and go for probably quite some time.
My thoughts are with you.
Erin

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Re : I was fine, but...

Postby catherine » Tue Feb 17, 2004 11:48 am

Oh Calliesmom, that is such a sad story. I'm roman catholic and Irish and so I'm familiar with the rigid thinking that is often manifested in that faith's name. What they did was cruel and harsh, and so unwarranted. I abhor such a manipulation of the tenets of the faith, particularly in light of our stated faith in a loving and forgiving god. Never forget that you didn't do anything wrong, if you had died, she would have been lost also. You did your best to give your daughter a chance at life but it just couldn't be.

Don't pretend, either to your husband or anyone else that you are doing OK, you aren't! Many of the other women who post here who sadly lost their babies have described what an enormous hurdle dealing with an approaching due date can be.

I think that Erin is right, it might be very useful for you to be able to talk all of this through with a counsellor if you can. If being able to work through this in a "catholic" context is something that might be important to you, maybe you could approach the "Stephen ministry". Very private, I think that you can get in touch through your parish.

Let us know what you decide to do, please know also that there are people here who will always be willing to help, or listen. Feel free to email directly via the forum's emailer.

Sincerely

Catherine
Mom to Finn, Lucy (preeclampsia and HELLP) and Chloe.
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Re : I was fine, but...

Postby josiah1112 » Tue Feb 17, 2004 01:53 pm

Dear Callie's Mom:

I'm SO sorry for what you have gone through...So many of us
have been traumatized in ways that we cannot even begin to realize.
I know that when I was living things out I was hopeful and
numb. When my son passed away, I clung to God's word and
spiritual books. - Anything that would give me comfort and an answer as to WHY? Unfortunately, I will never know why?. I've heard that the intensity of grief comes and goes. - A due date; friends or acquaintances having babies; or so many more things can bring it
on. Please be open. Let your loved one know how you feel. Sometimes
when I just start to feel sad, I find it relieving to tell my
husband that "I miss Josiah".

Going to a therapist once a week; telling friends what I'm going
through (you pick who can handle it based on their reactions) and
posting in this forum has helped a lot. Women who post here really
know what we've been through. If you ever want an ear you can e mail
me. I am also moving. And moving states!

Take Care and All the Best,

Gloria mom to Josiah 11/12/03- 12/4/03 born @ 26wks Pre e
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Re : I was fine, but...

Postby kimb » Tue Feb 17, 2004 07:09 pm

I lost my son in July and truly understand the pain you are going thru. The greif comes and goes in waves. Some days you are fine and others are a struggle to get through. You will be amazed at the things that remind you of what you have lost. I got a speeding ticket on the way to work a few weeks ago and just sobbed and sobbed - I was so angry - I wanted to scream "I'm supposed to be on maternity leave with my little boy and not even driving on this road right now!!!" Then I had a lot of bad days surrounding that I hadn't seen my brother or sister since I lost Will. Last week I took a week of vacation from work and my husband and I drove from Seattle to Minneapolis so that I could see them and be able to clear that dread and part of the greif from my head. (shows you how much I needed it that I decided to go to THAT weather in Feb! )And then I was mad at them because I didn't get what I had played over and over in my mind. I had to force them to talk to me about what happened the day before I left. I know that it was just that they didn't know what to say - but I couldn't let it be like everything was as before. I also met my beautiful nephew that was born 3 weeks to the day before I lost Will. I hadn't been able to buy him Christmas gifts or anything - and I desperately needed to meet him.

The apprehension of Will's due date was much worse for me than the actual day was. I too think of "what would have been" and occassionaly have that guilt. But life and living does get easier. I too went to therapy and have spent a lot of time on these pages. I agree with Gloria that you need to let your loved ones know what you are feeling - I never knew I could use the phrase "I am sad" so many times.

Take good care of yourself and let yourself grieve as you need - not as others expect. They can't truly understand what you are going thru.

Kim 35
William Michael - my angel - pe/HELLP 7/7/03
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Re : I was fine, but...

Postby taras mom » Wed Feb 18, 2004 04:29 am

I'm so sorry about Callie! I lost my little Tara in December 2002, so I have some idea what you're going through. I wasn't very interested in counseling, but I couldn't have coped without the support of my husband. Please don't try to get through this alone!

(And people still ask why I left the Catholic church.[:(!])

Carol (38)
DH Bill (40)
Tara Mairichi
12/7-12/9, 2002
The Mightiest Little Angel
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Re : I was fine, but...

Postby laura » Wed Feb 18, 2004 09:21 am

Calliesmom! I'm so sorry that that hospital's ignorance and arrogance has caused you so much pain! Please know that you bear no blame in the matter. I suggest that you email Anne the name and location of the hospital, with the managing Sister's name to send some literature on preeclampsia. anne@preeclampsia.org

And please don't judge a faith on the limits and faults (ok, downright stupidity) of some of it's members. As a practicing Catholic, I can say that the fault here most likely lies with ignorance rather than any deliberate effort to cause you pain. It sounds to me like they need someone to set them straight!

Laura
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Mom to Alicia (severe PE) 5/98 and Camille (htn, oligo) 4/03
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Re : I was fine, but...

Postby julie f » Wed Feb 18, 2004 05:00 pm

Callie's Mom,
I am so sorry for the loss of your precious little girl. I lost my son in July and my heart breaks for you and all of us here who have to face a parents' worst nightmare. I am also sorry for what you had to go through at the hospital.

My son was due on October 25, 2003. When the calendar hit October 1 - I felt as if I were going to relive the whole experience again. Much like what Kim mentioned - the anticipation of the date was actually much worse than the date itself. For me it was a bit of a turning point, I started to be able to look more towards the future. That is not to say though that there aren't still days of unbearable grief, you just somehow manage to get through them.

Again, echoing what Kim said - grieve as you need to, not as people expect you to. You have probably already found that people have no idea what to do or say, some will say nothing and some will say the worst things possible... Just make sure you take care of you, whatever you have the strength for. And, I know it is hard to talk about it with your husband, even though he lost his child too, your experience was so different. At least in my case that is how I felt. My husband and I were drawn closer than ever as I was admitted and our son was born and died. At Zach's funeral, I never felt closer to my husband, not even on our wedding day. However, as life began to return to "normal," I could feel us drifting away as we both tried to pick up the pieces and carry on. It has been a struggle but, we are working on trying to keep that closeness and hang on to eachother. As hard as it is, you have to try let him in on how you're feeling and how you're doing. Going to a counselor together may be a really good idea to help open up the lines of communication. I just mentioned in another post that I'm looking into doing that right now but, wish I would've done it sooner.

Please take care,

Julie (27)
Zachary James, 7/22/03-7/27/03, born at 26wks - severe pe

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Re : I was fine, but...

Postby calliesmom » Thu Feb 19, 2004 06:37 am

Thanks to all of you for your kind words. It does help to know that these feelings are normal.

I will talk with my husband. However, as I'm sure all of you feel, it is somewhat different for us (women). I remember feeling my daughter's kicks. I also remember being in the hospital during labor, and suddenly NOT feeling them. I knew exactly when she died, and that realization was unbearable. It is hard to explain to my husband. I think that at least I will need some counseling, although I have been putting it off, thinking things would get better.

Once again, I thank you all for your words of consolation. Sometimes, just typing is theraputic for me!

Callie's mom
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Re : I was fine, but...

Postby sharonda » Thu Feb 19, 2004 10:26 pm

Talk to your husband.
My husband and I talk all of the time about our daughter. I cannot imagine not being able to talk to him about Amaya. I only went through this a few weeks ago (Jan 25th). At first I concentrated on my health because I was in the hospital for 2 weeks. After being home for a week and feeling "better", I began to notice that everyone on TV was pregnant or just had a baby. Last week's ER drove me insane. One doctor was in the beginning of her pregnancy, one doctor was in the middle of her pregnancy and one just had a baby...all in the same episode. At the end, I felt the tears ready to fall. My husband walked out of the bedroom and asked, "Are you okay? I know ER was tough tonight." He held me in his arms while I cried.

We often forget about our husbands but they lost a child, too. My husband feels safe to grieve with me. We live in a world that does not accept men crying or showing emotion. By sharing this with him, you are helping him, too.

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